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Crossing the biorefinery valley of death?: A role-based typology for understanding actor networks ability to overcome barriers in sustainability transitions
CIT Industriell Energi AB, Chalmers Teknikpark.
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Social Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-2264-7043
Energy and Environment, Chalmers University of Technology.
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Innovation and Design.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5698-4932
2018 (English)In: Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions, ISSN 2210-4224, E-ISSN 2210-4232, Vol. 27, p. 83-101Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Pilot and demonstration plants (PDPs) play important roles in technological development; they represent bridges between basic knowledge generation and technological breakthroughs, on the one hand, and industrial application and commercial adoption, on the other. This paper addresses the importance of the actor networks around the PDPs at which different biorefinery technologies have been demonstrated and verified. The aim of the paper is to propose a role-based typology that can be used as an illustrative tool to facilitate a more generic analysis – and enhanced understanding – of PDP actor networks and their dynamics. For this purpose the paper investigates the barriers experienced by the actors in their joint efforts to further utilise and transform the PDPs into permanent test facilities after the initial technology verification and demonstration. To aid the analysis the actor networks surrounding four Swedish biorefinery PDPs are investigated. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2018. Vol. 27, p. 83-101
Keywords [en]
pilot and demonstration plants, actor networks, roles, biorefinery technology
National Category
Industrial Biotechnology Other Engineering and Technologies not elsewhere specified Economics
Research subject
Entrepreneurship and Innovation; Economics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-66577DOI: 10.1016/j.eist.2017.10.008ISI: 000434454500008OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ltu-66577DiVA, id: diva2:1156789
Projects
Commercializing the Bio-based Economy: Pilot and Demonstration Plants in Innovation Policy and Management
Funder
Swedish Research Council Formas, 487-14
Note

Validerad;2018;Nivå 2;2018-06-28 (andbra)

Available from: 2017-11-14 Created: 2017-11-14 Last updated: 2018-10-22Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Actor roles, knowledge types and the role of patenting for progressing sustainable technologies: A case study of demonstration projects:
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Actor roles, knowledge types and the role of patenting for progressing sustainable technologies: A case study of demonstration projects:
2018 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Alternative title[sv]
Aktörsroller, kunskapstyper och patentering för utveckling av hållbara teknologier: Fallstudier av demonstrationsprojekt
Abstract [en]

The transition towards a bioeconomy is one of the greatest challenges of our times, and dependent upon radical innovations and the replacement of fossil-based technologies with clean and more sustainable ones. This is however not done in a jiffy since key underlying process technologies are underdeveloped and also contradict with the prevailing socio-technical regime. This makes demonstration projects crucial for the development of new biorefinery technologies since such projects can reduce not only technical but also organizational and institutional uncertainties.

 

Due to the complexity and costs of demonstration activities, they are typically performed in inter-organizational settings with actors from government, academia, research institutes and the industry. Such a constellation of actors often implies somewhat contradicting interests, for example regarding diffusion versus protection of knowledge that bring challenges for technological development. The overall purpose of the thesis is therefore to enhance knowledge about demonstration projects as knowledge generators contributing to the progression of sustainable technologies. The thesis builds upon case studies of biorefinery demonstration plants and investigates the processes of knowledge development and diffusion in order to contribute to bridging the valley of death between demonstration and commercialization of more sustainable technologies.

 

Three papers are appended to the thesis. Paper I studies which key barriers that actors engaged in demonstration plants experience during technological development and suggest a role-typology to address those barriers. The second paper investigate knowledge production taking place in demonstration projects and suggests that there is an “imbalance” in production of domain-specific technical knowledge in relation to general and procedural knowledge on how to work with commercialization, which contributes to the problem of new technologies not making it past demonstration. The third paper seeks to address management of demonstration projects as protected spaces for emerging technologies. Those findings show that patenting strategies influence the formulation of expectations among actors that guides the creation of the social network as well as the experimental work and learnings taking place there in order for emerging technologies to develop further.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Luleå: Luleå tekniska universitet, 2018
Series
Licentiate thesis / Luleå University of Technology, ISSN 1402-1757
National Category
Other Engineering and Technologies not elsewhere specified
Research subject
Entrepreneurship and Innovation
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-71289 (URN)978-91-7790-238-6 (ISBN)978-91-7790-239-3 (ISBN)
Presentation
2018-12-19, A109, Luleå tekniska universitet, Luleå, 10:00 (Swedish)
Supervisors
Projects
Förverkligandet av den biobaserade ekonomin: pilot- och demonstrationsanläggningar i innovationspolitiken
Funder
Swedish Research Council Formas, 48714
Available from: 2018-10-23 Created: 2018-10-22 Last updated: 2018-11-28Bibliographically approved

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