Branching innovations refer to technological improvements along a particular path, while recombinant innovations represent fusions of multiple paths. Recombinant innovations create “short-cuts” which reduce switching costs allowing agents to escape a technological lock-in. As a result, recombinant innovations speed up technological progress allowing transitions that are impossible with only branching innovations.
(Frenkena et al. 2012:25)
Frenkena, K. ,Izquierdo, L. and Zeppini, P. 2012. Branching innovation, recombinant innovation, and endogenous technological transitions. Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions, Vol. 4, pp.25—35