Public Intermediaries as Key Facilitators of Diffusion (Management Project)

Diffusion of renewable energy technologies(RETs) is an important challenge of the current century. Much of the existing research has put a focus on understanding the diffusion of RETs through the perspective of systems of innovation. However, two recent studies highlight the importance of the actors in the process- those who adopt the RETs.

With the current study we continue this factor perspective by focusing on the adoption process as the driver of the mass diffusion. We bring together the two streams of diffusion of innovation and innovation intermediaries in a thesis that aims to show how comprehending the single adoption process and providing support to the adopters at every singlephase of it can facilitate diffusion.

Our focus is fully on public intermediaries. We show that public innovation intermediaries known in research for their support for the innovation system have an unexplored facet i.e. that of supporters at the adopter level. The thesis contributes to previous literature showing that public intermediaries are the supporters of adopters of RETs at the very beginning of the process which was currently unexplored.

Moreover, we demonstrate that public intermediaries are present in the later phases of the adoption process as well being their impartiality a main advantage in comparison to private intermediaries. The study reveals two key roles of public intermediaries in the preadoption phase of the process and four roles in the implementation phase.

To complete the research we use qualitative methods and particularly grounded theory methodology for data collection and analysis. Data is collected throughface-to-face long interviews with six public and/or non-profit intermediaries located in the Swedish county, Ostergotland. The study brings about the recognition of public intermediaries as direct supporters of adopters of RETs in practice, offers ways of rethinking the existing policies in order to speed up diffusion of RETs and expands the arena for further research with focus on the interaction between intermediaries and adopters.
Source: Linköping University
Authors: Andreeva, Radostina | Glaa, Besma

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