Centre for Innovation, Research and Competence in the Learning Economy |Lund University

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CIRCLE is an interdisciplinary center for innovation research spanning several faculties at Lund University.

Our aim is to understand and explain how innovation can contribute to a good society and tackle societal challenges like economic crises, climate change or increased globalization of economic activities. This aim requires advanced insights into how knowledge is created and diffused in organizations, networks, regions, countries, and globally; how knowledge is turned into innovations; and which societal conditions promote the creation and diffusion of innovation.

Research at CIRCLE is currently organized in five interconnected thematic areas: (1) Innovation and Entrepreneurship, (2) Globalization of Innovation, (3) Innovation and Sustainability, (4) Innovations Skills, Strategies and Industry Renewal, and (5) Innovation Systems and Policy. Each platform hosts different research projects; most researchers at CIRCLE are involved in several platform.

Education at CIRCLE is conducted in close cooperation with the Social Science Faculty, the School of Economics and Management, and the Faculty of Engineering.


CIRCLE was established in 2004 by five professors at Lund University and Blekinge Institute of Technology, drawing on a 6 year grant from Vinnova (the Swedish Agency for Innovation Systems) and matching funding from Lund University. During its first decade CIRCLE expanded from less than 10 to more than 50 employees. 

In 2006, CIRCLE was awarded a 10 year Linnaeus Grant by Vetenskapsrådet (the Swedish Research Council). This grant was of strategic importance for CIRCLE’s development to become one of the leading research milieus in Europe within its area of study.

In 2010 CIRCLE was ranked as number one of nine innovation research centers in Sweden and given the highest grade available by Vinnova. As a consequence, CIRCLE was awarded another 6 year grant from Vinnova, with matching funding from Lund University. 

CIRCLE has been led by the following directors:

-       Professor Charles Edquist (2004-2011)

-       Professor Björn Asheim (2011-2012)

-       Professor Ron Boschma (2013-2015)

-       Professor Jerker Moodysson (2016)

-       Professor Åsa Lindholm Dahlstrand (from 2016)

Page Manager:

CIRCLE in numbers

Employees (FTE): 35

Professors: 8

PhD students: 9

Annual turnover: 38 MSEK

External founding: 80 %

Supported by:

Vinnova (The Swedish Agency for Innovation Systems)

Vetenskapsrådet (The Swedish Research Council)

Riksbankens Jubileumsfond (The Swedish Foundation for Humanities and Social Sciences)

Formas (The Swedish Research Council for Environment, Agricultural Sciences and Spatial Planning)

The Rausing Foundation

European Commission

Energimyndigheten (The Swedish Energy Agency)

Marianne and Marcus Wallenberg Foundation

Forskningsrådet (The Norwegian Research Council)



Postal address:
CIRCLE, Lund University
P.O. Box 117S-22100 Lund

+46 (0) 46 222 00 00 (vxl)

Visiting address:
Sölvegatan 16
Lund, Sweden