Innovation fosters structural change and growth and drives socio-economic change. The generation and diffusion of innovation is a dynamic process, which cannot adequately be guided by static policy conceptions. In this paper we will explore the possibility of devising and implementing a ‘learning’ innovation policy. As organisational and technological change is not completely haphazard, we argue that innovation policy can make use of structural regularities in socio-economic change whilst, at the same time, be open to advances in scientific knowledge. We devise a method that achieves these two aims and apply it to a concrete example (knowledge systems). We conclude with practical implications originating from such a ‘learning’ innovation policy.