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Anticipatory innovation governance

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On 23 September 2022, The Interreg Europe Policy Learning Platform organised an online discussion on Anticipatory innovation governance. The online discussion was moderated by Arnault Morisson and Marc Pattinson, thematic experts on the topic of research and innovation.

Anticipatory innovation governance is an approach to adopt non-linear policymaking processes to embrace uncertainty and complexity. The concept supports future-oriented learning and action based on empirical experimentation, and must have space for:

  • Effective and efficient products and services (enhancement-oriented innovation)
  • Directed innovation to solve societal challenges (mission-oriented innovation)
  • Undirected entrepreneurial discovery (adaptive innovation)

Anticipatory Innovation Governance requires regional policymakers to conduct foresight exercises to anticipate future risks and opportunities. 

During the online discussion, Jack Orlik of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development provided the participants with more insights into Anticipatory innovation governance.

Subsequently, Maja Ferlinc represented the HIGHER project and presented the Strategic Research and Innovation Partnerships (SRIPs), which are long-term partnerships focusing on nine areas related to Industry 4.0. Their presentations can be found at the end of the article.



Anticipatory Innovation Governance

"The broad-based capacity to actively explore possibilities, experiment, and continuously learn as part of a broader governance system."

( Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development)


During the online discussion, the participants shared insights on how to design innovation governance models. The key takeways can be found below

Key Takeaways

must combine strategic governance to define priorities and to give directions and operational governance to find the right granularities of priorities.

Regional innovation governance increasingly requires operating within multi-level governance environments. There is a need to find better multi-level coordination between policy hierarchies combining top-down directionalities with bottom-up approaches. The good practice Multilevel governance in RIS3 Basque Country shows the importance to facilitate the construction of multi-level governance to define the role for public organisations and procedures for collaboration in order to limit institutional complexity

Regional innovation governance is highly context-specific. The degree to which civil society will be engaged in the policy process greatly depends on the regional institutional context and capacities to deal with community-engagement. 

If you have any specific questions related to innovation governance you can reach out to Policy Learning Platform experts directly via the policy helpdesk.

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