This section contains some selected presentations. They range from lectures to invited presentations and key-note addresses and cover a large number of topics. These include innovation theory; the development of innovation studies as a scientific field; research and innovation policy (especially in Norway); international competitiveness; catch-up processes and growth in the global economy. If you find something interesting here you may benefit from consulting the books and papers underpinning the presentations (I have added some links for those interested).

“Innovation policy, sustainability transitions and the global green shift”


How can innovation policy assist in the global green shift? Presentation (Webinar) at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, November 30, 2021.

“18 papers written over 18 years”

18 papers written over 18 years

Presentation of a new collection of essays, entitled “Innovation, Economic Development and Policy” and published by Edward Elgar, at a seminar at the University of Oslo September 20, 2018.

“Addressing economic and environmental challenges: Role of innovation policy”

Addressing economic and environmental challenges: Role of innovation policy

The Schumpeter ‘Innovation in Enterprise’ lecture held at Kadriorg Art Museum, Tallin, Estonia, 22 November 2017. The lecture proposes a European program for sustainable growth, with a particular focus on the economically lagging countries, targeting investments for reducing GHG emissions.

“Transforming the economy to sustainability: The role of innovation policy”


Presentation held at the Norwegian Research Council, Oslo, 03. March, 2017. The presentation discusses the urgent need to transform the economy to sustainability and the role that innovation policy may play in doing so.

“Innovation policy, national innovation systems and economic performance: In search of a “useful” theoretical framework”


Presentation at the Atlanta conference on science and innovation policy , Atlanta, September 16-19, 2015. Innovation policy has emerged as a new field of economic policy during the last few decades. In this presentation I consider what is learnt and discuss what the challenges for theory and practice in this area are.

“The Triple Challenge for Europe: Economic Development, Climate Change & Governance”

Triple Challenge for Europe

Presentation at the EU-Spri Conference, 10-12.6. 2015, Helsinki. The presentation is based on an Fagerberg, Staffan Laestadius and Ben Martin (eds.): The Triple Challenge for Europe: Economic Development, Climate Change, Governance, Oxford University Press (2015). For a workingpaper summarizing the main message of the book click here.

“One Europe or several? Causes and consequences of the European stagnation”

try again

From a presentation at the 15th Conference of the International Schumpeter Society, 27-30 July, 2014, Jena, Germany. The presentation is based on a chapter (coauthored with Bart Verspagen) in Jan Fagerberg, Staffan Laestadius and Ben Martin (eds.): The Triple Challenge for Europe: Economy, Climate Change, Governance, Oxford University Press (forthcoming 2015). See a video presentation or download the working paper.

“Innovation and Innovation Policy in the Nordic Region”

Innovation and policy in the Nordic region

From a presentation at the Kalevi Sorsa Foundation, Helsinki, 25 april 2014. Although the term “innovation policy” is relatively new, the practice is arguably much older, as this discussion of the evolution of the national innovation systems and innovation policies in four Nordic countries shows. There is also a workingpaper and a
video available.

“Half a Century of Innovation Research: Achievement and Challenges”


Key-note address delivered at the DRUID ACADEMY 16-18 January, 2013 in Ålborg, Denmark. It presents a quantitative overview of how the scholarly literature on innovation has evolved from the 1950s to the present time, based on an analysis of references in eleven different “handbooks” on (various aspects of) innovation. The presentation is based on the paper “Innovation: Exploring the knowledge base” (coauthored with Morten Fosaas and Koson Sapprasert) published in Research Policy in 2012.

“Capabilities, Competitiveness, Nations”

Capabilities, Competitiveness and Nations

Invited presentation at the conference “Dynamic Capabilities and the Sustainable Competitiveness of Firms and Nations”, October 12, 2012, St. Petersburg University, Russia. This presentation, which is based on joint work with Martin Srholec over the years, discusses how country level “capabilities” should be understood; their measurement; and what the effects for a country’s competitiveness and economic performance may be.

“The Evolution of Norway’s National Innovation System”

The Evolution of Norway's National Innovation System

Lecture held at the NORSI doctoral course at BI in Oslo September 26, 2012 on the characteristics of the Norwegian national innovation system and how it got there. The presentation is mainly based on a book jointly edited with David Mowery and Bart Verspagen (Innovation, Path Dependency and Policy: The Norwegian case, published on Oxford University Press), and a report I have made on innovation policy in Norway (only available in Norwegian). There also exists a paper summarizing the main findings of the book.

“Innovation Studies – an Introduction to the Main Issues”

Innovation Studies -Introduction

This is the most recent version of a lecture I have given many times, and that I continue to revise over and over again to make it as up to date as possible. The lecture attempts to give a brief overview of the state art of innovation research, theoretically as well as applied, and with a view to the history of the field. Originally it was based on Chapter 1 in the Oxford Handbook of innovation, but is has subsequently developed much beyond that.

“Mobilizing for change: Research units in emerging scientific fields

Mobilizing for Change

Invited lecture in the series “Visions of a New University” at Pufendorf Institute, Lund University, September 6, 2012. The lecture discusses the roles of new research units in emerging scientific fields as (much needed) “change agents” in the world of science, and offers empirical examples based on a survey (and some case studies) of such units in innovation studies and related fields. It is based on a joint work with Tommy Clausen and Magnus Gulbrandsen published in Research Policy 2012.

“Innovation, Growth and Competitiveness”

Innovation, Growth and Comp.

This lecture, delivered at a PHD Summer- School at the Friedrich-Schiller-Universität in Jena, Germany in early August 2012, discusses the notion of the international competitiveness of a country; outlines a theory of how innovation, growth and competitiveness relate; and applies the theory to data for 90 countries on different levels
of development between 1980 and 2002. It draws on joint work with Martin Srholec and Mark Knell: “The Competitiveness of Nations: Why Some Countries Prosper While Others Fall Behind?,” World Development, 35 (10): 1595-1620.

“Technological Dynamics and Social Capability: Comparing U.S. States and European Nations”

Seminar presentation February 29, 2012 at UNU-MERIT, a research and training centre of United Nations University and Maastricht University, located in Maastricht, the Netherlands. The presentation, which analyses the technological dynamics in Europe and the US and its (social) underpinnings, is based on joint work with Maryann Feldman and Martin Srholec. For more information click here.

“A more open research system”

A More Open Research System

Invited lecture, Academy of Finland, Helsinki, June 10, 2011. The presentation summarizes the main findings and recommendations of a report to the Norwegian Government on publicly funded research in Norway. The report (NOU 2011: 6) can be downloaded here (only in Norwegian unfortunately).

“Technological and social factors in development”

Technological and Social Factors in Development

Invited presentation at the conference “Science, Technology and Innovation: Setting priorities and implementing policies for LDCs” organized by TUBITAK (the Turkish research council) and UNIDO, February 7-8, 2011 in Istanbul, Turkey. The presentation focuses on complementary roles that technological and social capabilities play in economic development. The empirical evidence used in the presentation draws on earlier work with Martin Srholec.

Christopher Freeman: Social science entrepreneur

Chris Freeman's contribution to innovation studies

Presentation at the EXPLORE – workshop, DIME Network of Excellence, Lund, Sweden, December 7-8, 2010. Christopher Freeman, one of the most influential contributors to the development of innovation studies as a scientific field, died on 16th August 2010. This presentation focuses both on his intellectual legacy and on his role as a creator of organizational frameworks for the field’s development. The presentation is based on the paper “Christopher Freeman: Social science entrepreneur” (coauthored with Morten Fosaas, Martin Bell and Ben Martin) published in Research Policy in 2011.