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Midway seminar: Relatedness as a resource

The sustainability transition: How can emerging industries draw on varied resources of established industries?

Photo of Tuukka Mäkitie

Tuukka Mäkitie

Photo: UiO

Working title of PhD:

Relatedness as a resource: How ocean renewable energy innovation systems draw on established industries

One of the focal points in academic literature on sustainability transitions has been the up-scaling of renewable energy technology (RET) production, arguably a key frontier in the battle to mitigate climate change. When explaining lack of change in socio-technical systems, transition literature often describes established industries as part of the institutionalized and path dependent regime which stabilizes existing technological trajectories, working often against the development of radical niche technologies, such as RETs. However, the complementing role of established industries for new industry development has gained relatively little attention in transition studies, even though innovation studies have long acknowledged such connections between old and new industries to be essential for technological and economic progress.

Mäkitie seeks to contribute to the literature on sustainability transitions by investigating the various connections between ocean RETs (such as offshore wind power and wave power) and established industries. He is interested in how such emerging industries draw on varied resources (such as knowledge, agency, capital, institutions and networks) of established industries, and what kind of implications can the availability of these resources have for innovation development of clean tech industries. Ocean RETs offer an opportunity to investigate the importance of established industry resources for early industry development. For instance, offshore wind power has been reported to draw heavily on e.g. offshore related industries, while wave power seems to have less evident connections to established industries.

Mäkitie argues in his PhD that related and established industrial sectors can act as resources for emerging technological innovation systems. Connections to established industries can thus advance novel technologies through complementarities, while lack of synergies or competition between systems can hinder industry Development.

Tuukka Mäkitie is a PhD research fellow at TIK Centre for Technology, Innovation, and Culture. This seminar marks his midway evaluation. The seminar is open to everyone, and the manuscript can be obtained by sending an e-mail to tina.nass[AT]

Supervisors: Associate professor Taran Thune, TIK, and Professor Anna Bergek, Chalmers University of Technology

Commentators: Professor Olav Wicken and postdoc Jens Hanson


Tags: Innovation, Sustainability
Published Dec. 7, 2016 11:18 AM - Last modified Dec. 7, 2016 11:20 AM