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The evolution of mission-oriented policies: Exploring changing market creating policies in the US and European space sector

Abstract : Market creation is moving to the centre of mission-oriented innovation policy in the space sector. Agencies such as the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the European Space Agency (ESA) are developing market creating innovation policies in response to (a) the increasing emphasis on societal grand challenges, (b) the rise of a new wave of space companies (often referred to as "New Space") and (c) the global trend towards interconnecting and interlinking of industries (a trend referred to as Industry 4.0). In this paper we explore the changing nature of mission-oriented innovation policies for market creation for two agencies, NASA and ESA. For these agencies, earlier mission-oriented policies focused on clear challenges with identifiable concrete problems and directed by a strong centralised agency. Contrast this with today, with broadly defined grand challenges, decentralised innovation systems with mixed top-down and bottom-up problem definition. In this paper, we describe the current drivers and pressures that are creating a window for policy change, we present examples of how NASA and ESA are responding to these pressures and use this exploration to dig deeper into the evolving frames of market creating innovation policy in the space sector to identify the challenges for such policies and to further articulate a research agenda.
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Douglas K. R. Robinson, Mariana Mazzucato. The evolution of mission-oriented policies: Exploring changing market creating policies in the US and European space sector. Research Policy, Elsevier, 2019, 48 (4), pp.936-948. ⟨10.1016/j.respol.2018.10.005⟩. ⟨hal-02127486⟩

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