Keywords: Technological Change; Innovation and Invention; Social Innovation.
Nordic policy makers have long been aware of the fact that prosperity requires more than just, say, well-functioning labor markets and/or generous social and educational policies. It also requires that the capabilities of the labor force are put to productive use in a way that enhances the productivity of the nation and hence the returns for the stakeholders. Nordic policy makers have therefore for a long time experimented with various policy instruments supporting productivity growth. Over the years different labels have been attached to such policy experiments (science, technology, industry policy etc.), but more recently the term innovation policy has become more widely used, and this practice is also adopted here. The paper provides an account of how innovation policies have evolved in three Nordic countries (Sweden, Norway and Finland) and considers the possible lessons from what has been done. The discussion informed by the literature on national innovation systems introduced in the second section of the paper.