Bengt-Åke Lundvall

Professor, researcher on innovation


My message

  • Interactive Learning bringing Diverse Individuals together in Open and Generous Communication is the Key to Creativity and Innovation.
  • Not only are there free lunches in the learning economy: A knowledge sharing teamwork effort or a symposium is like a pot lock where there is more food on the table after than it was before the meal. And it might be just as fun!

What is most precious for me

An environment with:

  • Critical colleagues who are loyal friends
  • Serious people who can have fun together
  • Diverse people who appreciate the value of diversity
  • Competitive people who recognise the success of colleagues

Milestones in my life

Who influenced me

I was the youngest of six children, got a lot of love and attention from my parents and from my brothers and my sister. The late Lars Herlitz professor in economic history in Gothenburg, was a great scholar and one of my mentors. Christopher Freeman professor emeritus from Science Policy Research Unit and the founder of innovation research in Europe is one of my best friends. They are both outstanding scholars setting very high standards in terms of being generous to other scholars.

Decisive experiences and events which shaped the path of my life

When I moved to become a professor at Aalborg University 1973 I began a career that is still going on. The University always offered me good working conditions and nice colleagues and friends. When I worked at OECD in 1992-95 I learnt more about capitalism and politics than ever before. Teaching innovation policy to students in Beijing (2004-2006) and in Paris (2007-2008) was also a great learning experience.

What I like to do

I go to football to watch Aalborg Team. Living in other cultures is a great experience. I enjoy to go to the South of France in the summer. I read a lot of books.

Entrepreneurship, leadership

I have a tendency to take the lead when I am offered the opportunity to do so. I was one of the leaders of the student movement in Sweden. I coordinate the IKE research group established in 1976 at Aalborg university. I coordinated and built the DRUID research network 1995-2001. I initiated Globelics - the global network on innovation research in 2002.

My major achievements

Major achievements are on three fronts. The most important is perhaps my activity as network builder – both as entrepreneur and manager. The second is my contribution to the analytical understanding of innovation processes. The third is my work as teacher for new generations of scholars.

I am proud of the fact that against all odds I succeeded in building CICALICS – a network of the leading innovation scholars in China – and that this network is still working offering young Ph.D.s training. The invention and establishment of the global network of Globelics is my most important contribution to innovation research world-wide.

In the eighties I developed the idea of ‘Innovation as an interactive process’ as well as the concept ‘national innovation system’ in close interaction with Christopher Freeman (11, 12, 13). In the nineties I developed the concept ‘the learning economy’ in collaboration with Björn Johnson (21, 27, 28).

I have developed my own way of teaching based upon project work and intense interaction with students using the internet in combination with my lectures. It makes it quite fun both for the students and myself.

My publications - click here for the list

Contact me

My professional / business address
Bengt-Åke Lundvall
Department of Business Studies
Aalborg University
Fibigerstraede 4 9220 Aalborg OE

e-mail address

Use e-mail instead of phone!




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Logo: European Year of Creativity and Innovation 2009
Bengt-Åke Lundvall

Bengt-Åke Lundvall