In the past decade, a growing number of countries have established national councils for innovation or for science, technology and innovation. The interest in innovation councils responds to a growing need for strengthening the coordination, inclusiveness and, ultimately, the effectiveness of innovation policy governance.
In Sweden, the National Council for Innovation and Quality in the Public Sector was established less than a year ago with the aim of supporting and stimulating innovation and change in public services. As the Council’s working practices continue to evolve and gel, it is a good time to look outward and compare with others. What is the function, composition and role of councils in different national innovation systems – and how do they reflect the evolving demands on innovation governance? What are some of the challenges that may be experienced, and what are alternative approaches to addressing these challenges?
The authors have built on previous international comparisons of national innovation councils conducted by the OECD – providing a comparative analysis of 14 national councils in 12 countries around the world. In addition to comparing key characteristics of national innovation councils, the analysis highlights some new trends in how councils address the evolving demands of innovation governance, and identifies a number of challenges and trade-offs that governments face when trying to set up and run innovation councils.