New policy practices for a challenge-led, broad-based model of transformative innovation. Climate-KIC Transition Cities and the reconfiguring of situated sociotechnical networks.

Fred Steward
Policy Studies Institute, University of Westminster,London
Tuesday, 28 October 2014 - 12:30

The seminar addresses the implications of the European innovation policy turn toward societal challenges such as climate change.  The new challenge-led approach reframes the policy agenda compared to the traditional technology-driven model.  It is more attuned to systemic rather than singular innovation, and offers a broader definition of innovation which highlights social, organisational, and business model novelty.  It is argued that this offers a richer and realistic perspective for the radical pervasive changes needed for the transition to a low carbon society.  Prospects for transformative innovation are addressed through a focus on the place based sociotechnical networks of mobility, buildings and energy.  These are discussed in relation to the Climate-KIC Transition Cities project involving Frankfurt, Birmingham, Bologna/Modena. Valencia/Castellon, Budapest and Wroclaw. 


Ciudad Politécnica de la Innovación
Edificio 8E, Acceso J, Planta 3ª (Salón de Actos. Cubo Rojo)
Universidad Politécnica de Valencia | Camino de Vera s/n

Short CV: 

Fred Steward is Professor of Innovation & Sustainability at the Policy Studies Institute,

University of Westminster, London. He is President (since 2009) of the European Association for the Study of Science and Technology (EASST), which is the principal scholarly association for science, technology & innovation studies in Europe. His academic career has been as lecturer, reader and professor in innovation studies , mainly in university business schools, though recently in a policy research centre.   

His primary interest is the role of innovation in addressing the challenges of global sustainability, risk and climate change. He is a specialist in transformative innovation, sociotechnical networks, systems innovation and sustainability transitions and has advised  government departments in Europe and China.  Director of the UK national  ESRC Sustainable Technologies Programme 2004-2006.  Senior Fellow (2007-2008) at the UK innovation foundation, NESTA, during preparation of Innovation Nation White Paper.  Actively involved in the international Sustainable Transitions Research Network.  Member of the UK Royal Society committee on Global Environmental Change.  He is Policy Advisor to the Making Transitions Happen challenge platform  of Climate-KIC & was architect of the Pioneers into Practice programme.