Rune Dahl Fitjar

Professor of Innovation Studies
UiS Business School
Centre for Innovation Research
University of Stavanger
N-4036 Stavanger

Tel.: (+47) 51 83 15 62

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I am Professor of Innovation Studies at the University of Stavanger Business School, a position that I have held since 1 September 2013. I am affiliated with the Centre for Innovation Research, which is a joint venture between the University of Stavanger and the International Research Institute of Stavanger (IRIS), where I also hold a part-time position.

I trained as a political scientist in Bergen and at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), gaining my PhD in Government from LSE in 2007. My thesis was on the drivers of regionalism in Western Europe, and it sought to explain variation in regionalism both across space - using a quantitative analysis across 212 regions - and across time - examining the development of regionalism in Scotland and Rogaland over 40 years. It has since been turned into a book, which was published by Routledge in 2009.

In recent years, my work has continued to focus on different aspects of regions. In 2007, I joined IRIS. During the 2011/2012 academic year, I was a visiting scholar at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs.

My research deals with different aspects of regions, in recent years mostly related to regional innovation.

I coordinate The Role of Universities in Innovation and Regional Development (RUNIN), a Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions Innovative Training Network for 14 PhD students enrolled at 7 universities across Europe. See this link for a short summary.

I also hold a Toppforsk-UiS grant, where we examine how regional institutions and networks affect innovation in firms.

I recently completed two large research projects in the VRI programme at the Research Council of Norway. My past research has also included studies of regional identity (e.g. in the context of the petroleum industry in Northern Norway), as well as regional policy-making, both in Norway's relationship with the EU (e.g. through inter-regional networks in the EU, and in an evaluation of the Stavanger region as European Capital of Culture) and in the domestic context (examining the distribution of powers between the central and regional governments in Norway). I also participated in a project on corporate social responsibility in the clothing sector. Findings from these projects are available in the Publications and Working Papers sections on this website.

I am the chair of the Geography of Innovation Conference 2020, which will be held in Stavanger from 29 to 31 January. I also chaired the Regional Innovation Policies Conference 2014 in Stavanger and currently chair the scientific committee for the Regional Innovation Policies conference series. From 2019 to 2023, I am a member of the Research Council of Norway's portfolio board for industry and services.

I currently supervise five PhD students: Nina Hjertvikrem writes her thesis on the geography of innovation networks. Silje Haus-Reve researches how regional institutions affect firm innovation, using micro-level data. Jonathan Muringani examines how regional quality of government and political authority affect economic growth. Utku Ali Riza Alpaydin works on the role of geographical and non-geographical proximity in university-industry collaboration. Kwadwo Atta-Owusu studies how academics manage international scientific networks and regional industry networks. My first PhD student, Marte Cecilie Wilhelmsen Solheim successfully defended her thesis in January 2017.

I teach Perspectives on Innovation and coordinate the Business Innovation profile in the Master's in Economics and Management at the UiS Business School

In 2014, I was awarded the Lyse Research Prize, which recognizes excellence in research at the University of Stavanger. In 2012, I won the Stavanger Forum Prize for Communication of Research for actively presenting my findings both to an academic and a public audience. In 2019, I was awarded Region Stavanger's Ambassador Prizefor attracting academic conferences to the region.

Research Interests
Regionalism, regional development, innovation, regional identity, comparative politics, European politics

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