The thesis is a comparative study on the role of learning in innovation processes within the emerging hydrogen technological systems in Denmark and Norway. The systemic perspective on innovation has been utilized as an analytical framework in order to be able to deconstruct the concept of learning and develop a better understanding of the role of learning and innovation in its social, institutional and cultural context. This context is path dependent, and therefore country-specific. The comparative approach highlights differences and identifies strengths and weaknesses of the emerging hydrogen technological systems.
Differing scenarios of the hydrogen economy, cognitive schemes and innovation modes characterized either by learning by doing, using or interacting (DUI-mode) or science and technology innovation (STI-mode) were identified as powerful steering mechanisms, shapinglearning and innovation efforts. These were largely path dependent; therefore it is argued that it is imperative for actors to develop a conscious learning and innovation strategy that is informed by, and aware of, the institutional context. The ability to mindfully deviate from path dependent factors was identified as promoting path creation and avoiding premature technological lock-in.
The technological specificity of the challenges confronting the emerging hydrogen technological systems motivates both the DUI- and STI-modes of innovation and learning. However, the STI-mode needs to be connected proactively to cooperative and interactive learning processes at an early stage in order to be confronted with the multiple requirements of users, producers, regulators and evaluators. This insight motivated the construction of a new model for innovation within fuel cells and related hydrogen technology and is based on the find that the composition of learning strategies is a very significant factor explaining the success of innovative efforts within the emerging hydrogen technological systems in Denmark and Norway.