SM9724 - Innovation Policy

What will I learn on this module?

This module examines the role of public policy in the innovation process and the support of entrepreneurship. It will help you to understand how policy can support the innovative firm and the ways in which businesses can interact with public sector and research organisations to facilitate innovation. Innovation takes place across heterogeneous networks, with firms making use of public sector infrastructures, collaborating with universities and responding to regulations and procurement processes initiated by government. You will learn about the ways in which governments seek to encourage innovation through actions at a local, national and international scale, and the multi-level systems of innovation which have developed across the world.

The module is delivered through a lectures and workshops, covering the following issues:

• Typologies and rationales for government intervention in innovation
• The entrepreneurial state
• Systems of innovation at national and regional level
• Public research and innovation support programmes such as Horizon Europe and national grant schemes
• Regional innovation strategies
• Clusters and cluster policies
• Smart specialisation
• Intellectual property regulations and policies
• Public procurement and innovation
• University-industry links and policies
• Science parks, science cities and innovation accelerators
• Responsible Research and Innovation in public policy
• Case study of the bioeconomy

Through this module you will have a deeper understanding of the drivers of innovation and the role of the state, and be better able to make effective use of external innovation resources or to move into a public policy role.

How will I learn on this module?

The lectures will provide you with a theoretical underpinning of the module content, supported by workshops.

The module has a supporting reading list that provides you with a wide range of literature on innovation policy including academic texts, policy documents, evaluation studies and case material.

The directed study will support and complement the work you have undertaken in face-to-face sessions.

Independent learning time is set aside for learning activities, self-identified by you, to gain a deeper and broader knowledge of the subject. You may undertake further reading.
The seminars require you to examine case study material and make brief presentations which will receive tutor (formative) feedback. In-class evaluations and directed learning activity provide formative assessment. Blackboard Ultra, the electronic learning platform, will be used to distribute material.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

Support will be provided to you by a member of academic staff acting as module tutor as well as a teaching team providing the lecture and workshop material.

Your module is supported by an e-learning portal, which houses lecture materials, seminars, case studies and how-to multimedia and text files.

You will also receive a wide-ranging electronic reading list comprised of various books, journal articles, reports and studies relevant to the material covered by the module.

There are two components to the assessment for this module. The first is an individual presentation that examines a policy environment or programme and is worth 20% of the marks for this module. The second piece of assessment is an individual report examining a policy issue ion more detail and is worth 80% of the marks for this module.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at:
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team –

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:

MLO1: Develop an understanding of innovation policy and how it can be applied in different contexts to support business outcomes
MLO2: Critically apply knowledge of the innovation process to evaluate the likely impact of policies.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:

MLO3: Analyse innovation policies and develop varied forms of presentation to communicate their nature and likely outcomes

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):

MLO4: Enhance ability to reflect on critical, analytical and communication skills and make improvements

How will I be assessed?

Formative assessment will be provided on participation in seminars and group discussions.

Summative assessment consists of two pieces of work

1. Individual presentation– 20%

10-minute individual presentation focusing on an example of a policy initiative to support innovation. Presentation slides to be submitted afterwards. Feedback, verbal (when presented) and written (after the presentation) will be provided. (MLO 1, 2, 3, 4)

2. Individual report – 80%

2500-word (excluding references) individual report. Written feedback will be provided. (MLO 1,2,3, 4)





Module abstract

This module examines the role of public policy in the innovation process and the support of entrepreneurship. It will help you to understand how policy can support the innovative firm and the ways in which businesses can interact with public sector and research organisations to facilitate innovation. The module reviews a wide range of policies and infrastructures to support innovation and entrepreneurship, and you will be expected to examine policies in detail and develop a critical appraisal of such policies in your assignments.

The module draws upon the latest research materials on innovation policies, but placing them in a historical context, showing the evolution of policy over time and assessing the importance of local context in policy success. You will be expected in your assignments to present examples of policies, demonstrating your ability to research the nature, context and impact of the policies. As a result you will be able to make judgements on the relevance and value of selected policies to a business, which will be valuable either in an entrepreneurial role, or in a public policy role supporting new businesses.

Course info

Credits 20

Level of Study Postgraduate

Mode of Study 2 Years Full Time with Advanced Practice
1 other options available

Department Newcastle Business School

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


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