Workshop: "The impacts of digital transformation on innovation across sectors"


21 - 22 September 2017, London, Digital Catapult Centre



The TIP Project on Digital and Open Innovation      

Digital transformation is affecting the entire economy in multiple ways: new business models are emerging, firms modify how they engage in innovation processes, and capabilities at the heart of firms’ activities are rapidly changing. This offers both opportunities and challenges for different actors in innovation ecosystems.

Such changes raise fundamental questions for policy: “What is the role of innovation policies in the digital transformation?”. Addressing this question is the objective of the OECD TIP project on Digital and Open Innovation (2017-18). Answering this question also requires understanding the new forms of innovation arising across and within sectors, and how these affect different actors (e.g. SMEs); as well as the characteristics of collaboration for innovation between industry and public research at local, national and global levels emerging in the new context. 

Agenda (PDF)


Summary of discussions


Objectives of the workshop


This workshop provided inputs to the TIP Digital and Open Innovation project by offering insights on: 

  • The changes in business models and innovation dynamics across sectors, and their impacts on different actors;
  • The role of technology intermediaries in technology development and diffusion;
  • The framework conditions and policy instruments needed to develop vibrant innovative ecosystems; and
  • The role of smart cities in the new context, and their impacts on territorial inclusiveness.


Thursday, 21 September

9h30 - 10h00: Opening & Introduction to the workshop

  • Welcoming from organisers 
  • Introduction to the workshop and objectives
  • Tour de table
  • Q&A

10h00 - 10h30: Initiatives in support of the digital transformation of the economy in the UK

  • Presentation on public support to the digital transformation in the UK, incl. specifically activities of Digital Catapult
  • Q&A

10h30 - 12h00: Panel 1 - New business models and innovation dynamics across sectors

Questions addressed by the panel:

  • What are new business models across sectors ranging from services to manufacturing? 
  • What are challenges and opportunities for different actors within those sectors, notably SMEs?
  • What are impacts on innovation processes, including in particular new forms of collaborations?


Chair: Dominique Guellec, Head of Division, Directorate for Science, Technology and Innovation, OECD


  • Prof. Tim Vorley, Associate Dean Impact, Innovation & Engagement, Sheffield University Management School 
  • Alistair Nolan, Senior Policy Analyst, Directorate for Science, Technology and Innovation, OECD
  • Prof. Margherita Russo, Professor of Economic Policy, Università degli Studi di Modena e Reggio Emilia, Italy
  • Dr. Zsolt Szalay, Associate Professor and Head of the Department of Automotive Technologies, Budapest University of Technology and Economics (BME), Hungary
  • Charles Carter, Senior Intelligent Mobility Specialist, Transport Systems Catapult


Conceptual framework to compare business model changes and their implications on innovation

12h00 – 13h00: Lunch break

14h30 – 15h00: Coffee break

15h00-16h30: Panel 3 - Policies for technology development, diffusion & collaboration: What facilitates digital transformation?

Questions addressed by the panel:

  • How can public research institutions best support the digital transformation? 
  • What are examples of public-sector-led technology development for the digital transformation? Why were those developments not done by the private sector? How did they take on board multi-disciplinarity?
  • What programmes best facilitate technology diffusion? What are the challenges and obstacles to successfully implement those policies?


Chair: Caroline Paunov, Senior Economist, Directorate for Science, Technology and Innovation, OECD

Lead intervention: 

  • Tera Allas, Senior Fellow, McKinsey


  • Peter Leihn, Business Development and Commercial Director, Data 61, Australia
  • Joe Scarboro,  Founder of Touchpaper, Co-founder of 3beards & Unicorn Hunt  
  • Jerry Sheehan, Chair of the TIP Working Party and Assistant Director for Policy Development, National Library of Medicine, NIH, United States [by WebEx]
  • Christopher Haley, Head of New Technology and Startup Research, Nesta

16h30 - 18h00: Immersive Lab

Friday, 22 September

9h00 –11h00 : Panel 4 - What policy instruments are needed to develop vibrant innovative eco-systems?

Questions addressed by the panel:

  • What specific challenges should public policy address to enable the context of digital transformation?
  • What are implications of different impacts across sectors, firms and geographic spaces on most suitable instruments at regional and national levels? 
  • What are business perspectives on the policy instruments needed in the context of digital transformation?


Chair: David Legg, Lead Specialist for Evaluation and Evidence, Innovate UK

Lead intervention:

  • Prof. Jonathan Haskel, Professor of Economics, Imperial College London


  • Wolfgang Crasemann, Head of Unit: Innovation Policy, Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, Germany
  • Felicity Burch, Head of Innovation and Digital, Confederation of British Industry (CBI), UK
  • Roland Sommer, Managing Director, Platform Industry 4.0, Austria
  • Marnix Surgeon, Deputy Head of Unit, European Commission
  • Tim Page, Senior Policy Officer, Economic and Social Affairs Department Trade Union Congress (TUC), UK

11h30 – 12h15: Wrap up and final discussions

12h15 – 13h00: Lunch break

13h00 – 15h00: Discussions of the TIP Steering Group

  • Project terms of reference (TOR) following the June TIP Meeting 
  • Integration of inclusiveness and SDG-related policy objectives to the project
  • Case studies: deciding on themes and templates & current proposals following the Venice discussions
  • Next steps


Practical information

The workshop will be held at the Digital Catapult Centre (London). A list of hotels nearby can be found here.

Digital Catapult Centre

101 Euston Road is located on the south side of Euston Road directly opposite The British Library, between King’s Cross St Pancras and Euston stations. The building is a few minutes walk away from both stations.

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