Manchester Institute of Innovation Research

System transitions and societal challenges

The study of societal challenges such as climate change, energy security, transport and resource efficiency, food safety, obesity, and environmentally friendly production, have become key areas of innovation studies.

Addressing these so-called ‘grand challenges’ requires technical innovation and R&D, and will require radical innovations and system transitions.

These could include:

  • New technologies such as wind turbines, battery-electric cars and bio-fuels
  • New supply chains and infrastructures such as decentralized electricity grids, battery charging infrastructures, and district heating systems
  • New markets and consumer practices
  • New regulations
  • New public debates around climate change, the acceptability of shale gas, nuclear power, and Carbon Capture Storage (CCS)

Our research builds links between evolutionary economics, innovation management, and science and technology studies. Research areas include:

  • Dynamics of long-term, large-scale transitions
  • Comparative studies of transitions
  • Sustainable consumption and production
  • Eco-innovation
  • Dynamics of societal problems and R&D and corporate political strategies

Research Theme Leader
Frank Geels

About us

The Manchester Institute of Innovation Research is a centre of excellence in the field of innovation studies, building on a 50-year tradition of innovation and science studies in Manchester.

Get in touch

  •  Postal Address: 
    Alliance Manchester Business School
    Booth Street West
    M15 6PB, UK

  • Email:

  • Phone: +44 (0) 161 306 1320

Follow Us