Innovation Spotlights in the Bioeconomy

Starting date: TBD, 2025

Registration deadline: TBD

Location: Online + 3 days in Steinkjer


Students should apply to this course through Nord

Course leader

Practical info

This course will run online + a 3-day workshop in Steinkjer. Nord is the responsible institution and you should apply through Nord.

Important! Do not apply for a course unless you are sure that you can attend.

Course content

This course provides the students with knowledge of innovation, and commercialization of science-based knowledge in the bioeconomy. Based on these research streams we will discuss how research from the biosciences can be applied in practice and in business life. Furthermore, we will learn how to get from bioscience research and invention to the marketplace.

Innovative thinking and entrepreneurship in the bioeconomy is needed for a more sustainable global future. For instance, innovation is required in agriculture due to its vital role in feeding the world population and its importance to the economy of many regions and nations. Also, issues regarding depletion of limited natural resources, occupation of productive land, fertilization and pollution, and diminishing natural ecosystems have led to visions of circular-economy-based lifestyles that can only be realized with bioprocess-based innovations and engineering.

PhD candidates, affiliated supervisors, and research institutions within the biosciences are doing exciting, high-quality research, which may not be currently in the market. This course builds on state-of-the-art knowledge in innovation management, entrepreneurship, and commercialization to help students learn how innovations from the biosciences can increase its economic and societal impact.  

The course aims to provide students with advanced transferable skills in innovation management within the bioeconomy sector. First, the course introduces the foundation and concepts of innovation, innovation management, and commercialization of science-based knowledge. Here we will introduce the general challenges and economic discourses related to entrepreneurship, innovation, and commercialization that are relevant to the biosciences. 

Furthermore, we focus on the characteristics of the industries within the bioeconomy and how they challenge and influence innovation processes. This includes studying examples of innovation in traditional agriculture and  new and related biotech industries. The course also gives insights into open innovation, innovation systems, and ecosystem thinking. We will study hotspots of recent innovations in the bioeconomy.

Learning outcome

The course aims to provide students with advanced transferable skills in innovation management related to the bioeconomy. Furthermore, the objective is that the students should master the main contributions and scholarly discussions of the literature on bioeconomy innovation and be able to relate these literature streams to bioeconomy innovation in general and specifically to their own research:


  • Advanced knowledge about innovation management and the specifics of innovation related to the bioeconomy
  • Advanced knowledge of the needs, drivers and trends of innovation in the bioeconomy
  • Advanced knowledge about the development of IPR, technology transfer, and diffusion of innovation in the bioeconomy. Advanced knowledge about innovative ecosystems and collaboration within the bioeconomy


  • To analyze and critically assess the foundations of innovation in the bioeconomy
  • To identify and critically evaluate innovative opportunities for value-creation in the bioeconomy sector
  • To formulate problems, plan and carry out research and scholarly work of relevance

General competence

  • Ability to critically read, review, present, and discuss top research papers in the area of innovation and commercialization
  • Ability to communicate research and development work and participate in a high quality academic dialogue in the area of bioeconomy innovation and commercialization
  • Ability to contribute to new knowledge in the area of bioeconomy innovation

Course dates

Autumn 2025

Admission deadline


Learning activities and teaching methods

Lectures (in-person, digital – both synchronous and asynchronous), workshops, group work, assignment work.

Admission requirements

To apply for this course you must be a PhD candidate at one of the Norwegian institutions.

The course will be arranged with a minimum number of 5 students. Maximum participants: 10.




Assessment task (written preparatory assignment with presentation, max 900 words – pass/fail) and written home exam (Term paper, max 3000 words, A-F).

Course literature and recommended reading

The reading list is subject to amendments at semester start.  


  • Adner, R. (2017). Ecosystem as structure: An actionable construct for strategy. Journal of Management, 43(1): 39–58.
  • Asheim, B.T. and Gertler, M.S. 2005. The Geography of Innovation: Regional Innovation Systems. In The Oxford Handbook of Innovation, ed. J. Fagerberg; D.C. Mowery; and R.R. Nelson, 291‐317. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Barth, H., Ulvenblad, P., Ulvenblad, P.-O., & Hoveskog, M. (2021). Unpacking sustainable business models in the Swedish agricultural sector– the challenges of technological, social and organisational innovation. Journal of Cleaner Production, 304, 127004.
  • Bigliardi, B., & Filippelli, S. (2022). A review of the literature on innovation in the agrofood industry: Sustainability, smartness and health. European Journal of Innovation Management, 25(6), 589-611.
  • Bjerke, L., & Johansson, S. (2022). Innovation in agriculture: An analysis of Swedish agricultural and non-agricultural firms. Food Policy109, 102269.
  • Blakeney, M. (2020). Intellectual property and agricultural innovation (pp. 21-43). Springer Singapore.
  • Cooke P., 2004. Introduction. Regional Innovation Systems – an evolutionary approach. In: P.Cooke, M. Heidenreich and H-J. Braczyk, 2004. Regional Innovation Systems. The role of governance in a globalized world. (2nd edition). Routledge.  London and New York.   
  • Fini, R., Rasmussen, E., Siegel, D., & Wiklund, J. (2018). Rethinking the commercialization of public science: From entrepreneurial outcomes to societal impacts. Academy of Management Perspectives, 32(1), 4-20.
  • Fini, R., Rasmussen, E., Wiklund, J., & Wright, M. (2020). Moving Ideas from Lab to Marketplace: A Guide to Research. Entrepreneur & Innovation Exchange.
  • Friesner, J. et al. (2021). Broadening the impact of plant science through innovative, integrative, and inclusive outreach. Plant Direct.5:e00316.
  • Grande, J., Madsen, E. L., & Borch, O. J. (2011). The relationship between resources, entrepreneurial orientation and performance in farm-based ventures. Entrepreneurship and Regional Development23(3-4), 89-111.
  • Griliches, Z. (1957). Hybrid Corn: An Exploration in the Economics of Technological Change. Econometrica25(4), 501–522.
  • Hayter, C. S., Rasmussen, E., & Rooksby, J. H. (2020). Beyond formal university technology transfer: Innovative pathways for knowledge exchange. The Journal of Technology Transfer, 45, 1-8.
  • Jakku, E., Fielke, S., Fleming, A., & Stitzlein, C. (2022). Reflecting on opportunities and challenges regarding implementation of responsible digital agri-technology innovation. Sociologia Ruralis, 62(2), 363-388.
  • Kahn, K. B. (2018). Understanding innovation. Business Horizons, 61(3), 453-460.
  • Karlsson, M., & Hovelsrud, G. K. (2021). “Everyone comes with their own shade of green”: Negotiating the meaning of transformation in Norway’s agriculture and fisheries sectors. Journal of Rural Studies, 81, 259-268.
  • Kelly Rijswijk, Laurens Klerkx & James A. Turner (2019). Digitalisation in the New Zealand Agricultural Knowledge and Innovation System: Initial understandings and emerging organisational responses to digital agriculture, NJAS: Wageningen Journal of Life Sciences, 90-91:1, 1-14, DOI: 10.1016/j.njas.2019.100313
  • Klerkx, L., & Begemann, S. (2020). Supporting food systems transformation: The what, why, who, where and how of mission-oriented agricultural innovation systems. Agricultural Systems184, 102901.
  • Laurens Klerkx, Emma Jakku & Pierre Labarthe (2019) A review of social science on digital agriculture, smart farming and agriculture 4.0: New contributions and a future research agenda, NJAS: Wageningen Journal of Life Sciences, 90-91:1, 1-16, DOI: 10.1016/j.njas.2019.100315
  • Molina-Maturano, J., Speelman, S., & De Steur, H. (2020). Constraint-based innovations in agriculture and sustainable development: A scoping review. Journal of Cleaner Production, 246, 119001.
  • Rogers, E., 2003. Diffusion of Innovation, Fifth Edition. Free Press, New York. 2 chapters.
  • Sanders, A. K. (2022). Intellectual property in digital agriculture. Law, Innovation and Technology, 14(1), 113-127.
  • Schweitzer, H. et al. (2021) Innovating carbon-capture biotechnologies through ecosystem- inspired solutions. One Earth 4: 49-59
  •  Stræte, E. P., Vik, J., Fuglestad, E. M., Gjefsen, M. D., Melås, A. M., & Søraa, R. A. (2022). Critical support for different stages of innovation in agriculture: What, when, how? Agricultural Systems, 203, 103526.
  • Tell, J., Hoveskog, M., Ulvenblad, P., Ulvenblad, P. O., Barth, H., & Ståhl, J. (2016). Business model innovation in the agri-food sector: A literature review. British Food Journal, 118(6), 1462-1476.
  • Yaghmaie, P. and Vanhaverbeke, W. (2020), “Identifying and describing constituents of innovation ecosystems: A systematic review of the literature”, EuroMed Journal of Business, Vol. 15 No. 3, pp. 283-314.
  • Additional recommended readings
  • Grande, J. (2011). New venture creation in the farm sector–Critical resources and capabilities. Journal of Rural Studies27(2), 220-233.
  • Klerkx, L., van Mierlo, B., & Leeuwis, C. (2012). Evolution of systems approaches to agricultural innovation: concepts, analysis and interventions. In I. Darnhofer, D. Gibbon, & B. Dedieu (Eds.), Farming Systems Research into the 21st Century: The New Dynamic (pp. 457-483). Springer Netherlands.
  • Läpple, D., Renwick, A., Cullinan, J., & Thorne, F. (2016). What drives innovation in the agricultural sector? A spatial analysis of knowledge spillovers. Land Use Policy, 56, 238-250.
  • Rosário, J., Madureira, L., Marques, C., & Silva, R. (2022). Understanding Farmers’ Adoption of Sustainable Agriculture Innovations: A Systematic Literature Review. Agronomy, 12(11), 2879.
  • The Handbook of Research on Entrepreneurship in Agriculture and Rural Development, 2011. Edited by Alsos, G., Carter, S., Ljunggren, E. and Welter, F. Research Handbooks in Business and Management series. Edward Elgar Publishing Limited.  SBN: 978 1 84844 625 0 Extent: 336 pp
  • Vik, J., & McElwee, G. (2011). Diversification and the Entrepreneurial Motivations of Farmers in Norway. Journal of Small Business Management, 49(3), 390-410.