ECONOMICS OF INNOVATION
Learning outcomes of the course unit
a. Knowledge and understanding:
At the end of the course, the student will understand the basic notions of the economic theory of innovation, the forms of innovation management, and their impact on nation and firm competitiveness. In particular, the student will acquire the following knowledge: 1) characteristcs of the different types of innovation; 2) characteristics of innovative processes; 3) role of organizational change in new product development; 4) role of intangible resources and intellectual property rights; 5) firm collaborations to develop new technologies.
b. Knowledge and understanding: the student will be able to deal critically with issues and topics related to the economics of innovation. She will be able to describe the innovative process as a complex phenomenon that is not limited to the introduction of an innovation, but also includes the sectoral and economy-wide diffusion. She will be able to understand and comment on reports and data about the innovation phenomenon.
c. Making judgments: the course combines theoretical knowledge with examples of empirical applications aimed at verifying the applicability conditions of the proposed models and at critically analyzing the empirical results. This method allows the student to become aware of the mechanisms that regulate the innovative processes and to stimulate the ability to explore sources, data and literature necessary for the formulation of weighted judgments.
d. Communication skills: at the end of the course the student will have acquired the tools that allow her to communicate the acquired knowledge with technical language. These skills are stimulated through class interaction and exposition of the results of the group work activities about specific case studies and are evaluated through the final written test which takes the form of open questions.
e. Learning skills: Lecture attendance and class interaction with the lecturer and other students, the exposure to the training materials uploaded on the course website, individual study and participation to group work activities provide the student with the toolbox to stimulate individual learning.
The course aims to provide students with knowledge on the role of innovation in the economy from a theoretical and empirical perspective, and the task of the State in supporting and directing innovation. It also allows students to acquire a critical awareness on how innovation is changing because of the new digital technologies.
At the end of the course students will have acquired:
– The knowledge and understand of the different aspects of innovation;
– The ability to apply them to design projects of innovation;
– The ability to make judgements to assess the effects of innovation on the economy and effectiveness of the policy implemented by the State;
– Communication skills, through the use of a technical language appropriate to transfer to entrepreneurial and institutional environments the knowledge gained on the innovation phenomenon;
– Learning skills through the link between theoretical thinking and observation of facts.
Course contents summary
1. What is innovation?
2. Sources of innovation
3. Types and models of innovation
4. Diffusion of innovation
5. Geography of innovation
6. Standard battles and dominant design
7. Timing of entry
8. Sectoral patterns of innovation
9. Protecting innovation
10. The innovative firm
11. New product development
(1) Key concepts of innovation; (2) How firms achieve innovation; (3) Innovation and the consumer; (4) Territorial innovation models; (5) The effects of innovation; (6) Innovation and government.
Schilling, M., Izzo, F. Gestione dell’Innovazione, 4/ED. McGraw-Hill, Milano: 2017.
Malerba, F. Economia dell’Innovazione, Carocci, Roma: 2000.
Details about the program and additional materials will be specified in class.
Readings supplied by the teacher.
Lectures, aimed at acquiring knowledge and stimulating understanding, will make use of slides and case studies. Slides will be available on the course website at the end of each week.
The website is the main source of information about: course events, schedule changes, office hours, exams.
Group work will focus on case studies or empirical papers, and is aimed at developing learning skills, acquiring the necessary technical language and improving communication and collaboration skills.
Groups are organized by the lecturer. Group size will depend on the number of attending students. Students will present their preliminary results in class and will also deliver a written report at the end of the course.
In case classroom lectures will not be possible, lectures will be delivered through web platforms as online streaming for at least one third of the course. The schedule of the streaming lectures will be communicated at the beginning of the course. All interactive activities will be delivered through online streaming.
Acquiring knowledge and understanding: lectures and seminars with policy makers of institutions that promote innovation.
Applying knowledge and understanding: short writing assignments.
Making judgements: during the course students will be encouraged to critically think on the importance of innovation for the change and competitiveness of the economic system.
Communication skills: discussion of case studies.
Learning skills: each case study will be evaluated with regard to the consistency between the main aspects of the theoretical framework and their practical implementation.
Assessment methods and criteria
The exam consists of a written test with 2 open questions. The final evaluation is expressed in thirtieths and evaluates the knowledge acquired during the course, the ability to argue and the adequacy of the language. Honors will be awarded to those students who, in addition to having complied with the requisites necessary to obtain the full evaluation, have demonstrated an appreciable systematic knowledge of the topic, an excellent ability to apply the knowledge acquired to the specific question, a considerable autonomy of judgment, as well as a particular care in the formal answering to the questions.
For attending students who participate to a work group during the course, the final exam consists of 1 open question out of 2. This is complemented by the work group evaluation, that accounts for one third of the final grade provided that the final exam is sufficient.
All students have one hour to complete the final written exam.
During the exam it is forbidden to use mobile phones, smartphones, tablets and any other electronic device.
Results will be notified on the course website. Students can view the exam results by appointment with the lecturer.
If classroom exams will not be possible due to the public health emergency, the exam will consist in a oral examination using online platforms. For attending students, the oral exam will be structured as follows: each student will randomly draw two questions, and will choose which one to answer. Each question will be articulated in two or thee subquestions. The examiner might also ask clarification questions to go deeper into the topic.
The exam will consist of 3 questions, in 2 hours. The acquired knowledge, the ability to understand and apply such knowledge with independent judgement, will be ascertained by evaluating the accuracy and consistency of the answers. The ability to communicate with appropriate technical language will be ascertained by evaluating the language used in the answers to questions.