The Mission-oriented Innovation System around the Green Deal in the Short Sea Shipping Sector
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This thesis demonstrates how the concept of a Mission-oriented Innovation System can be used to analyse Mission-oriented Innovation Policy (MIP). MIP is a fruitful policy to address the increasing number of grand societal challenges our modern society faces. MIP aims to achieve specific objectives, drives innovation across multiple sectors and involves different actors. Little is known about effective implementation of MIP, because empirical studies (on policies that are already implemented) are still missing. This case study analyses a MIP implemented by the Dutch government: the Green Deal ‘Maritime and Inland Shipping and Ports’. In consultation with the client of this research, the Netherlands Enterprise Agency, only the short sea shipping component of this MIP was included in this research. The Green Deal aims to overcome barriers that companies, community organizations and government bodies encounter in their transition towards sustainable innovation. To analyse MIPs, Hekkert et al. (forthcoming) introduced the concept of the Missionoriented Innovation System (MIS). They define a MIS as ‘the network of agents, embedded in a mission-oriented institutional setting, that contributes to the development and diffusion of innovative solutions with the aim to complete the given mission’. The aim of this thesis is to identify barriers to the development and diffusion of the mission statement and the solutions within a Mission-oriented Innovation System. No empirical studies of MIS have so far been applied and consequently, no approach has been fully developed. This thesis adjusts the structural-functional analytical approach typically applied to Technological Innovation Systems, to fit the application to a MIS. In doing so, it builds on some preliminary interpretations and expectations about both the dynamics and the analysis of a MIS. The analysis of this research is based on qualitative data retrieved through interviews and an article analysis. Our conclusions indicate that the MIS regarding the sustainability transition in the short sea shipping sector is subject to two groups of systemic problems. The first group of problems concerns the outer MIS (all actors and structures contributing to the development of solutions) and impair the following system functions: entrepreneurial activities, directing the search for solutions, and market formation. The second group of problems concerns the inner MIS (the MIP and all actors and structures directly involved in it) and impair the following system functions: directing the problem formulation and reflexivity. In the last section, this thesis proposes practical recommendations for the client on how to resolve these systemic barriers.