Innovation for Development


Innovation drives social change, but whether is helps the poorer sections of society is a key policy problem. In DPP we address issues of innovation, equity and social justice in both the developed and developing world. Much of this is through the ESRC funded INNOGEN research centre with the University of Edinburgh.

Project design:

Research on innovation systems has, until recently, been largely ignored in development studies. DPP researchers have pioneered work in three interrelated aspects of innovation studies, with implications for development:

  • Institutions and market processes of innovation: Much of this work has been spearheaded by the Innogen research centre which has produce detailed studies of changing public private partnerships (PPPs), particularly with reference to the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals.
  • Management of innovation: Economic performance depends on innovation management and DPP staff have analysed the relationship between firm learning, innovation and growth over industry life cycles, and undertaken research on the coordination of innovation in global value chains.
  • The governance of innovation: Power relations underlie innovation at all levels. DPP researchers have shown how power relations are reflected in the design of policy frameworks which in turn influence the parameters of innovation design (e.g. IPRs and regulatory standards).

Project outcomes or activities:

  • Norman Clark was part of the Energy for Development Research Programme Consortium (with ACTS, Nairobi) funded by DFID
  • Sue Oreszczyn and Lev Levidow recent completed a project entitled ‘Co-operative Research on Environmental Problems in Europe’ (CREPE), which was funded under the European Commission, 7th Framework, Science in Society Programme (
  • Rebecca Hanlin was a researcher on a three-year basic research project funded by the European Commission (FP6), starting from January 2007, looking at Culture and Innovation Dynamics (