The project  took examples of technologies from the power plant sector to illustrate the interactions between the innovation activities in progress in various countries, giving special consideration to their innovation systems. A major priority was the analysis of activities undertaken by multinational enterprises (MNE). The starting point was an ex-post analysis which will examine how innovation systems in selected  countries have changed and what influence this has had on the development of new technologies.

A focus was on the activities of individual actors (companies, countries) and networks that have contributed to the development of a marketable technology. In the analysis of the environment in which such new developments took place, attention was given to the influence of the development of innovation systems abroad. A further step, considered the progress of diffusion processes. This involves an investigation of whether and why technologies developed in Germany managed to establish themselves on the international market and the extent to which technologies developed abroad are used in Germany.

A process-tracing approach was used to identify frameworks and theories with which relevant causal mechanisms can be explained. The process tracing approach also provided important information on a very disaggregated level which can be used to draw up innovation biographies for individual technologies. The insights thus obtained will then be transferred to new power plant technologies still at the R&D stage in the sense of an ex ante analysis. The aim was to assess national R&D studies by industry and the public sector against the
background of the innovation activities currently in progress in the power plant sector and to make these strategies more efficient in the future for Germany's competitiveness as an industrial location.


VolkswagenStiftung , Hannover , DE

Project duration

01.06.2007 - 31.07.2009

Project members

Dr. Sebastian Voigt (Coordinator)
Dr. Klaus Rennings

Cooperation partner

Forschungszentrum Jülich, Programmgruppe Systemforschung und technologische Entwicklung, Jülich, DE
Interdisziplinärer Forschungsschwerpunkt Risiko und Nachhaltige Technikentwicklung am Internationalen Zentrum für Kultur- und Technikforschung (ZIRN) an der Universität Stuttgart, Stuttgart, DE