Eu-SPRI Mini Course

This course for 2020 offers state-of-the-art training in the study of science and innovation policy and supporting disciplines for early-career scholars and professionals.

About the course

This Mini Course aims at providing doctoral students, early-career researchers and professionals with an intensive training, focused on the intersection between innovation theory and scenario analysis.

Six lectures will explore how trends unfolding in different domains – environment, policy/institutional, economy/production – might lead to alternative futures and evolve under novel socio-techno-economic paradigms.

This type of exercise has two main objectives:

  • to invite scholars to think about the impact of technological change over the longue durée (and therefore to develop research questions and projects of broad scope and ambition)
  • to induce a discussion about the multilevel nature of the impacts that (innovation) policies can produce, influencing not just short-term incentives (for example, the rate and direction of innovative activities), but also more slowly-changing but deeper patterns rooted in culture, institutional evolution and distribution of power.


Theme:Technology, Policy and Pathways to Possible Worlds: Imagining Year 2050 Now

Where: Online (Zoom)

When: 3 December 2020, 10am-6pm

Organisers: SPRU – Science Policy Research Unit and Eu-SPRI – European Forum for Studies of Policies for Research and Innovation

Registration deadline: 9 November 2020

Places confirmed: 16 November 2020

Conditions of participation

Participation is free, but the maximum number of attendees is 60. To reserve a place, register using the form below.

Participation is granted on the basis of a ‘first come (register), first served’ policy; however, given that the target audience of the event are young and early-career researchers, we set a priority rule: places will be assigned in the following order: doctoral candidates, post-doctoral researchers, lecturers, senior lecturers/professors.

Registration does not guarantee a place on this Mini Course – you will need to wait for a confirmation email to be sure you have a place.

  • Programme
    Thursday 3 December schedule
    10:00 - 10:15

    Welcome Session:

    • Introduction to the Mini Course (Ed Steinmueller and Simone Vannuccini, Course Directors)
    • A Welcome from the SPRU Director, Jeremy K. Hall
    Session I: Clues on Possible Futures
    10:15 - 10:45

    Lecture 1: Data Value, Data Rights and Data Governance

    Maria Savona (SPRU)

    10:45 - 11:00 Lecture 1: plenary Q&A
    11:00 - 11:30

    Lecture 2: Democracy or Disorder? The Far Reaching Implications of Decentralised Energy Transitions

    Marie Claire Brisbois (SPRU)

    11:30 - 11:45 Lecture 2: plenary Q&A
    11:45 - 12:15 Lectures 1 & 2 Zoom breakout rooms
    12:15 - 13:00 (Virtual) Lunch break & networking
    Session II: Pathways to Possible Futures
    13:00 - 13:30

    Lecture 3: Mapping the Past to Inform Future Policies through Text Mining

    Frederique Bone (SPRU)

    13:30 - 13:45 Lecture 3: plenary Q&A
    13:45 - 14:15

    Lecture 4: Experimentation, Scale and Catalytic Change in STI Policy: Designing Institutions for a ‘Cyber-physical Universe’

    Simone Vannuccini (SPRU)

    14:15 – 14:30 Lecture 4: plenary Q&A
    14:30 - 15:00 Lectures 3 & 4 Zoom breakout rooms
    15:00 - 15:30 (Virtual) Coffee Break & networking
    Session III: Scenarios from the Possible Futures

    Lecture 5: Four Worlds in 2050: Alternatives for a Sustainable Future?

    Ed Steinmueller (SPRU)


    Lecture 5: plenary Q&A


    Lecture 6: Post-Automation in the Making

    Adrian Smith (SPRU)

    16:45 – 17:00 Lecture 6: plenary Q&A
    17:00 – 17:30 Lectures 5 & 6 Zoom breakout rooms
    17:30 – 18:00

    Close of the event: Adrian Ely (SPRU)

    Clues, pathways, scenarios and policies: How do we get where?

  • Lecturer biographies

    Marie Claire Brisbois is a Lecturer in Energy Policy at SPRU, Co-Director of the Sussex Energy Group and Director of the Energy Policy MSc (online). Her work examines questions of power, politics and influence in energy, water and climate governance contexts. She also works on broader issues of social change and public participation in low carbon transitions. Marie Claire currently runs the Powershifts project, examining the potential of distributed renewable energy models to disrupt established political patterns. This project was initiated through a European Commission Horizon 2020 Marie Curie Research Fellowship at the Copernicus Institute for Sustainable Development at Utrecht University in the Netherlands. She also leads a work package for the H2020 CINTRAN project examining the coping strategies of people experiencing direct impacts of coal phase outs, and how elite power plays out in these contexts. Her other research activities include participatory and collaborative environmental governance, the military and security implications of energy transitions, and science communications through both citizen science and open data. In the past, Marie Claire held a Mitacs Canadian Science Policy Fellowship examining the optimisation of scientific knowledge within environmental assessments at Natural Resources Canada. She also held a position as an Adjunct Professor in the School of Environment, Resources and Sustainability at the University of Waterloo in Canada.

    Frederique Bone is Research Fellow at SPRU, Science Policy Research Unit at the Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU), University of Sussex (UK). She has been working on biotech innovation for 8 years. She has focused on the development of innovative biotech research projects through academic entrepreneurship during her PhD at BETA in the University of Strasbourg. After her PhD, she has worked on an MRC research project looking at new ways of evaluating translational research projects, where the DARE (Diversity Approach for Research Evaluation) was developed. She has been working on a variety of topics covering Research dynamics, technological change in the biomedical sector and more recently Artificial Intelligence. She is now working on three projects. The first project aims at understand how researcher work within diverse teams. The second project aims at tracing mass production using newspaper and magazine articles from particular source over a period of 150 years. The third one aims at understanding technological trends in the development of diagnostics in three areas of cancer: colorectal, lung and prostate cancer. Her main interests lies in research evaluation using both scientometric and qualitative methods (independently or as a mix) as well as technological and firms dynamics in the biomedical sectors. She is convening an interest group within the School on the impact Artificial Intelligence to business practices and policies.

    Adrian Ely is a Reader in Technology and Sustainability at SPRU – Science Policy Research Unit at the University of Sussex. He has been researching the role of science, technology and innovation in sustainable development for twenty years most recently as a member of the ESRC STEPS (Social, Technological and Environmental Pathways to Sustainability) Centre. He currently co-leads the international ‘Pathways to Sustainability’ Transformative Knowledge Network, which works with academic and non-academic partners on sustainability challenges across four continents. Adrian’s engagement work stretches from local (advising on Brighton and Hove’s food strategy) to global levels (advising the United Nations Commission on Science and Technology for Development). His primary area of interest is the regulation and governance of biotechnology, in which he largely adopts an international and comparative approach, having published on the different policy frameworks that have been adopted in the USA, EU and China.

    Maria Savona is Professor of Innovation and Evolutionary Economics at SPRU, Science Policy Research Unit at the University of Sussex, UK and Professor of Applied Economics at the Department of Economics and Finance at LUISS University, Rome. She was previously at the University of Cambridge, UK, Universities of Strasbourg and Lille 1, France. Her research focuses on the economics of innovation; the effects of technical change on employment and wage inequality; the structural change of the sectoral composition of economies, particularly the emergence of global value chains in services; economics and policy of innovation in services; barriers to innovation and innovation failures. More recently, she is interested in the governance of data and policies to redistribute data-value. She has led and co-led grants funded by the Greater London Authority, Economic and Social Research Council, Joseph Rowntree Foundation, EC H2020, IDRC. She has advised the IADB; ECLAC; UN ESCAP; OECD; NESTA; BEIS, DETI. She is an Editor for Research Policy; AE for the Journal of Evolutionary Economics and Economia Politica. She is an Academic Member of the ESRC Peer Review College and has served in evaluation panels for the EC, National Research Councils of Canada, Finland, Luxembourg, Italy, Norway, UK, US. She is a former member of the High Level Expert Group on the Impact of Digital Transformation on EU Labour Markets for the European Commission.

    Adrian Smith is a Research Professor in Technology & Society at the Science Policy Research Unit at Sussex University. Over the years, he has worked on a wide range of projects and topics, but always trying to analyse the politics through which innovative activity might contribute to sustainable developments rather than undermine them. Projects are typically funded by a variety of academic, government and civil society organisations, and involve empirical studies covering local through national to international scales in a variety of sectors, mostly in Europe and Latin America

    Ed Steinmueller is an economist who received his PhD from Stanford University in 1987. His professional life has been divided between the US and Europe and between three institutions – Stanford, Maastricht University and SPRU at the University of Sussex. Throughout his career he has analysed the interaction between society and information and communication technologies. However, he has broad range of interests in other technologies and industries stemming from a persistent curiosity about knowledge, technique and organisation interact to create new market structures and transform human activities. Throughout his career, he has also been engaged with questions of policy – including regulation – as it pertains to science, industrial policy, and social well-being. In recent years he has been deeply involved with efforts to imagine new approaches to science, technology and social action that would support a transition toward a more environmentally and economically sustainable world, principally through the Transformative Innovation Policy Consortium and Deep Transitions Project initiated at SPRU.

    Simone Vannuccini is Lecturer in the Economics of Innovation at the Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU), University of Sussex (UK). He co-convenes the Research Mobilisation Group on Artificial Intelligence, is the Deputy Director of the Future of Work Hub, and the convenor of the SPRU Freeman Seminars. He is also an Associated Fellow of the Graduate College ‘The Economics of Innovative Change’, Friedrich Schiller University Jena (Germany) and has been Adjunct Professor of Economics of Innovation at the University of Insubria (Italy), where currently is a Faculty Board Member of the PhD Program in Methods and Models for Economic Decisions. He also collaborates with the Center for Studies on Federalism in Turin (Italy). Before joining SPRU in 2018, he has been working as Research Fellow (Post-doc) at the Friedrich Schiller University Jena (Germany), where he also obtained his PhD in a joint programme with the Max Planck Institute of Economics. Dr Vannuccini’s research focuses on microeconomics of innovation and more precisely on the ‘regular irregularities’ of technical change: in particular, he studied the nature of ‘general-purpose technologies’ and their impact on industrial dynamics. More recently, he is working on the economics of artificial intelligence and in particular, on the current AI-driven trajectories in the semiconductor industry; further ongoing themes of interest are the general-purposeness of AI, the economics of digitalisation and the industrial organisation of multi-sided platforms, and the modelling of industry life-cycles.

Registration form

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