Space technology and applications to revolutionize the energy sector: The role of governmental organizations in facing societal challenges

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Today's societal challenges call for integrated solutions that connect various industries and transcend national boundaries. Investing in the design and development of innovative solutions in this interconnected world is therefore top priority for national and international policymakers[1]. Governmental organizations play a crucial role in innovation processes and the direction of these processes, as they set up “the rules of the game”[2]. They shape society, the economy and industries, as they are able to (in) directly facilitate and regulate the diffusion of technology and related innovation processes. In addressing innovation for societal challenges, such as climate change and sustainable energy, most of the benefits are likely to be public, rather than private. This requires a strategic reorientation in the innovation activities of industry actors towards societal progress. As such, governmental organizations are expected to take (and maintain) a more active role and bear certain responsibilities in the early stages of stimulating the development of innovative solutions. However, the undertaken governmental activities do not always have the anticipated effect and governmental organizations still struggle to efficiently stimulate and manage these innovation processes when addressing societal challenges. This study therefore aims to investigate how governmental organizations struggle with stimulating innovation processes for societal challenges. This explorative research question is addressed with a qualitative research design in the context of using space technology and applications as a contribution to one specific societal challenge, namely stimulating a society with sustainable and clean energy. An in depth case study is appropriate to uncover the various struggles governments experience in stimulating the (co)development of innovative products and services based on space technology for a sustainable energy transition in Europe.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 70th International Astronautical Congress, IAC 2019
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Event70th International Astronautical Congress, IAC 2019 - Washington, United States
Duration: 21 Oct 201925 Oct 2019


Conference70th International Astronautical Congress, IAC 2019
Country/TerritoryUnited States


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