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Analysing the wind turbine innovation systems in The Netherlands and Denmark using the cyclic innovation model

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This paper analyses the development of wind power in The Netherlands and Denmark in the period 1973-2000 with the cyclic innovation model (CIM). CIM regards innovation as a cyclic process in which different actors constantly develop and exchange knowledge through four different types of cycles: hard science cycle, soft science cycle, integrated engineering cycle, and differentiated valorisation cycle. The actors are located in four 'nodes': scientific exploration, technological research, product creation, and market transitions. In the centre of CIM is the 'system entrepreneur' who is responsible for the managerial tasks within the innovation system. Our main conclusion is that in the wind power case in The Netherlands, the knowledge cycles were not complete. For too long, science and technology were not connected well enough to society and market. The Danish wind power case shows initially separated development paths, but these gradually merged together, which resulted in a complete and well-functioning innovation system. The notion of the system entrepreneur is found to be less helpful for the analysis of these cases.

Keywords: cyclic innovation model, CIM, innovation systems, wind turbines, engineering management, The Netherlands, Denmark, wind energy, wind power, system entrepreneurs

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