In this paper, we propose a method for tracking the evolution of sociotechnical niches supported by sustainability-focused project portfolios. Based on social network analysis (SNA), this method can be used to evaluate and monitor funding initiatives that seek to advance sociotechnical transitions. It is an important area of study because there is currently a lack of tools for measuring the success of efforts to promote transformative innovation. Conceptually, our approach is based on existing sociotechnical transition research and offers insights into how project networks evolve. We applied this method to a specific portfolio of food system projects that the European Institute for Innovation and Technology Climate-KIC supported. Our results show that SNA can provide a proper visual representation of the infrastructure that supports programme-based investment and can help us understand how specific network structures can support niche development and protect it from external pressures.

Authors: Caetano C R Penna, Oscar Yandy Romero Goyeneche, Cristian Matti

Publication date: June 2023

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