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Energy Innovation Systems and Their Dynamics: Globalizing Networks and Local Anchoring, EIS PhD Summer School in Aalborg/Denmark, May 2012

Innovation in the energy area is of essential importance for changing the energy systems in direction of more sustainable and climate friendly systems. In recent years an increasing number of studies of characteristics and dynamics of the energy innovation systems have appeared. Parallel to the growing scientific attention, there is a considerably growing societal attention in many countries to energy innovation; also as an important industrial matter and a matter of economic development, competitiveness, and job creation. Hence, there is tendency to perceive the search for solutions to the climate and sustainability challenges, not as an external issue, outside societal economy, but as an integrated part. Research on energy innovation systems and their dynamics constitutes an important scientific field for assessing and discussing the opportunities and realism of this perspective.

As a PhD student, one can benefit from participation at international conferences and special summer schools for PhDs. I had the opportunity to participate at the PhD Summer School orga-nized by the University of Aalborg which counts to the leading universities in this field. From an historical point of view, the idea of “innovation systems” is originating from this institution through the contributions of Thomas Friedman and Bengt-Ake Lundvall in the 90’s.

The ‘EIS PhD Summer School on Energy Innovation Systems and Their Dynamics’ offered by this university was an advanced course for PhD students that work with aspects of innovation and technological change in the energy area.

The summer school brought together leading scientists in the field of innovation system studies in the energy area like Staffan Jacobsson (Chalmers University of Technology), Bengt-Åke Lundvall (Aalborg University), Marko Hekkert (Utrecht University) and Jan Fagerberg (Centre for Technology, Innovation and Culture, Oslo) with a small group of PhD students to share their own and others’ knowledge and experience on the topic and to discuss research perspectives and research potentials in the field. Moreover, the summer school included a one day event of mutual discussions between researchers and practitioners in the energy area.

The compact structure of the summer school allowed students to understand contemporary anal-ysis approaches and key concepts in the study of energy innovation systems and their dynamics. Sharing my empirical results with experts and with other PhD students will expand my research project and create added value for the final chapter of my thesis which is meanwhile under construction.