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CENTRE FOR INNOVATION RESEARCH | Lund University

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Entrepreneurial Experimentation

"Entrepreneurial experimentation" increases technological and market experimentation, as well as policy experimentation within the economic system. Without experimentation any system – technological and/or regional – will stagnate. This research theme focuses on entrepreneurial experimentation as a key function in the experimentally organized economy.

Entrepreneurial experimentation is a system function in technological innovation systems that includes the creation, selection and scaling-up processes of new technologies and innovations within the system. Entrepreneurial experimentation also affects and is affected by other functions in various (regional as well as sectoral/technological) innovation systems. In an experimentally organised economy, individuals, organisations and institutions interact in exploring, discovering and exploiting opportunities and new ideas.

Research focus

Entrepreneurial experimentation occurs at three system levels and is a key function for creation, selection and scaling-up processes in different types of innovation systems.

The research focuses on three analytical levels:

  • The Experimental Organization

At the organization level, the focus is on different kinds of organizations, where central questions address the role of organizations (both public and private), new and established firms, and their interactions, in creation, selection and scaling up of new technologies and innovations.

  • The Experimental Individual

At the individual level, the focus is on how competence building and labour mobility of the labour force contributes to knowledge diffusion and spillovers that support creation, selection and scaling up processes.

  • The Experimental Society

At the societal level, central questions address how the three processes of entrepreneurial experimentation are influenced and influence the dynamic interactions between actors, individuals, organizations and institutions, and generate system effects to contribute to long-term technological, industrial and regional renewal.

Projects linked to the theme

The theme is linked to the VINNOVA financed Strategic Platform on the Experimentally Organized Economy, and the VINNOVA financed program on Entrepreneurial Experimentation.

The New Entrepreneurial Firms

The aim is to create a typology of innovative entrepreneurship, which will be the basis for further empirical testing and analysis of the characteristics of innovative new firms. It also analysing the importance of both venture capital and acquisitions for the functioning of the entrepreneurial experimentation in the system.

The role of large existing companies

The purpose of the project is to increase our knowledge about the role large existing businesses in Sweden play in entrepreneurial (technical and market) experimentation

Multinational Enterprises’ acquisition of innovative start-ups

The project will test the relative empirical importance and relevance of that Multinational Enterprises acquire start-ups primarily because of their internal qualities, or to tap into a location and access its “local entrepreneurial eco-system”.

Skills matter, but which?

Focus on the role of founding team skills and coaching in entrepreneurial ventures.

Entrepreneurial experimentation, labor mobility and individual career paths

The aim is to investigate the interaction of entrepreneurial experimentation and individual career paths, through the lenses of entrepreneurial learning and labor mobility.

Spill over and system effects

The project will compare characteristics and development of innovative new firms with and without public support, and ask under what circumstances new innovative firms are contributing to the development of the system, e.g. with spill over effects and/or the functions of the system.

Long term renewal and the creation of new industries

Analysis of the entrepreneurial experimentation and long-term industrial renewal.

Long term regional renewal 

Aims to increase the understanding of the opportunities and constraints for entrepreneurial experimentation in different regional contexts and how this contributes to the creation, selection and scaling-up of new industries. Importantly, these processes unfold over a long period of time, which necessitates a longitudinal perspective, often lacking in earlier empirical studies

Policy instruments and experimentation

Aims to provide empirical examples of policy experimentation.

CONTACTS

Links lead to the research portal LUCRIS

Theme coordinators

Åsa Lindholm Dahlstrand

Magnus Nilsson

Jing Xiao

Open position: Project Assistant in Innovation Studies

Read more and apply by March 30, 2022