Foresight and STI Governance, 2018 (3) en-us Copyright 2018 Wed, 26 Sep 2018 17:21:43 +0300 Quiet Contributors: The Role of the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences in Innovation Many countries are directing their attention to the support of technological innovation with the intent to obtain economic and social benefits at home while positioning themselves for high margin, high technology export markets. The under-considered and under-exploited role of arts, humanities and social science in innovation is explored in this study. Examples of programs and activities in a variety of countries are illustrated. Insight into why the arts, humanities and social sciences are important to the generation of social and economic benefits through innovation is  offered. Furthermore, recommendations are provided for better accessing the benefits that the arts, humanities and social science can provide. Research Programmes that Address Societal Challenges — Aligning Policy, Implementation, and Expected Impact This article explores research programs that address societal challenges. In recent years, the rationale for innovation policy has been extended to include support instruments more explicitly designed to address societal challenges. While there are broad agreements that in this rationale research and innovation support can not only stimulate growth and economic activity, but it can also actively be directed towards meeting societal challenges. However, exploring how societal challenge policy goals can be translated into something that the support instruments can influence, are not yet the focus of challenge-driven innovation policy and a topic that seems to be neglected in the research literature. This article develops a framework for a cross country analysis of how policy, programs, and impact align and highlight what can be learned from selected societal challenge programs. The Future of the Italian Electricity Generation Sector. An Analysis of the Possible Strategic Models The present paper investigates the possible future evolution of the Italian power system. In particular, the generation sector is considered by analyzing its recent development, which has been pushed forward by EU regulations which support the deployment of renewables-based power plants. These radical changes will determine a restructuring of the system and it is therefore of fundamental importance to try to understand which trajectories its possible evolution could take according to different market and economic conditions. To this aim, a scenario analysis is implemented in order to determine the strategic implications that the various situations can yield for the generators. As a result, four strategic models are envisaged, namely Traditional Generator, Innovative Generator, Green Generator, and Energy Service Provider. Enhancing Innovation Performance in Companies The introductory article to the special section «Innovation in Companies» focuses on how to enhance the innovation performance in companies. It looks at the factors that define innovative activities at companies as well as the various kinds of corporate innovations. The author stresses importance of special training programs for managers, and suggests the need to take the specifics of local economic, cultural, and other factors into account when implementing relevant educational and policy initiatives aimed at fostering innovation. Internationalization and Innovation in Emerging Markets With high growth on domestic markets, many firms in emerging economies face a tradeoff between using their competitive advantages in foreign markets or innovating in domestic markets. By analyzing export and innovation data for a large dataset of Chinese firms, we uncover a specific productivity sorting pattern of firms over exporting and innovation. As expected, high productivity firms both export and innovate and low productivity firms do not export or innovate. Interestingly, low-medium productivity firms export more than they innovate, whereas high-medium productivity firms innovate more than they export. Clearly, these findings have important implications for the new trade literature that stresses the primacy of high productivity for entry into export markets. Personnel Development in Chinese Innovation-Active Companies This article is devoted to an analysis of the mechanisms and tools that promote innovative activity at Chinese companies. We describe and evaluate the model of the Chinese innovation ecosystem with its major subsystems and their interconnections. Personnel training and development are considered an element of the subsystem “Education” within the innovation ecosystem, which serve as tools for the formation of human resources to ensure the transformation of the national economy into a global center of innovation. The authors analyze the main challenges connected with level of development of the environment and the socioeconomic institutions that may impede the effective management of human resources and the various practices for training personnel at innovative companies in China. The data analyzed for this empirical study on training and development practices includes structured interviews at 60 medium and large innovative companies in China. Objective economic indicators of innovative activity were taken as measures. The analysis results allow one to identify four clusters of companies: “Innovators,” “Leader in Training,” “Stars,” and “Lagging behind,” describing the different company approaches to providing personnel training and development. Clusters vary in quantitative and qualitative indicators for personnel training and development processes, as well as economic indicators of innovation activity. The results prove that a relationship exists between approaches to personnel training and development and innovative activity results and suggest that training and development initiatives are effective tools for managing innovative companies. The Role of IT-Management in the Digital Transformation of Russian Companies Nowadays many business models rely heavily upon adequate IT management practices. Quite often in developed economies, the role of IT has organically evolved over decades from a mere business support function to an efficiency driver and enabler, and finally (at least in some cases) to a driver of business innovation and digital transformation. Unlike developed countries, little is known about the role of IT in companies of countries with transitional economies, such as Russia. Historical, political, and geographical reasons have in many areas of life led to a “Russian way of doing things”. Does this also hold true for IT management? By way of case study research, this contribution investigates the features of the IT-role and use in large Russian companies that are aware of the need for digital business transformation. The obtained results allow one to not only gain a better understanding of the situation in Russian companies through the prism of IT management practices but also to identify possible trends and challenges that appear relevant for organizations in other countries in economic transition or even in developed economies as well. The Impact of Externalities on the Innovation Activity of Russian Firms In this paper, we analyze the impact of externalities on firms’ capacity to develop and implement innovations. We evaluate a Probit model containing both firm level factors and regional factors, such as the institutional environment, state support, and human capital. The dependent variable is a dummy variable reflecting the involvement of a firm in innovation activity. We employ data provided by BEEPS 2012-2014 for firm-level indicators and data provided by the Russian Federal State Statistics Service for region level indicators. The results confirm that at present the most important external factors affecting the innovation activity of Russian firms are state support, both at the firm level and at the regional level, economic situation in the region, institutions, and quality of human capital. At the same time, we found several factors such as political stability, tax policy, and investment risks to be insignificant. These results require further analysis. We also found that the impact of the factors mentioned above depends on whether a region receives state support. The results imply that a differentiated policy that considers regional characteristics will probably be more effective than a uniform policy on innovation.