The IKE Group was established in 1977 and gradually evolved into a long-term research program in innovation and industrial dynamics. The focus of the research group is on innovation, knowledge and economic dynamics at different levels of aggregation: the firm level, the industry level, the macro level, and different geographic levels of aggregation.
Common for the approach to research is that economic development is seen as knowledge driven and that knowledge creation and innovation are seen as reflecting processes of interactive learning within systemic frameworks. These contextual features of different sectors, geographical localities and firms – as well as the institutions within them defining the rules, norms and behaviours of actors - are seen as decisive for an appropriate understanding of how innovation is developed, disseminated and used in the economy. The context, or innovation system, is viewed broadly, thus spanning wider than the traditional triple helix model.
The IKE group has made major contributions to show that concepts like especially the innovation system and the learning economy are useful to understand innovation dynamics. Thus, IKE researchers work in the interplay between evolutionary economics, industrial dynamics, innovation and entrepreneurship/small firm development.
Several IKE-members are actively engaged in policy discussions and take part in different phases of policy making processes. Members of IKE have various teaching obligations and work on developing current and new study programmes. To highlight one, IKE has established a master education in Innovation, Knowledge, and entrepreneurial/economic dynamics. The IKE Group is also involved in internal and external PhD training. The teaching programmes and PhD educations are continuously being updated and maintained regarding teaching methods and content, and adhere to the problem-based learning model.
IKE and Scholars from Copenhagen Business School (CBS) and University of Southern Denmark (SDU) are core partners in the Danish Research Unit of Industrial Dynamics (DRUID), which organizes two major conferences: the leading European PhD conference in management and innovation that attracts students from Europe and beyond as well as the leading academic conference in innovation and industrial dynamics. In addition to the two annual DRUID conferences, the group organizes a yearly Lundvall-symposium in which invited scholars discuss thematic issues in innovation studies. The IKE group also organizes a series of IKE-seminars. The seminar series is open to all interested parties. International speakers are also invited to give a seminar. The purposes of the seminar series are to enhance research quality and publication by giving PhD students and senior researchers a possibility to present work in progress and get feedback; to inform about individual research strategies and how current work relates to this; to give room for a discussion of common themes; and to give invited guests a chance to present their work.
In recent years the IKE Group has been the main architect behind GLOBELICS - a global network of scholars who apply the concept of 'Learning, Innovation, and Competence Building System' (LICS) as their analytical framework. The network is especially dedicated to the strengthening of LICS in the developing countries. As part of this effort, the IKE group hosts the AfricaLics PhD Visiting Fellowship programme and contributes to research capacity development in the AfricaLics network. The IKE group also hosts the secretariat of Eurolics.
In 2013 a new Centre for Impact Analyses of Investments in Knowledge and Technology (IMPAKT) was established in connection to IKE. The centre conducts research on and analyses of the effects and broader socio-economic impacts of investments in knowledge, technology and innovation.
Additionally, the IKE group has a long tradition of interaction with leading universities from all over the world. Every year several scholars visit the IKE group for shorter or longer research stays and members of the IKE group are often invited to stay at foreign universities.
The group also maintains a web page, Innoresource, which is – as the name indicates – a place for gathering key information on innovation studies.
The management is pursued by a coordinator (Associate Professor Jesper Lindgaard Christensen) assisted by a small committee who aot. prepare IKE admin meetings where management issues are raised. In addition to the admin meetings, there is a yearly two day strategy seminar in mid-august. The IKE group strive to at all times be an attractive workplace for all by providing a supportive and friendly work environment that allows its members to continuously improve their services, research and teaching.