Discourses on innovation are characterized by most contradictory concepts: The label innovation qualifies a product or process as well as the market entry of the very; and both intra-organizational change and inter-organizational co-operation is said to be (open) innovation as well. At the same time, the immense scope of concepts covers a narrow scope of research interests: Mostly, innovation is about technology. Thus, we do not know much about non-technical Innovations (NTI), so far. Additionally, we find that this bias is flanked by an economy bias, which is even more surprise against the background of the multi-dimensional reality of innovation:
On the one hand, the regionalization of national innovation regimes is accompanied by the installation of more negotiation based innovation systems. In the course of this transformation, both the number and the diversity of involved actors increases: Meanwhile, studies on contemporary knowledge societies, on the “MODE 2”of science, and on the “Triple-Helix” of innovation all indicate that the design of robust innovation is, to a great extend, about finding a well-tempered balance between political, scientific, and economic interests.
On the other hand, most concepts of innovation (regimes) focus only on strategies and indicators for economic innovation, that is, most diverse actors focus on just a smallest range of dimensions when they discuss on a most multi-dimensional phenomenon. This contradiction provokes the questions that are central to this conference:
• Why do we know so little about NTI and non-economic innovations (NEI), so far? What impact does this bias have on societies and economic performance?
• What forms and dimensions of NTI and NEI can be found both in literature and empirically? What impact do these findings have on current concepts of innovation?
• Are there innovations without a NTI or NEI dimension, that is, pure TI or EI innovations?
• Are there further biases in innovation, e.g. an “all innovation is good”bias?
• How good are current indicators of innovation? What could indicators for NTI or NEI look like? How could they complement indicators for TI and EI?
• Which paradoxes and conflicts would we have to manage in order to balance TI/EI with NTI/NEI innovations and indicators?
• Which levels of analysis would fit to the design and the testing of NTI/NEI indicators?