Technical Innovation Systems
Faculty of Geosciences Utrecht University

TIS for Policymakers

Many innovation systems are characterized by some flaws that greatly hamper the development and diffusion of innovations. These flaws are often labelled as system failures or system problems. Intelligent and evidence based innovation policy therefore evaluates how innovation systems are functioning, tries to create insight in the system problems and develops policies accordingly.

The Technological Innovation System (TIS) approach can contribute to more effective and efficient policies for innovation. Innovation policy is about helping companies to perform better and contributing to wider social objectives such as growth, jobs and sustainability. There are many policy tools available to achieve this, ranging from establishing supportive framework conditions (e.g. human resources, an internal market, intellectual property) to facilitating access to finance, policy benchmarking and enabling collaboration or stimulating demand, for instance, through regulation, standards and public procurement.

However, the choice of policy instruments depends on the identified structural cause for functional barriers in the innovation system, as well as the precise goal of a policy and the geographical and technological scope of the technological innovation system in question. A relevant outcome of the TIS analysis is a perspective on the relevant system boundaries of the system and identification of the specific bottlenecks in the innovation system.