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Professor Smita Srinivas, The Open University

Wed, 17 February 2021, 12:30 to 14:00

MS Teams - link to be emailed to those who register

Professor Smita Srinivas will present: 'Updating innovation manuals and metrics with lessons from COVID-19 and cancer care'. This event will be Chaired by Dr Lorena Lombardozzi, Lecturer in Economics at The Open University.


For many years now, guiding documents for the evaluation of innovation and technological capabilities have included ‘innovation manuals’ such as the Frascati and the Oslo manuals. This talk focuses on the economic and historical assumptions and measurement challenges of how technological capabilities are built and industrial systems evolve. The example of industry and innovation for COVID-19, cancer care, food and ecology sub-sectors are discussed from published and ongoing research, and the microeconomic fundamentals of the technological capabilities debated. How should we use such manuals for development plans and industrial governance, and what theoretical and practical tensions continue to exist? The talk concludes with some suggestions for moving forward.


Smita Srinivas is Professorial Research Fellow in the Economics Department and the Development Policy and Practice (DPP) group at the Open University UK. Much of her work is in economics and public policy with a strong international focus, and she has extensive advisory experience in economic development, technological learning, innovation and industrial policy. She founded the Technological Change Lab (TCLab) which focuses on linking economic theory to developmental practice including the integration of industry priorities with health and ecology.  She serves on the advisory board or scientific committees of journals such as Innovation and Development, Review of Evolutionary Political Economy, and others in economics and development.

Her research is both theoretical in evolutionary and institutional economics as well as focused on social impact and policy design and planning. She is the 2021 Clarence E. Ayres Scholar designate by the Association for Evolutionary Economics (AFEE, USA) for outstanding work by an international scholar in the area of institutional economics, and the 2015 Myrdal Prize author of “Market Menagerie: Health and Development in Late Industrial States” (Stanford University Press, 2012) from the European Association for Evolutionary Political Economy (EAEPE). She currently acts as India lead on an OU-led, ESRC-funded 4-country research collaboration on Innovation for cancer care in Africa (ICCA) and is a Visiting Professor at the National Centre for Biological Sciences, TIFR, India. 

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