i3, une unité mixte de recherche CNRS (UMR 9217)

Institut Interdisciplinaire de l'Innovation

Regulations of innovation

Coordinators : Marc Bourreau & François Lévêque

Regulation in the broad sense of the word – the adoption and application of collective rules which constrain and coordinate the companies’-, the individuals’- or the organisations’ behaviours – does not apply exclusively to public institutions. Actors in the private sector engage in self-regulation, define standards, and create institutions which combine cooperation and competition.

This trend can partially be explained by the weakening of national regulators due to economic globalisation. But it can also be a response to the accelerating pace of innovation disrupting business models as it constantly redefines the boundaries of companies and the architecture of the markets in which existing regulations are set up. This is particularly true in the field of digital economy.

Analysing the multiplicity of regulatory arrangements and their co-evolution with the innovation process requires an interdisciplinary approach combining economy, for which regulation is historically a key factor, sociology and management science. The research laboratories concerned by the i3 project have extensive experience in analysing the relations between regulation and innovation in the following domains:

  • Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) and the content industries,
  • Energy, water, the environment and fight against climate change,
  • Health,
  • Intellectual property,
  • Innovation and research policies.

i3 develops cross-cutting actions in terms of disciplines and domains of application. The research programme has three main foci:

1. Standardisation and innovation.

Norms and standards determine the dynamics of innovations. The analysis of the way they are developed, often in international forums involving producers, regulators as well as consumers, requires an interdisciplinary approach including economists, managers and sociologists.

2. Interactions between public and private regulation in innovation processes.

 Even if the public regulation seems outflanked by private regulation, innovation can develop in a lot of domains thanks to the interconnexion between these various types of regulation. Now it is a matter of studying these interactions in various sectors such as ICT, energy, environment and health.

3. Multi-level governance of research and innovation.

Since it is the result of close interactions between multiple actors, innovation is locally grounded in a territorial logic. The policies that structure innovation can however be defined at multiple levels (regional, national, European, international). These multi-level interactions need to be studied in the light of situated innovation dynamics. 

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