Designing Public-private Innovation Partnerships: A Case Study of PPIs for Waste Management in Copenhagen

Barbara Svigova & Julia Betz

Studenteropgave: Kandidatafhandlinger


The purpose of this master thesis is to investigate how to design public-private innovation partnerships (PPIs) to drive their innovative outcomes. The authors aim to identify the enablers for and barriers to innovation in a qualitative case study of three PPIs focused in the waste management sector at the municipality of Copenhagen in Denmark. Using the analytical tool of thematic networks, the authors analyze data collected in eighteen semi-structured interviews with partners from the studied PPIs as well as external experts within the fields of public-private collaborations and innovation. Literature from the fields of public-private (innovation) partnerships, collaborative governance, and innovation studies with a focus on design thinking is used to interpret and generalize the findings from the interviews. As a result of the analysis, the authors develop a PPI framework representing the factors that impact the innovative outcomes of public-private innovation partnerships. With diversity as an overarching driver for innovation, the framework integrates the factors into six dimensions – system context, commitment, alignment, leadership, innovation development, and collaborative outcomes – that build on each other in the course of a public-private innovation partnership. Furthermore, the authors identify project-specific influences on the innovative outcomes, such as co-creation and third-party funding. The PPI framework provides implications for practitioners on how to design PPIs. Despite the master thesis’s scope being limited to the Copenhagen waste management context, the authors propose the use and adjustment of the PPI framework in other sectors and regions as well. Furthermore, the case study provides theoretical implications for PPI research as the authors argue for the need of a cross-disciplinary approach combining public-private partnerships research with innovation studies. The master thesis reveals that the existing PPI literature neglects, among other topics, the role of citizens, co-creation, experimentation, iteration, and upscaling, which are all essential aspects of PPIs.

UddannelserKandidatuddannelse i Innovation og Entrepreneurship. Strategisk Design og Entrepreneurship, (Kandidatuddannelse) Afsluttende afhandling
Antal sider158
VejledereKarl-Heinz Pogner