SPRU - Science Policy Research Unit

SPRU Training 2018

SPRU offers an annual training course with a different thematic focus each year. We also create bespoke courses with governmental and non-governmental organisations and collaborative research programmes as well as executive education programmes.

SPRU Training Course

Innovation Policy in a Changing Global Context
18–22 June 2018

This course was completed in June 2018. To be among the first to know about future SPRU Training opportunities, please email us: sprutraining@sussex.ac.uk
About this course

Innovation policies, at national and transnational levels, must respond to the many dramatic social, technological, environmental and geopolitical shifts across the globe. This five-day professional development course is an exciting opportunity to engage with a range of perspectives on this issue, as well as explore potential, practical solutions.

This course will enable you to: 

  • learn from leading international experts in science, technology and innovation policy studies
  • update your knowledge by engaging with key current debates in industrial policy, transformative innovation, emerging technologies and global challenges
  • share experiences and insights with international policymakers in your field.
Who is this course for?

This training course is designed for mid-career policy professionals working in government and non-government organisations with a focus on science, technology and innovation policy design, implementation and evaluation.


University of Sussex, Brighton, UK

Booking deadline

31 May 2018

Course fee

In this introductory year, we are offering an all-inclusive package of £2,999, which includes the following:

  • Transfers to and from London Gatwick airport
  • All course materials
  • Six nights’ accommodation with
  • Breakfast, lunch and five evening meals.


Accommodation is in university residences on campus, which allow easy and convenient access to the training venues. All rooms have en-suite bathrooms. Kitchen, dining room and lounge areas are shared with other course participants.

Recommended alternative accommodation in the city can be offered by request. There is an additional cost for booking alternative accommodation. We offer preferential rates with a selection of city-centre hotels, although these rates do not cover transport to and from the university campus for the training sessions.


The University of Sussex is located on the South Coast of England, on the outskirts of the popular city of Brighton and Hove, surrounded by the beauty of a national park. We are just an hour from London and 30 mins from Gatwick international airport.

See map and directions here: www.sussex.ac.uk/about/directions

Course overview

The course is hosted by SPRU, an internationally recognised research centre in the field of science and technology policy and management. Every session will be convened by SPRU faculty, leading critical thinkers and policy researchers, who will contribute their own new thinking on research policy, grassroots innovations, sectoral transformations and policy instruments.

During this course, you will have the opportunity to:

  • Update your knowledge of key debates
  • Gain fresh insights through engaging discussions and interactive group sessions with a peer-group of policymakers from around the world
  • Learn new skills through practical workshops
  • Take inspiration from a field visit that showcases research and innovation initiatives in context.

Tailor the course to follow your own sectoral interests by choosing from two sets of parallel sessions on:

  • ICTs and machine learning or Food and Agriculture
  • Medical biotechnology or Energy.

Also, choose between two interactive sessions on new tools for aiding innovation analysis and decision-making:

  • Data visualisation or Multi-criteria mapping.


Course schedule (click on the links for more information)

TimingsDay 1: IntroductionDay 2: Digging deeperDay 3: Grass- roots innovationsDay 4: Sectoral transformationsDay 5: Policy instruments
Morning Introduction Research policy and
innovation policy:
joining the dots

innovations and
community energy

Parallel sessions:
Inclusive innovation in agriculture


ICTs and machine learning


Morning Innovation policy for transformative

New approaches
to innovation for

Grassroots innovation and policy encounters 

Parallel sessions:

Financing Biomedical innovation



Experimentation and niche management for transformative change 

Afternoon The Fourth Industrial

Parallel sessions: 
Multi-Criteria Mapping 


Network analysis and data visualisation


Field visit:
Historic and
ongoing energy
Group work based on the morning sessions Final panel – selected SPRU faculty respond to questions from the participants
Afternoon Innovation

Parallel sessions continued Field visit, continued Group work, continued Conclusion
Evening Countryside walk, informal dinner  Free time Dinner on Brighton seafront  Free time  

Course faculty

SPRU is internationally recognised as a leading interdisciplinary research centre in the field of science and technology policy and management. Our academics are world-class researchers in their respected fields of study who pioneer new understandings and approaches in the governance of science, technology and innovation.

On this training course, the sessions will be led by the following faculty:

Johan Schot

Professor Johan Schot joined the University of Sussex as the Director of SPRU – Science Policy Research Unit - in January 2014. He is a Professor in the History of Technology and Sustainability Transitions Studies. His research is wide-ranging but has always focused on integrating social science and historical perspectives for a better understanding of the nature and governance of radical socio-technical change.  Prior to coming to Sussex, he held academic posts at the Eindhoven University of Technology and University of Twente, Netherlands. Under Johan’s directorship, SPRU is embarking on an ambitious, new strategy to expand and build on its impressive track record across research, teaching, impact and engagement.

Ed Steinmueller

Professor Ed Steinmueller has been Professorial fellow at SPRU since 1997. He began his studies in the areas of computer science, mathematics, economics, and Chinese language and history at the University of Oregon and Stanford University. At Stanford (1974-1994), he was engaged in teaching, research, consulting while being a Deputy Director of what is now the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research. He was selected for a chair at MERIT at the University of Maastricht, The Netherlands where he developed a Doctoral training school prior to coming to SPRU. He is internationally known for his work on the integrated circuit, computer, telecommunication, and software industries and is a policy consultant in areas of industrial policy and high technology competition such as intellectual property rights, competition policy and standardisation.

Joanna Chataway

Professor Joanna Chataway has a background in international development and innovation policy, working in high, middle and low income country contexts and across various sectors. However, in recent years her focus areas have been health innovation and inclusive innovation. More broadly, she is keen to further analysis of the political economy of science, technology and innovation policy with the overall aim of making a contribution to evidence and thought concerning the ways in which science, technology and innovation address the health, economic and social needs of low and middle income groups in different contexts.

Andy Stirling

Professor Andy Stirling is formerly Research Director for SPRU (2006-13) and the Sussex Management School (2009-2012), Andy's current work involves research and postgraduate teaching on democracy and sustainability in science and technology. Among many projects, he co-directs the ESRC-funded joint IDS-SPRU STEPS Centre, is Deputy Director for the DEFRA-funded joint Surrey-Sussex Research Group on Sustainable Lifestyles, and the Director of a spin-off University Enterprise on Multicriteria Mapping. A longstanding member of the Sussex Energy Group, he is SPRU PI for collaborative initiatives on governance of climate geoengineering and the discontinuing of technological systems. Andy is also involved in projects on reframing general concepts of security, understanding energy security, mapping science systems and exploring 'responsible innovation'. Andy serves on the Research Committee of the ESRC and on editorial boards for the Journal of Risk Research, Minerva, Nature EMBO Reports, Technology Analysis and Strategic Management and Environmental Innovation and Societal Transition.

Jordi Molas Gallart

Professor Jordi Molas Gallart was trained as an economist and has twenty years' experience as an analyst of technological change and technology policy. He holds a "Licenciatura" in Economics from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, an MA in International Relations from the School of Advanced International Studies of the Johns Hopkins University, and obtained a DPhil from SPRU at the University of Sussex with a dissertation on the relationship between military production and technological innovation. He was a Fellow at the Department of Politics of the University of Glasgow (1989-1991) and worked at SPRU between 1991 and 2005, first as a Research Fellow, and afterwards as a Senior Fellow and a Senior Lecturer. He has also been an invited lecturer at the universities of Sussex, Santiago de Compostela, Salamanca, Girona, Gabrielle d’Annuzio (Pescara), Complutense de Madrid, and Carlos III (Madrid) among others.

Adrian Ely

Dr Adrian Ely's work investigates the role of science, technology and innovation in sustainable development, in particular within the energy and agri-food sectors. This is combined with a specific interest in emerging biotechnologies and the role of technology assessment and foresight in their governance. Adrian has been at Sussex since 2000, when he started in the School of Life Sciences as a postgraduate student. His PhD thesis examined the comparative regulation of transgenic crops which led to research fellowships within the the European Commission FP6-funded integrated project "Safe Foods" which focussed on European food safety governance and subsequently within the STEPS Centre. Since 2006, Adrian has been a member and recently the deputy director of the ESRC STEPS Centre, for which he leads on engagement with SDGs processes. He currently acts as co-convenor of the 'Pathways to Sustainability' network, collaborating with 8 partners across Europe, Africa, Asia and the Americas.

Matias Ramirez

Dr Matias Ramirez is a Senior Lecturer at the Science Policy Research Unit. Much of his current research activity is related to innovation policy in Latin America where he is coordinating a project funded by the Colombian department of science and technology (Colciencias) on transformative innovation policy. After ten years living in Chile working as a freelance journalist, he studied undergraduate economics at University College London as a mature student and from there went straight on to PhD studies at the Manchester School of Mangement, UMIST (now merged with the University of Manchester), where he looked at the relationship between work organisation and innovation in the telecommunications sector. He then worked as a researcher at Birkbeck College on two projects, the first was an FP7 project related to the impact of globalisation on employment, the second a cross-country comparative study of management training and development in Europe funded by the European Leonardo fund. He was hired as a lecturer at Brunel University where he worked between 2003-2007 and led an ESRC project on labour markets, knowledge transfer and innovation in the Zhongguancun science park. In 2007, Matias joined SPRU at the University of Sussex. His research interests combine topics of knowledge and organisations, but have more recently moved towards questions of Science and Technology Policy in Latin America where he has researched on the relationship between networks and knowledge in agribusiness. Matias' current work is as part of the transformative innovation policy consortium with a focus on Colombia and Mexico.

Gordon Mackerron

Prof. Gordon MacKerron was Director of SPRU from 2008 until the end of 2013 and is now Professor of Science and Technology Policy . He was previously Director of the Sussex Energy Group at SPRU from April 2005 to November 2008. Prior to this, he spent four years as Associate Director, NERA Economic Consulting, London and had an earlier career for over 20 years at SPRU.  He is an economist specialising in energy and environmental economics, with degrees in economics from the Universities of Cambridge and Sussex.  His academic career has specialised in the economics and policy issues of electricity and especially nuclear power, in which he has published and broadcast widely.   He has frequently been Specialist Adviser or invited witness before House of Commons Select Committee inquiries on energy subjects.   From June to December 2001 he was on secondment to the PIU, Cabinet Office, as Deputy leader of the UK Government's Energy Review team.  He has subsequently assisted the UK Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in its consultation process leading up to a major Energy White Paper released in February 2003 and subsequently advised DTI on security of supply and low carbon technology strategies.  Professor MacKerron has also been the expert witness on economic issues for the Irish Government in its two international court cases on the subject of Sellafield before the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague in 2002 and 2003.   Professor MacKerron chaired the Energy Panel, DTI/OST Technology Foresight Programme (1995-98). Between 2003 and 2007 he was Chair of the Committee on Radioactive Waste Management, an independent body charged with recommending the best approach to long-term radioactive waste management to the UK Government.  He was a member of the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution from 2009 until its demise in 2011.  He was a Visting Exchange Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton University in 2014, working on proliferation issus surounding the growth in civilain nuclear power around the world.

Mari Martiskainen

Dr Mari Martiskainen is a social scientist with a specific interest in the transition to a more fair, clean and sustainable energy world. Her research centres around energy policy, with specific focus on the issues of developing low energy housing, addressing energy poverty and promoting renewable energy. Dr Martiskainen has worked with a range of conceptual approaches, including sustainability transitions, innovation intermediation, user innovation, power and politics. Dr Martiskainen has authored several articles in journals such as Energy Research & Social Science, Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions and Environment and Planning A. She has written book chapters, conference proceedings and invited blog posts. She is a reviewer for several international journals, including Energy Research and Social Science, Energy Policy and Journal of European Social Policy. Dr Martiskainen presents her research regularly to a range of audiences, including international conferences.