As the science and knowledge service of the European Commission, the Joint Research Centre's mission is to support EU policies with independent evidence throughout the whole policy cycle.
The European Commission entrusts an important role to innovation in order to assist in the exit from the present recession and alleviate the labor market predicaments of several Member States. This salvific role of innovation is under increasing pressure from different strands of academic thought, with questions such as:
The workshop is an attempt to establish a dialogue between selected scholars and interested EC actors of research and innovation policy, and the aim is to test new narratives in the policy discourse.
There are at present several different narratives with a story to say on innovation. Among these the workshop focuses on those originating from three strands of scholarship:
In confronting the prevailing innovation-for-growth narratives with different legitimate alternative stories the workshop will look at the virtues of the free market and competition, at the tension between man and machine, and at the effects of biophysical constraints on economic growth (see the Related content for a JRC discussion paper about this topic).
Erik Reinert , The Other Canon Foundation, Norway, and Tallinn University of Technology, Estonia
Loss of Diversity and Decline: Europe, China and the Future of the Global Economy - Part I 
Ting Xu , Queen’s University, Belfast
Loss of Diversity and Decline: Europe, China and the Future of the Global Economy - Part II 
Silvio Funtowicz , Centre for the Study of Sciences and Humanities, University of Bergen
Innovation, sustainability and the political economy of science 
Alice Benessia , Interdisciplinary Research Institute on Sustainability, University of Turin
Demarcating innovation: optimisation, substitution and the silver bullet approach 
Roger Strand , University of Bergen
Socio-technical imaginaries in research and innovation policy