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Interact - Innovation in the Public Sector and Public-private Interaction

Interact - Innovation in the Public Sector and Public-private Interaction

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Per M. Koch
Interact - innovation in the public sectorand public-private interaction
January 2006
The need for a holistic innovation policy including the public sector
The need for strategies and instruments targeting the learning andinnovation capabilities of public institutions on a broad front
 NIFU STEP – Studies in Innovation, Research and EducationPer Koch, Marianne Broch and Trond Einar Pedersen
Roskilde UniversityLars Fuglsang
VTT Niilo Saranummi and Sirkku Kivisaari
The Faroe Islands
Granskingarráðið, Faroese Research CouncilRúna Hilduberg and Heini Hátún
RANNIS, Rannsóknamiðstöð ÍslandsThorvald Finnbjörnsson and Elvar Örn Arason
SISTER, Swedish Institute for Studies on Education and ResearchEnrico Deiaco, Peter Schilling and Karla Anaya-Carlsson
Innovation in the public sector in the Nordic countries
Nordic Innovation Centre (NICe) project number:
Per M. Koch
NIFU STEP – Studies in Innovation, Research and Education
The Interact project has studied how innovation processes take place in the publicsector. The project has been focusing on i) the dynamic of mixed arrangements of  public organisations, private companies and non-governmental organisations and ii)the health and social services sectors in the Nordic countries.Interact used the methodological and theoretical basis of the EU Fifth Framework Programme project Publin – Innovation in the Public Sector. Traditionally, the publicsector has been seen as bureaucratic and reluctant to change. According to this view,the functions of public institutions are limited to regulatory frameworks for innovationactivities or a market for innovation products generated by private actors. However,the result from the PUBLIN research programme points to an alternative view of the public sector. The basic assumption for the Interact project is that public organisationsare constantly changing and that they do have their own share of entrepreneurs.Accordingly, innovation is omnipresent in the public sector.Interact case studies been carried out in the Nordic countries and they largely confirmthe findings of PUBLIN. The main message from Interact is that innovation in the public sector must not be reduced to a matter of delivering new technologies to a passive recipient, the non-innovative public sector. Much innovation is taking place inthe public sector, within and outside the scope of policy planning. Interact believesthat it would make sense to expand the current innovation policies in the Nordiccountries to include i) innovation in the public sector as regards its effect oninnovation in the private sector, and visa-versa, ii) innovation in the public sector per se, i.e. as regards the effects these activities have on the institutions capabilities tolearn and innovate, and iii) a common learning and innovation arena including public, private and civil organisations.
Topic/NICe Focus Area:
Innovation Policy
Key words:
public sector innovation, learning, health and social sector 
Distributed by:
 Nordic Innovation CentreStensberggata 25 NO-0170 Oslo Norway
Contact person:
Per M. Koch NIFU STEPWergelandsveien 7 N-0167 Oslo NorwayTel. +47 22 59 51 00Fax. +47 22 59 51 01www.nifustep.no

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