Introduction The dynamics of economic life is not of a simple and linear but of a complex nature, Nikolai Kondratieff noted when he detected that economic development in capitalist economies is characterized by ‘long waves’ of approximately fifty years’ length. His suggestion that these waves are likely to be linked to technological change was taken up by Joseph Schumpeter who endogenized technical change in a theory of economic development. Neo-Schumpeterian economists refined this idea, many of them emphasizing the key role of institutional change for innovation and diffusion of new technologies that drive the dynamics of the long wave. Each wave is historically unique and driven by the diffusion of specific clusters of technologies, and the related political and institutional change has shaped socio-economic development in each individual historical epoch differently. The dynamics of long waves, however, is characterized by patterns and regularities of how technologies are diffused, and how and under what conditions this process brings about fundamental change in the economy. Thus, there is the question of how this relates with government policies – be it to induce techno-scientific progress as a basis for new technologies or be it how to adapt to the newly emerging technologies and the related organizational change.