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University of Exeter Business School

Innovation and Technology Policy

Module titleInnovation and Technology Policy
Module codeBEMM263
Academic year2023/4
Module staff

Dr Tausif Bordoloi (Convenor)

Dr S.W. Chiu (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks


Number students taking module (anticipated)


Module description

This module is open to all postgraduate students as an elective. It is designed to help you gain transdisciplinary knowledge and skills at the intersection of technology, business and policy. You will learn about the critical role that policy plays in enabling and/or hindering the Research and Development (R&D), commercialisation and adoption of current and emerging technologies and innovations, such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), robotics and space technologies. The module will examine key case studies such as the proliferation of Internet of Things (IoT) and 3D printing, including in manufacturing, the expansion of autonomous technologies (e.g. drones, autonomous vehicles), the increasing growth of the space industry (e.g. SpaceX, Blue Origin, Virgin Galactic) and transitions towards sustainability. By the end of the module, you will be able to appreciate the significance of policy, and will gain competence in synthesising multisectoral, policy-relevant insights in public and private settings. You will also be familiar with major concepts and frameworks that inform the latest policy debates in innovation and technological advances.

No pre-requisite and co-requisite is required. Students should have practical experience in critically applying theories and concepts to develop structured analysis.

This module is suitable for non-specialist students.

This module is recommended for interdisciplinary pathways.

Module aims - intentions of the module

Recent recruitment of policy specialists in the technology sector, such as Nick Clegg for Facebook/Metaverse, and Peter Marquez as Head of Space Policy for Amazon Web Services, reflect the increasing role that regulations and policy play in the innovation and entrepreneurship landscape. With these developments as a backdrop, this module has the following aims:

First, this module aims to introduce you to the rapidly burgeoning field of innovation and technology policy. As such, the module will enable you to critically research, analyse and synthesise knowledge and actionable insights from the fields of Business Studies, Innovation Management, and Policy and Governance.

Second, the module aims to equip you with a strong understanding of the latest debates and research in technological transformation and innovation. The module will also integrate interactive exercises to strengthen your comprehension of the interplay between technology, business, and policy in stimulating growth.

Third, the module aims to provide you the opportunity to apply your skills and the knowledge gained during the module to brainstorm innovative business and policy solutions necessary to address major challenges highlighted in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs).

By the end of the module, you will gain knowledge and skills relevant for jobs in the technology sector, including entrepreneurs, policy analysts and advisers in industry and/or in government, compliance specialists, government relations experts, management consultants, and portfolio managers in venture capital funds.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. Critically evaluate major concepts and theories that underpin contemporary practices, policy, regulations, and debates in the field of innovation and technology.
  • 2. Apply theories and frameworks to critically analyse real-life scenarios/practices.

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 3. Apply transdisciplinary knowledge critical for advancing societal growth and for accelerating the R&D, commercialisation and adoption of technologies.
  • 4. Identify the fundamentals of the interplay between technology, policy and innovation.
  • 5. Articulate the importance of integrating equality, diversity and inclusion in technological transformation and innovation efforts.

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 6. Apply transdisciplinary analytical skills to comprehend and manage uncertainty and risks posed by financial, geopolitical, security and operational disruptions.
  • 7. Conduct research and present critical analyses in a coherent and structured manner.

Syllabus plan

Indicative Themes

The module will cover, but not be limited to, the following themes:

Theme 1: Macro level/Global level
Understanding the regulation and governance of current and emerging technologies, transnational policies, risk mitigation against major global disruptions.

Theme 2: National level
Industrial and innovation policies, including those interventions that are sustainability- and regionally- oriented.

Theme 3: Organisational level
Corporate strategy and investments as a means to strengthen socio-economic, organisational and environmental profiles.

The module will include materials and exercises that address specific UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) (e.g., could include SDG 4, 5, 8, 9, 10, 12, 13).

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activity10Lectures (10 X 1 hour)
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activity12A series of seminars, guest talks from practitioners, and simulations is designed to support the core lectures (10 x 1 hour) Assessment Clinic (2 X 1 hour)
Guided Independent Study128Preparation and research for lectures, seminars and assessments

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
In-class interactive exercises 1-3 exercises per class1-5Verbal
In-class presentations 15 minutes per class1-7Verbal

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Examination401 x 1.5-hour exam1-5Written
Individual assignment602500 words1-7Written

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Examination 1 x 1.5-hour exam (40%)1-5Referral/deferral period
Individual assignment2500 words individual assignment (60%)1-7Referral/deferral period

Re-assessment notes

Deferral – if you have been deferred for any assessment you will be expected to submit the relevant assessment. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of deferral will not be capped and will be treated as it would be if it were your first attempt at the assessment.

Referral – if you have failed the module overall (i.e. a final overall module mark of less than 50%) you will be expected to submit the relevant assessment. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of referral will be capped at 50%.

Where there are practical reasons why the original form of assessment on a module cannot be replicated for referral or deferral purposes, an alternative form of assessment must be used. Examples of when this approach is justified include where the original assessment relied on fieldwork, group work, access to specialist equipment, or input from visiting staff; or where the process of assessment throughout the module was intricate, involving many assessments. The method of reassessment should address as many of the module’s intended learning outcomes as is possible.

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Aiginger K., & Rodrik, D. (2020). Rebirth of Industrial Policy and an Agenda for the Twenty-First Century. Journal of Industry, Competition and Trade, 20, 189-207.

Bannister, M. (2022). Concorde, Milton Keynes: Penguin Michael Joseph.

Bordoloi, T., Shapira, P. & Mativenga, P. (2022). Policy interactions with research trajectories: The case of cyber-physical convergence in manufacturing and industrials. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 175. (Diversifying/Supporting EDI curriculum)

Chiu, S.W. (2019). Promoting international co-operation in the age of global space governance - A study on on-orbit servicing operations,” Acta Astronautica,, 16. (Diversifying/Supporting EDI curriculum)
Chiu, S.W. (2023). Scenario Planning for the Future of Innovation in Space and Emerging Technologies. Proceedings of the 73rd International Astronautical Congress. (Diversifying/ Supporting EDI curriculum)

Edler, J. & Fagerberg, J. (2017). Innovation policy: what, why, and how. Oxford Review of Economic Policy, 33, 2-23.

Fagerberg, J., Mowery, D. & Nelson, R. (2006). The Oxford Handbook of Innovation, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Goffin, K. & Mitchell, R. (2017). Innovation Management - Effective strategy and implementation, London: Palgrave.

Hall, J.S. (2022). Where is My Flying Car?, San Francisco: Stripe Press.

Jasanoff, S. (2016). The Ethics of Invention - Technology and the Human Future, New York: W.W. Norton. (Diversifying/ Supporting EDI curriculum.

O’Sullivan, E. & Lopez-Gomez, C. (2017). An international review of emerging manufacturing R&D priorities and policies for the next production revolution. The Next Production Revolution: Implications for Governments and Business. Paris, France: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

Rogge, K. S. & Reichardt, K. (2016). Policy mixes for sustainability transitions: An extended concept and framework for analysis. Research Policy, 45, 1620-1635.

Schiebinger, L. (2019). The Robots are coming! But should they be gendered?. Association for Women in Science Magazine.

Smith, K. (2000). Innovation as a Systemic Phenomenon: Rethinking the Role of Policy. Enterprise & Innovation Management Studies, 1, 73-102.

Smits, R., Kuhlmann, S. & Shapira, P. (2010). The Theory and Practice of Innovation Policy: An International Research Handbook, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing.

Von Hippel, E. (2005). Democratizing Innovation, Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press.

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Indicative learning resources - Other resources

  • MIT Gendered Innovations, Case Study: Inclusive Crash Test Dummies: Rethinking Standards and Reference Models.
  • Women of Science Tarot Card Deck (Cambridge: Massachusetts: MIT Press, 2020) (Diversifying/ Supporting EDI curriculum)
  • MIT Technology Review, Collection on Humans and Technology
  • Harvard Business Review, Collection on Disruptive Innovation
  • Curation and archives at the Bill Douglas Cinema Museum, University of Exeter
  • Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Policy Papers

Key words search

Innovation Policy; Technology Policy; Governance; Emerging Technologies; Sustainability

Credit value15
Module ECTS


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Available as distance learning?


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Last revision date