Innovation Policy Instruments for Grand Challenges: Targeting Constellations of Diverse R&I Actors?

David Howoldt*, Susana Borrás

*Corresponding author af dette arbejde

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Many countries have created research and innovation (R&I) policy instruments with the mission of addressing grand challenges. The new policy rationale suggests that these instruments must target civil society actors in new and more diverse constellations, combining them with ‘traditional’ R&I actors (universities and firms). Investigating the extent to which policy instruments are designed according to this requirement, this paper analyses co-occurrences of targeted R&I actors in science, technology and innovation policy instruments and identifies five typical constellations of targeted R&I actors. We focus on two constellations that are likely to include civil society actors. Wide constellations (dominated by universities and firms) are positively associated with grand challenge policy instruments. Civil-society-led constellations are less heterogeneous and possibly associated with grand challenge instruments. This original contribution shows partial consistency between the grand challenge policy rationale and its instruments, and evidence of civil-society-led actor constellations not yet considered in the literature.
TidsskriftIndustry and Innovation
Udgave nummer8
Sider (fra-til)985-1007
Antal sider23
StatusUdgivet - okt. 2023

Bibliografisk note

Published online: 06 Oct 2022.


  • Grand challenges
  • Transformative innovation policy
  • Innovation policy instruments
  • Policy mix
  • Mission innovation