Bengt-Åke Lundvall’s work has underlined the importance of policy learning for inducing innovation systems’ adaptability. In spite of his efforts and of the general interest in this topic, studies of policy learning in innovation policy continue to be scarce. Elaborating from recent theoretical advances, the paper identifies three levels of policy learning and argues that their effects on innovation systems are related to specific capacities of the relevant organizations implementing change. This analytical framework is used in the study of trans-national policy learning in Europe in the area of science–industry relations, showing the importance of capacities (or lack thereof). This calls for the practical need of addressing organizational capacity-building, in particular of analytical capacity, for truly strategic innovation policy-making.
Science and Public Policy, 2011, Vol 38, Issue 9, p. 725-734