innovation systems

Great Course in Innovation Systems in the Bioeconomy

The aim of this course is to provide a systematic overview of innovation, innovation systems, and their role in industrial transformation to the bioeconomy. Innovation is the necessary ingredient for successful transition of existing companies to the future bioeconomy. Educating developing researchers in the fundamentals and practice of innovation and innovativeness will enhance their ability to contribute to industry transformation through informed and applicable research. Based on the above outlined desired outcome, the course is designed to bring about collaboration of a broad set of interdisciplinary bioeconomy researchers. We anticipate participation of PhD students from multiple disciplines and industry sectors as well as two continents and at least four countries. Read more! 


The course aims to clarify the foundational concept and applications of innovations literature drawing concrete examples from the industry.

The examples of topics covered in the course:

  • Organizational culture of innovation
  • Business models
  • Ambidexterity
  • Service Dominant Logic and innovativeness
  • Change management
  • New product development and innovation diffusion
  • Harnessing lead users

Programme Outline

The course consists of pre-readings, one week intensive contact teaching, and a course essay due one or two months after the course. An excursion takes place during one of the afternoons.

Pre-/Post-Campus Assignments

  • Assigned pre-readings and pre-tasks
  • A course essay

Learning Outcomes

The outcome of the course is to provide student comprehensive understanding on the meaning of innovation. After the course students are able to articulate how their research contribute to industry transformation required for sustainable future. The course will help student to identify research priorities for innovation in bioeconomy.

Evaluation Elements

The evaluation (pass/fail) will be based on course participation and the essay.

Pedagogical Approach

The course is taught by experts specialized in different aspects of innovation in bio-based sectors within Nordic countries and the United States.

The course includes a blend of lectures, group discussions, excursion, social events and self-study.

Each student is responsible for a 20 minute mini-lecture outlining an innovation issue from their field of study. The lecture can be practical (case example) or theoretical, depending on the interests of the student. Each student should work with the instructors to develop an acceptable topic well before the actual course dates.

The course will include 15-20 journal articles as foundational readings. Each student will be asked to lead a discussion based on one of these articles.

After the course, students will write a max 10 page essay where they apply the course knowledge and literature on their field of study. Essays are required to meet certain criterion that will be explained during the course. Essays are compulosry for passing the course.

Estimated Workload

• 10 hours of student seminar
• 25 hours lecture
• 5 hours other (half-day Company visit)
• 60 hours pre-reading and preparing presentation
• 50 hours final essay writing

Prerequisite Knowledge

The course is directed (but not limited) to PhD students with background and research interests in social and economic sciences of environment, forestry, agriculture and related fields.


Admission for NOVA courses is handled by the course organiser/ the NOVA member institution organising the course. Please follow this link in order to register: Innovation Systems in the Bioeconomy

I have an information from the hosts and organizers of this course that the registration will be opened at the beginning of January 2017.

So book this date already in your calendar now, in order not to miss the opportunity of taking this wonderful course! 

If you have any question, contact Jaana Korhonen at following mail address: jaana.e.korhonen[at]

Main photo: Shutterstock, Copyright: wowomnom

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