Diffusion of low carbon technologies will require radical shift in innovation policies. Current national innovation strategies are not sufficient in rapid diffusion of climate technologies as they are fundamentally designed around national competitiveness priorities, not to produce global public goods.
The dominant focus of innovation policies in developed countries has been on science and technology support. While being historically successful and important from national capability development and competitiveness perspectives, these policies often fail to bring along wider market transformations. In order to fill the existing low-carbon innovation gaps, higher priority should be given to practice-oriented innovation policies. “Shortening the distances” between different actors is a prerequisite for the new generation of user-driven, open innovation systems.
This paper will explore how user-driven innovation policies could better serve low carbon innovation in a global scale. Special attention is given to the role of collaborative research and development activities between developed and developing countries, and how these collaborative strategies could be supported by new innovation policies. Developing countries require support to build effective innovation systems, not just narrow technology transfer like the Clean Development Mechanism of Kyoto Protocol.