Call for Sessions Eu-SPRI 2022 conference:

Challenging Science and Innovation Policy

Utrecht, 1-3 June 2022. Hosted by Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development, Utrecht University

We would like to invite you to submit track proposals for the 2022 Eu-SPRI conference: “Challenging Science and Innovation Policy”. The annual Eu-SPRI conference is the leading event in science, technology and innovation policy in Europe, with a broad attendance of scientists as well as policymakers. The key objectives of the conference are to provide a forum for scholars in the areas of research and innovation policy analysis, to exchange ideas, and to present findings across disciplinary boundaries.

This year’s conference theme – Challenging Science and Innovation Policy– will explore future directions for studies of Policies for Research and Innovation with a special emphasis on the topics of Digitization, Open Science and Futuring. The conference will be hosted in Utrecht, the Netherlands. We expect more than 200 participants.

Research on STI has changed considerably in recent years. It has diversified in terms of topics and applications and deepened with respect to theories and methods. These developments reflect the ongoing development of new technologies, how novel ideas are put to use in the economy and society, how innovation is mobilized for addressing societal challenges, and how policies and institutions affect the growth and direction of innovations. In each of these interrelated areas we are witnessing accelerating changes, frictions and puzzles that pose future challenges for STI policy research in terms of new views, analyses, policy designs and co-operation partners.

At this stage, we invite proposals for sessions to be held at the conference. Research sessions can be proposed by (at least) two organizers. Organizers prepare a text for the Call for Research Papers, support local organizers and the scientific committee in reviewing the papers, and organize the sessions. If a sufficient number of papers is accepted, a research session can be extended to a multi-session track.

Topics to be addressed by the papers and sessions at the conference cover a broad spectrum of research questions, but with a specific emphasis on future challenges for STI policy research. The following topics are encouraged (see Conference Announcement):

  • STI policy for SDGs
  • Digital science and innovation
  • The governance of STI policy – new players, new processes, new instruments
  • New indicators and approaches for assessing the impact of STI policy
  • Mission-oriented policies: rethinking policy design, implementation and evaluation to tackle societal challenges
  • Social innovation: enabling factors and existing practices for social needs
  • RRI and the responsiveness of science and technology developments, institutions and policies
  • Disruptive emerging technologies, digital platforms and associated business model innovations and the rise of new innovation ecosystems
  • Research infrastructure for STI studies: open data, big data, and new research avenues
  • Open science and changing governance of science
  • Globalization and the geography of knowledge and innovation
  • Futuring and Foresight

As of now the call for paper sessions is open. Sessions might relate to, but are not limited by the abovementioned topics. We invite for session ideas (~500 words), and if possible a list of interested contributors (not required).

Important dates:

  • Opening of Call for Sessions: end of September 2021
  • Closing of Call for Sessions: 12 November 2021
  • Pre-announcement of the Call for Papers: December 2021
  • Opening of Paper Submissions: 1 January 2022
  • Closing of Paper Submissions: 15 February 2022
  • Announcement of selected papers and posters: 15 March 2022
  • Registration open: 15 March 2022
  • Conference: 1-3 June 2022


Local organizing committee at Utrecht University:

Gaston Heimeriks, Koen Beumer, Wouter Boon, Iris Wanzenböck, Matthijs Janssen and Jarno Hoekman

Scientific committee: to be announced.



Eu-SPRI Early Career Researcher (ECR) Webinar Series

One of the Eu-SPRI key missions is to support the next generation of researchers in the fields of economics, political science, sociology, Science and Technology Studies (STS), business administration, geography and history. This is particularly important under the current COVID-19 pandemic where mobility and the international research experience have been substantially restricted. Early career researchers have been particularly hit by these restrictions, which could potentially impact their career progression in the short and medium term. Attendance at international conferences, gaining external critical feedback on their work, research stays abroad and enlarging their own networks are, among others, key skills to become independent researchers, find appropriate job opportunities and progress in their scientific careers. EU-SPRI wants to support the intellectual and career development of early career SPRI researchers by setting up a monthly webinar series.

For you as an interested early-career researcher (PhD students and post-docs), the EU-SPRI webinar series will be an excellent opportunity to present on-going and/or new research in the area of innovation and policy to an international audience. The Webinar series is thematically open within the boundaries of the affiliated EU-SPRI institutions’ topics. Our aim is for seminars to reflect the diversity of research topics and interests in our community.

In order to be considered as a presenter, please submit an extended abstract (1000 words approx.), plus a short bio (and expected date of thesis defense in the case of PhD candidates) to the below mentioned contacts.  Researchers who are accepted are asked to send a full paper two weeks prior to the webinar. Webinars will run on every third Thursday of the month from 3.30 to 5pm (CET) using Zoom and will accommodate two presentations. The expected length of the talk would be around 15-20 minutes to fit the online format, followed by the discussion from a junior and senior colleagues (max. 15mins.) and Q&As from the audience. Total length of the webinar will be 1.30 hours, 45 minutes per participant.

Key dates:

Deadline to submit the extended abstract: 1st of October

Webinar dates for the Autumn series: 21st Oct., 18th Nov, 16th Dec (tbc) and 20th Jan.

We now welcome your self-nomination as speakers in this year’s series. We are looking for a diverse pool of young researchers from all EU-SPRI institutions. We believe our PhD Students and postdocs are working at the forefront of their fields of research, resulting in an updated understanding of topical themes. Our interest is in the relevance of the work, how advanced the research is and topics they can showcase.

The Webinars Organising Committee

Mabel Sanchez Barrioluengo,  MIoIR/The University of Manchester,

Gaston Heimeriks, Utrecht University,

Rhiannon Pugh, CIRCLE/Lund University,

Torben Schubert, CIRCLE/Lund University & Fraunhofer ISI,

Henning Kroll, Fraunhofer ISI,

Eu-SPRI Call for Proposals for Early Career Research Conferences (ECC)

The Eu-SPRI member organisations are invited to submit proposals for Early Career Research Conferences (ECC) in 2022

The Eu-SPRI Forum aims to support the intellectual and career development of early career SPRI researchers (doctoral candidates; Postdocs), most notably through doctoral programmes, conferences, summer schools and mobility between the partner groups.

ECC gather outstanding early career researchers with established academics for a series of exchanges about on-going and new research in research and innovation policy. Within the SPRI field ECC normally have no narrow themes, rather they are thematically open. Early career researchers can network with one another, across institutions and countries, and with established researchers, and gain critical feedback on their work, as well as experience in critiquing the work of peers.

The Eu-SPRI Forum supports one or two conferences per year. An ECC will normally have 25-30 participants. The maximum support for a conference amounts to 20,000 euros (for organisation and all actual incurred costs for participants once present, not their travel costs).  We actively encourage Member organisations to run conferences on-line.

This call asks for applications for ECC to be organised by 31st December 2022 at the latest.

Submission deadline: 31 March 2022

Proposals should be submitted by e-mail to Eu-SPRI Forum secretariat: Debbie Cox The Eu-SPRI Forum Executive Committee will decide the selection of conferences by 30 April 2022.    Please apply to Debbie for the application form.



EU-SPRI Webinars – Oishee Kundu and Matti Pihlajamaa -Thursday 17 June 2021

EU-SPRI Webinars – Oishee Kundu and Matti Pihlajamaa

Thu, 17 June 2021 | 15:30 (CET)

About this event

The event is composed by two presentations:

Examining institutional differences in public procurement with topic modelling


There is growing interest regarding the applicability of institutional theory for understanding potential sources of frictions or conflict among stakeholders involved in large and complex public procurement projects. However, much of this research uses conventional research methods, without sufficiently exploiting the conceptual and methodological possibilities associated with institutional theory. The aim of this paper is to demonstrate the use of topic modelling to examine institutional differences in the project landscape.

Topic modelling is an unsupervised machine learning technique that finds co-occurring words (or ‘topics’) in texts and can be used to find vocabularies, an important indicator of institutional logics. The method is demonstrated by examining institutional differences among stakeholders in UK government projects in the field of defence and public transport. Analysing the transcripts of parliamentary committee hearings makes it possible to find significant differences in vocabularies among project stakeholders, confirming the prevalent ideas about institutional differences in project (especially megaproject) landscapes. We suggest that institutional heterogeneity may provide the pre-conditions for conflict among different stakeholders and increase the probability of conflict during project development and delivery.

Author’s bio:

Oishee Kundu is a PhD researcher at the Manchester Institute of Innovation Research, funded by the Alliance Manchester Business School studentship (2017-2020). She submitted her thesis, titled “Public Procurement and Innovation: is defence different?” in December 2020 and completed her oral examination in March 2021. Her first paper from the thesis, titled “Public procurement and innovation: a systematic literature review”, has been published in Science and Public Policy.


Challenge-driven innovation policy and public procurement of innovation: implementing functional and outcome-based procurement


New forms of innovation policy emphasise directing innovation processes towards solving societal challenges, such as climate change, ageing, and poverty. Public procurement of innovation (PPI) has been considered to play a significant role in translating societal challenges into concrete market needs and incentivising companies to develop solutions for fulfilling them. However, there is scarce knowledge of how this is implemented in practice. This study addresses two relevant forms of public procurement – functional procurement and outcome-based procurement – and explores the practical implementation and boundary conditions for using them for challenge-driven innovation policy.

We conduct a multiple case study of eleven procurement cases in Finland. We find that procurement techniques that address societal challenges are typically used in combination with more traditional procurement methods. We argue that a critical task in challenge-driven PPI is creating a knowledge base for establishing causal relationships between the procured solutions and societal challenges. We find that the nature of this task varies with the chosen challenge and different procurement types have distinct such knowledge requirements. We also discuss the process of challenge-driven procurement and evaluate the realized and expected results of the cases.

Author’s bio:

Matti Pihlajamaa, D.Sc. (Tech.) is a Senior Scientist at VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland within the research team of Ethics and Responsibility in Innovation. He is experienced in innovation management and innovation policy, focusing on sustainable and responsible innovation, open innovation, and public procurement of innovation. He has a doctoral degree in innovation management from Aalto University, Finland (2018).

Register in the link below to receive the Zoom ID and Passcode.  Register

Call for Papers for Early Career Research Conference (ECC) 21 – 23 October 2021 Paris France

European Forum for Studies of Policies for Research and Innovation (Eu-SPRI) 2021

Early Career Research Conference (ECC)

21 – 23 October, 2021; Paris, France

Transformative Innovation Policy: Concepts, Methods and Policy Practices

Call for papers for (Post-)Doctoral and Early Career Researchers

We are pleased to announce that the 2021 Eu-SPRI Early Career Conference (ECC) will take place in Paris, France, on 21-23 of October. We invite PhD candidates, post-doctoral and early career researchers to share and discuss their scientific contributions (papers) to Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) policies for forward-looking transformations. The expected and encouraged fields of study are sociology, economics, political science, geography, public policy and innovation studies; other fields are also considered.

The conference will consist of keynote talks, paper presentations, policy-practitioner panels, and a workshop on ‘science-to-policy’. This ECC event is organized by the Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT), Center for Innovation Systems & Policy; the Université Gustave Eiffel (UGE), Laboratoire Interdisciplinaire Sciences, Innovations, Sociétés (LISIS), in collaboration with University of Vienna, Department of Geography and Regional Research and the Urban Europe Research Alliance (UERA).

Submissions shall be uploaded on the EasyChair System no later than 01 July 2021.

Thematic background & relevance

In recent years, we have seen various governments starting to make a conscious effort to address societal challenges in their Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) policies. There is a growing realization of the necessity of immediate and profound systemic change, in order to tackle the manifold global crises of our times. However, business-as-usual and one-size-fits-all approaches will not be successful in providing the most effective and suitable multi-level and place-based actions, policies and governance approaches that will substantially boost transformations in this respect. We also see this emerging in STS literature through the notion of ‘transformative STI policies’ (e.g. Diercks et al., 2019; Kuhlmann & Rip, 2018; Schot & Steinmueller, 2018; Weber & Rohracher, 2012). There is an ongoing reflection that the design and implementation of transformative governance and forward-looking policies for systemic change need to address the complex and multi-dimensional nature of societal challenges in relevant areas, for example, mobility and accessibility, food and agriculture, energy systems, new urban governance and participation/co-creation, as well as environmental issues. Not only this requires a change in innovation objectives or new technological solutions, but calls for changes in the knowledge and innovation systems. That is, it consists of setting new priorities and radical changes in the socio-technical system, including a reconfiguration of the actors involved. And it will be necessary to combine different conceptual and empirical elements (with all the methodological and theoretical challenges ahead) to foster transformations. Henceforth, this ECC proposes the opportunity to discuss ‘STI policies for forward-looking transformations’ from different angles.

In particular, we welcome submissions that address (but not necessarily limited to) the following areas:

  • Pathways of STI policies
  • Types of innovations addressed by transformative STI policies
  • Scales – embedding of STI policies in geographical context
  • Science, society and policy interface
  • Evaluation, assessment and impacts of STI policies

 Further information on these 5 topics can be found here.

Conference structure and formats:

The conference will offer a varied programme, including paper presentation sessions, keynote talks, policy-and-practitioners panel, a conference award, and conference dinner.

Early career researchers can choose one of the two following options to present their work: 1) full paper presentation (15-minute presentation followed by a discussion) or 2) speed talk (5-minute pitches, followed by discussion in break out groups). The audience is expected (and encouraged) to act as discussants. More details on the conference formats can be found at the Conference website (click here).

In addition, a ‘science-to-policy’ training will be offered. It is aimed at developing early career researchers’ capacities to influence policy with their research. It will consist of 1) an online training session prior to the conference and 2) a pitching session at the conference itself. Further information and registration procedures are detailed in the Conference website (click here).

Registration, Fees and Accomodation:

  • Registration: free for EU-SPRI members; 250€ for non-EU-SPRI members
  • Accommodation (2 nights), lunch and dinner included
  • Travel expenses will not be covered (a limited number of grants for widening countries’ participants will be provided upon request)

Paper submission (instructions & deadlines):

Early career researchers interested in participating in this ECC must submit an extended abstract (app. 1000 to max. 1500 words, including key references) as well as a short motivation letter (1-2 paragraphs, max 1 page) via the EasyChair system no later than 01 July 2021. The decision will be communicated to the authors by 30th July 2021. If accepted, full papers must be submitted 2 weeks prior to the conference (speed talk submissions only need to submit their presentation as pdf).

Evaluation and selection criteria of submissions is based on academic quality, thematic relevance and motivation.


In case of any question, please contact the local organizing team:  and/or visit  the Conference website:

Please do draw the advert to the attention of any colleagues who may be interested.

Looking forward to your submissions,

The ECC Organizing Team


Diercks, G., Larsen, H., & Steward, F. (2019): Transformative innovation policy: Addressing variety in an emerging policy paradigm. Research Policy, 48(4), 880-894.

Kuhlmann, S., & Rip, A. (2018): Next-generation innovation policy and grand challenges. Science and public policy, 45(4), 448-454.

Schot, J., & Steinmueller, W. E. (2018): Three frames for innovation policy: R&D, systems of innovation and transformative change. Research Policy, 47(9), 1554-1567.

Weber, K. M., & Rohracher, H. (2012): Legitimizing research, technology and innovation policies for transformative change: Combining insights from innovation systems and multi-level perspective in a comprehensive ‘failures’ framework. Research Policy, 41(6), 1037-1047.

Eu-SPRI Forum Early Career Researcher and PhD Circulation Award: Call Deadline 11th November 2021

Call for proposals for Doctoral Researchers and Early Career Researchers

Thirty Third submission deadline: 11th November 2021

The circulation of Early Career and PhD Researchers is an important element of the training activities of the Eu-SPRI Forum network. It is part of the development of the European Training Platform, which the Eu-SPRI Forum aims to develop in the area of science and innovation policy studies. It addresses our objective of offering a European pathway to Early Career and PhD researchers in this field. 

Member organisations are:

  • Université Paris-Est, Institut Francilien Recherche Innovation Société (IFRIS)
  • Copenhagen Business School (CBS)
  • Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas (CSIC), Spain
  • Consiglio Nazionale delle Richerche (CNR), IRCRES Research Institute on Sustainable Economic Growth, Rome
  • Politecnico di Milano
  • AIT Austrian Institute of Technology
  • CIRCLE, Lund University, Sweden
  • University of Manchester, Institute of Innovation Research
  • Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research, Karlsruhe, Germany
  • NIFU, Norway
  • University of Twente,  Institute of Innovation and Governance Studies (IGS)
  • VTT, in collaboration with Helsinki Institute of Science and Technology Studies (HIST)
  • UiO, Centre for Technology, Innovation and Culture, University of Oslo
  • SPRU, Science Policy Research Unit, University of Sussex
  • Innovation Studies, Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development , Universiteit Utrecht
  • TNO, Netherlands Organisation of Applied Scientific Research
  • UAM, Autonomous University of Madrid (UAM) and Accenture
  • TUD, Sozialforschungsstelle Dortmund, ZWE der TU-Dortmund
  • Rathenau Institute — KNAW

This call is open to Doctoral Researchers in their second year of PhD thesis or beyond and Early Career Researchers, who have completed their PhD within the past 36 months.

Topic Areas supported

This mobility call is restricted to research topics relating to science, technology and innovation policy including studies of science, technological innovation processes and entrepreneurship which may have relevance for policy.

How to apply

  1. You must first discuss your proposed visit with a potential supervisor at your chosen host institution. Both the ‘Home’ institute and ‘Host’ institute must be members of the Eu-SPRI Forum Network. You must confirm that they are prepared to accept you if your proposal is selected.
  1. Send the following documents to the Secretariat 

(This does not need to be signed by all parties at application stage)

  • A Curriculum Vitae
  • Letter / email of support from Host Supervisor
  • Letter / email of support from Home Supervisor
  • 1 other academic reference
  1. Your application will be evaluated by a committee from the Eu-SPRI Forum Training Group. You will be informed of the outcome when a decision has been made (within 1 month).

Application guidelines

  • The proposed location should be in a different “national system” so that the researcher experiences a different institutional environment. An application to move, for example, within the Netherlands would not be accepted.
  • Length of circulation visit should be at least 3 months. The three months can be split into tranches.
  • In the Letter of Intent, be as specific as possible about what you intend to do at your host institute.  Detail why you wish to visit that particular institute; how it will contribute to your research; what you hope to achieve.
  • Prepare your proposal thoroughly, look at the criteria for selection and make a good case.  The awards are competitive and you need to present yourself well.  Have a specific objective for the stay.  This could be to work on an area of theory with experts or to undertake fieldwork in a different country, for example.  Think about the potential benefits which may arise in the longer term.  Make sure you put in sufficient material to convince the reviewers
  • Ensure that the place you want to visit is a good match for you and your work and make sure that the researcher(s) you want to work with will actually be there and are willing to host you.  Making preliminary enquiries about practical arrangements is also a good idea.  However, if someone at another institution has agreed in principle to accept you, your proposal may still be subject to a request for further revision or rejected.
  • Ask someone (perhaps your supervisor) to review your proposal before you submit it.
  • Your research must be relevant to the Eu-SPRI Forum Network. For more information see the web
  • Both the ‘PhD Home’ institute and ‘PhD Host’ institute must be members of the Eu-SPRI Forum Network. Therefore, you may only apply to institutes that are ‘PhD Hosts’ within Eu-SPRI Forum Network.  See list above and web
  • The criteria for evaluating proposals are:
  • Quality of the candidate
  • Quality of the PhD project

–     Relevance of the project to Eu-SPRI

–     Expected benefits of stay for host institution

–     Expected benefits of stay for research career and/or PhD studies

–     Balance of student flows

Further details

  • Eu-SPRI will award a lump sum of €2,500 per candidate (for travel expenses and accommodation).  This will be paid once the awardee is in situ at the host organisation.
  • If your application is successful, the letter of Intent must then be signed by all parties who must agree to the terms outlined in it
  • On completion of the circulation you must provide an evaluation report to the Eu-SPRI network which may be placed on the website. This is a mandatory requirement.
  • If you think you need any further information please email: the Secretariat.  


Please check with your proposed host organisation that they are accepting research visitors.  

For previous applicants who have received notification of an award but who have not yet been able to conduct the research visit please notify the Secretariat of your new dates, once these are known.  Awards are still valid.