Innovation Policy – International PhD course in Innovation Policy

Information board:

The bus leaves from Sirdal Høyfjellshotel at 12:15 on Sunday. Its first stop will be at Stavanger Airport Sola at around 14:15. The second stop and final destination is Ydalir Hotel where it will be at around 14:30.

What, when and where:

  • Course: Joint POLISS and NORSI PhD course in Innovation Policy
  • Course organisers: Professors Rune Dahl Fitjar, Tom Broekel and Marte C.W. Solheim, University of Stavanger (UiS)
  • Host organisation: UiS
  • ECTS: 7.5
  • Language of instruction: English
  • Where: Innovasjonsparken, Campus Ullandhaug, Stavanger
  • Format: Face-to-Face, 7 days
  • Grade: pass/fail based on presentation and submission of policy brief (report from the group work).
  • When: Mon 30.01 – Fri 03.03.2022 (- Sun 05.02.2022)
  • Reading list: Click here for reading list


Ydalir is a modern and pleasant hotel located at the University of Stavanger campus.

Location on Google Maps.

More information about the hotel:

Course agenda and timeline

Monday 30.01.2023

Place: Havets hus, Innovasjonsparken

  • 09.40-10.00: Registration and coffee
  • 10.00-10.50: Introduction to the course (Rune Dahl Fitjar, Uni. Stavanger)
  • 10.50-11.00: Break
  • 11.00-12.00: Introduction to innovation policy (Silje Haus-Reve, Uni. Stavanger)
  • 12.00-13.00: Lunch
  • 13.00-15.00: Introduction of cases: Meet the policymakers
  • 15.30-16.30: Assignment of groups to cases. Allocation of mentors.
  • 19.00: Dinner and bowling at Lucky Bowl, Stavanger City Centre

Tuesday 31.01.2023

Place: Havets hus, Innovasjonsparken

  • 09.00-10.30: Innovation and inequality: How to share the benefits of innovation (Neil Lee, LSE)
  • 10.30-12.00: Group work
  • 12.00-13.00: Lunch
  • 13.00-15.00: Group work
  • 15.00-16.30: How to write a policy-brief (Jan-Philipp Kramer, Prognos)

Wednesday 01.02.2023

Place: Havets hus, Innovasjonsparken

  • 09.00-10.30: Regional innovation policies in the Stavanger region (Rune Dahl Fitjar and Marte C. W. Solheim)
  • 10.30-12.00: Group work
  • 12.00-13.00: Lunch
  • 13.00-15.00: Group work
  • 15.00-16.00: Communication and dissemination of research (Marte C. W. Solheim, Uni. Stavanger)
  • 19.00-22.00: Dinner at Yips, Stavanger City Centre

Thursday 02.02.2023

Place: Havets hus, Innovasjonsparken

  • 09.00-11.00: Modern national innovation policy: innovation agencies (Uwe Cantner, FSU Jena)
  • 11.00-12.00: Group work
  • 12.00-13.00: Lunch
  • 13.00-14.30: Group work
  • 14.30-16.00: How to make numbers count and the art of communicating complex topics (Jo Røislien)

Friday 03.02.2023

Place: Havets hus, Innovasjonsparken

  • 09:00-12:00: Group presentations and feedback from policy makers
  • 12:00-13:00: Lunch
  • 13:00: End

Weekend Sirdal

Place: Sirdal Høyfjellshotell

Friday 03.02.2023
  • 13:30: Bus leaves for Sirdal mountains from Ydalir
  • 16:00: Pizza is served in the bar
  • 19:00: Two-course dinner
Saturday 04.02.2023
  • 08:00: Breakfast
  • 10:00: Cross-country skiing
  • 14:00: Lunch
  • 15:00-17:00: Career perspectives session with Jason Deegan (Easee) and John-Erik Rørheim (Klepp Municipality)
  • 19:00: Project dinner
Sunday 05.02.2023
  • 08:00-10:00: Breakfast
  • 12:15: Bus leaves for Stavanger Airport Sola / Ydalir Hotel (arrival at 14:15 / 14:30)

Course content

  • You will get an introduction to innovation theory, and innovation policy more specifically and become familiar with different theories and approaches to how public policy can promote innovation and economic development. Herein particular attention will be placed on the regional level.
  • You will work on real-life practical policy problems.
  • You will provide research-based policy recommendations to policymakers.
  • You will plan, organize, and execute the solving of these issues jointly with other students.
  • You will present your recommendations and write a policy brief.

The purpose of the course is to equip PhD candidates with a thought-provoking and fruitful combination of theory and application. The course will be taught through combining introductory lectures to core innovation theory and policy topics, and project group work on practical problems. The students will be presented with a real-world policy case (e.g., smart specialisation) at the beginning of the course and will work on this case throughout the week with guidance from a dedicated faculty member for each group. At the end of the course, they will present their findings and discuss them. After the course, they will write a policy brief comprising their recommendations. This will also be the basis for the final assessment.


  • You will have a profound overview of the most central theories and debates in the research literature on innovation policy.
  • You will have a comprehensive overview of the policies at different levels used to promote innovation and regional development.
  • You will develop advanced and broad knowledge of how to assess a problem from an innovation policy perspective.


  • Planning and executing projects in a timely manner
  • You will learn to discuss policy problems and provide policy recommendations.
  • You will learn to develop evidence-based policy solutions.
  • You will develop/improve skills in terms of developing policy briefs.
  • You improve your analytic skills and your ability to communicate them in a holistic manner.

General competencies

  • Improvement of interpersonal and collaborative skills.
  • You improve your ability to work across disciplines and with a diverse group of people.
  • You can write policy briefs and communicate the results in a professional manner.
  • You can engage in discussions with stakeholders and communicate research-based evidence to a non-academic audience.