Technology Users' Innovations

Funding Body Lincoln University, funded through Ministry of Science & Innovation (MSI)
Total Contract Value $201,000
Start Date January 2008
End Date
July 2011
Principal Investigator
John Fairweather (Lincoln University)
Staff Involved
Hugh Campbell, Janet Stephenson


Governance, futures, transformation, knowledge systems

Brief Abstract

The research aim is to increase our fundamental knowledge of:

  1. users as a source of innovation,
  2. socio-technical networks work to help or hinder innovation,
  3. 3.the unique technology governance factors in New Zealand; and
  4. 4.the distinctive cultural qualities of New Zealand innovation.

Our Science and Technology Studies approach will use case study interview data, formal case comparisons, causal mapping, cultural modelling and analysis of survey data to document the socio-technical networks that form around new innovations. These include the key knowledge flows, actors, organisations, and meso-level governance structures, and they way networks operate to support or disincentivise innovation.

Key hypotheses to be tested are:

  1. 1.New Zealand technology users (farms and firms) are important sources of innovation,
  2. 2.Farms or firms (including Maori farms) with high social capital are more innovative.

Innovators in the farming sector, the building sector, and the energy sector will be used in the case studies.  Our research will identify the conditions under which socio-technical networks best foster technology development, adoption and commercialisation.