The 5th RA [X] Networks


21-22 November 2019, Stuttgart, Germany

Theme 2019


Center for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden-Württemberg (ZSW)

in collaboration with

University of Hohenheim,

University of Bremen

Submission account is activated now, ***19 August 2019***

Background and objectives

The structural change of modern economies due to rapid technological advancements is a multifaceted and complex phenomenon and nowadays often discussed as transition towards a knowledge-based economy. In this sense, recent issues challenging the economy and society are for example the global sustainability goals, the energy question, new market structures driven by new technologies, rapid changes through digitalization etc.

Cooperation is one way for firms to cope with an increasing level of complexity in high velocity market environments and outperform competitors. Cooperation enables mutual exchange of knowledge, provides learning platforms and paves the way for collective innovation processes for the actors involved. The sum of micro-level cooperation activities for a well-specified set of actors is reflected in network patterns at higher aggregation levels. Networks can drive – but also hamper – transition processes and are themselves affected by economic transition in various ways. For instance, the creation of new knowledge requires the involvement of new actors and forces at the same time others to leave the field. Contemporary research shows that a broad range of factors plays a role in this context, such as knowledge characteristics, actors’ attributes, institutional settings and regional characteristics. Thus, the study of firm specific cooperation and networks allows us to learn more about the transition processes itself and provides new insight on how firms behave in uncertain environments. At the same time, there is an increasing interest in this topic by political authorities. Transitions can be conceptualized as systemic phenomenon, i.e., a change from one socio-technical system to another. Currently, the transition towards a knowledge-based economy and related socio-economic consequences has become ubiquitous on all policy levels.

Accordingly, the objective of this workshop is to bring together theoretical, conceptual, and empirical research on system dynamics, system failures, systemic interventions and innovation policy design. We welcome presentations in the following exemplary research fields, all of which are able to take a broad and creative individual approach to matters of methodology and their general approach.

Exemplary research questions:

• Which factors in innovation networks fuel or might hamper major transition processes?

• How can an innovation systems perspective contribute to the governance of major transformation processes?

• What is the role of different networks actors (e.g. producers, consumers, science organizations, civil society) during the transition process?

• What role do incumbents and what role do start-ups play in transition networks?

• How can we measure the impact of networks on change processes? Which new measures can be applied?

• How can innovation policy react to the challenges related to economic transition?

• Which role does the relationship between urban and peripheral regions play in innovation systems and innovation policy?

• What is the relationship between networks and disruptive innovations?

• How do networks support the product development from niche to mass markets?

• How can innovation systems remain effective when they face disruptive technological change?

• How important are networks for catching-up economies?

Furthermore, we will organize three (parallel) sessions on the following special themes:

Special Session I. ‘Virtual simulation labs and simulation techniques’ (Organizing team: Andreas Pyka, Matthias Mueller, Jessica Birkholz, Kudic Muhamed )

Special Session II. ‘Transition from Biotechnology toward Bioeconomy’ (Organizing team: Daniel Schiller, Muhamed Kudic, Mariia Shkolnykova, Leonard Prochaska)

Special Session III. ‘Development and application of network-based indicators in transformative technological fields’ (Organizing team: Tobias Buchmann, Andreas Kladroba, Muhamed Kudic, Katharina Friz, Patrick Wolf )