Innovation in Food Systems

Course content

This course introduces you to concepts, frameworks and tools from innovation management, innovation systems and sustainability transitions. You will use these frameworks to understand and analyse complex problems in a food system context. You will learn about the organizational and broader societal contexts in which innovations and transitions take place, and how these contexts influence the innovation process.

Specific themes addressed in the course include: 1) inter- and intra-organizational innovation, 2) innovation systems, 3) sector characteristics of innovation, 4) diffusion and adoption of innovation, 5) sustainability transitions, and 6) innovation policy. Together tese themes are important for understanding how to tackle grand challenges, such as the transition towards sustainable food systems, which cut across organizational, sectorial, and geographical boundaries.


Msc Programme in Integrated Food Studies

Learning outcome

After participating in the course you will have acquired the following:


  • Know and understand theories of innovation systems, innovation processes, innovation management, innovation tensions, and socio-technical transitions.
  • Know and understand how different food systems, main actors and institutions influence innovation and transitions in food systems.



  • Ability to analyze and organize innovation processes considering the influence of societal context and organizational factors.
  • Ability to communicate, reflect on and discuss innovation challenges and expected outcomes.



  • Can manage complex innovation processes to suggest and implement food system-level changes.    
  • Can organize, participate in and lead interdisciplinary teamwork addressing food system challenges.

The course combines lectures, case presentations and group work. Student are divided into groups that will each identify an innovation case related to the food system, which will be used to reflect, apply and discuss the themes and frameworks covered in the course.

The course is designed to be highly interactive. Thus, feedback takes place during class through case presentation and feedback on group work.

It is recommended that students have a good understanding of alternative and mainstream food systems.

Continuous feedback during the course
Feedback by final exam (In addition to the grade)
Peer feedback (Students give each other feedback)
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written assignment, 5 days
Type of assessment details
The examination takes place through an individually written 10-page assignment in which the student is expected to apply and operationalize theories and concepts from syllabus in relation to an innovation case of own choice. In the assignment the student is expected to give a case-description guided by theories presented during the course, an analysis of the case's innovation challenges, and a discussion of possible improvement strategies/solutions. For these purposes, the student is expected to describe and operationalize some of the course's analytical perspectives.
All aids allowed
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
One internal examiner
Criteria for exam assessment

In order to obtain the grade 12 the student should convincingly and accurately demonstrate  the knowledge, skills and competences described under Learning  Outcome.

Single subject courses (day)

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 25
  • Preparation
  • 110
  • Practical exercises
  • 21
  • Project work
  • 15
  • Exam
  • 35
  • English
  • 206


Course number
7,5 ECTS
Programme level
Full Degree Master

1 block

Block 2
The number of seats may be reduced in the late registration period
Study Board of Food, Human Nutrition and Sports
Contracting department
  • Department of Food and Resource Economics
Contracting faculty
  • Faculty of Science
Course Coordinator
  • Teis Hansen   (11-76676b75306a6370756770426b687471306d7730666d)
Saved on the 11-08-2022

Are you BA- or KA-student?

Are you bachelor- or kandidat-student, then find the course in the course catalog for students:

Courseinformation of students