Next workshop:
17 January 2018

In UNU-MERIT, we study the evolutionary processes that are pushing the knowledge frontiers of science, their transformation into technology and innovation by entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs, and their impact on society. New science, technology and innovation may have the potential to address a sustainable development challenge – as given by the sustainable development goals (SDGs). At the same time, the solution design for one SDG may generate challenges for another SDG. Some new technologies and innovations may even trigger controversy with respect to the externalities they may generate or the risks they pose. In this context, governance is key to harnessing the potential of science, technology and innovation for societal welfare.

As researchers, we usually draw inspiration from secondary sources of information on what is happening in the world and the existing scientific literature.  This could be because we do not often get an opportunity to interact with non-academics or be part of the process of societal change – with the exception of the academic context. To address this missed opportunity, the objective of this workshop series is to initiate dialogue between students, researchers and other community stakeholders of the local innovation eco-system.

The city of Maastricht, the Limburg region and the Netherlands are home to vibrant scientists, entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs.  They are introducing innovations in the form of new products, designs, organizational routines, governance routines, novel institutions, improved quality in the preceding entities etc.  Associated with these innovations are technologies, i.e. practical applications of science that are integrated in the innovations.

In this workshop series, academics and other local actors working on commercial applications, entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs will present their work, explain the science and technology that makes up their innovation and the parameters and dynamics of the system that promotes or obstructs their progress. They will also present any puzzles that may be worth studying by the academic community.  The focus will be on technologies and innovations that contribute to inclusive economic development, i.e. which improve the quality of our lives, contribute to empowerment of marginalized groups, preserve the environment and/or mitigate climate change.