Technological innovation plays an inevitable role in transforming our current modes of production and consumption towards sustainable development. This has been well acknowledged by policy makers across the world, yet our understanding of the policy approaches that governments have thus far taken to impact the underlying innovation strategies and policies remains limited. Furthermore, the extensive scholarly literature on sustainable transitions and innovation studies largely relies on in-depth case and small-n studies with a focus on a few countries and sectors.
The aim of this thesis is to provide a comprehensive analysis of policy decision making in advancing technological innovation for sustainable development. I start from a global perspective on the factors that influence policy tool choice in the renewable energy sector using quantitative analysis. Based on literature review and content analysis of government documents , I then move onto examining the broader innovation context including barriers and innovation strategies. I build on a previous cross-sectoral framework (Anadon et al., 2014; 2016), to enable a comprehensive multi-sectoral (five sectors) and multi-country analysis of innovation policies used to mobilize innovation for sustainability and their lack thereof. I investigate ten small, developed countries as niches in a global system with specific innovation strategies, policies and focus areas while being constrained by certain limited resources. Finally, I offer a case study on policies supporting the clean energy transition in four Central European countries.
Division of Public Policy (PPOL)