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Innovation systems and regional governance for the development of low carbon building technologies in Wales: a ‘functions approach’

Wang, Yan 2015. Innovation systems and regional governance for the development of low carbon building technologies in Wales: a ‘functions approach’. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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Having arguably led the world in the transition to a high carbon economy, much of Wales today is economically and socially deprived. Even so, a devolved Welsh Government has set ambitious targets to reduce carbon emissions in the devolved areas, while creating employment and economic opportunities, reducing fuel poverty, thereby helping to solve Wales’ entrenched social and economic problems. A low carbon transition in the built environment is critical to achieve such targets. This PhD study aims to provide theoretically informed and empirically grounded insights into the development of low carbon building technologies in Wales through examining how the functions of the innovation systems of two selected emerging technologies i.e. ‘Welsh grown timber for construction’ (WTC) and ‘building integrated solar energy systems’ (BISE) have been fulfilled. Having first established a bespoke analytical framework, the functional patterns of the two technological innovation systems (TIS) are documented, assessed and compared. The study further explores how the functional analyses may offer a bottom-up perspective on the policy implications for regional governance in Wales, which might alter the functional patterns, and improve the innovation capability of relevant Welsh organisations. The functional analyses of the WTC and BISE TIS shows that, although both TISs have reached their formative phases in Wales, there is no guarantee that either system will eventually move onto the phase of market diffusion, due to the inherent system weaknesses and uncertainties likely arising in technology, policy-making, and market. Whereas regional governance in Wales can introduce policy interventions, they matter only when breakouts from certain forms of institutional ‘path-dependence’ are induced. In this respect, the thesis concludes by discussing four streams of policy-thinking that may instigate different pathways in Wales, namely: technology foresight; the regulation-induced innovation hypothesis; demand-oriented policy measures; and, support for small business innovations through, e.g. R&D consortia.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Architecture
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
N Fine Arts > NA Architecture
Uncontrolled Keywords: Low Carbon buildings; Wales; Regional governance
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 20 Mar 2016 00:00

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