Economics of Innovation

Course Description:

The course aims at providing an introduction to the main theoretical and empirical issues surrounding the economic analysis of innovation. In particular, the course will discuss how innovation emerges in modern economies and how it interacts with the dynamics and evolution of industries. The course will examine alternative ways of conceptualising innovation; the sources and procedures of innovation; the relationship between market structure and innovation; the trade-offs and dilemmas in terms of strategy and social welfare which characterise innovative environments. This course was conceived as an introductory course to students with a limited background in the innovation studies tradition. It uses simple microeconomic and industrial organisation models as well as empirical and historical evidence on the evolution of industries and case studies. The course will offer online lectures, online discussion boards, assignments, weekly tutorial meetings to discuss readings and assignments, and an oral exam at the end of the course. 

Learning Goals:

  • To acquire the basic terminology necessary to discuss, in a consistent and rigorous way, innovation issues;
  • To understand the role that innovation and technical change play in shaping competitiveness and industrial change;
  • To recognise sector-level specificities in the sources of innovation, and their consequences for practice and policy;
  • To recognise the systemic nature of the innovative process.


A MSc or MA degree (or equivalent) in Social Sciences.

Course completion, ECTS, edubadges and estimated workload:

The course is completed once you fulfill the course requirements and pass the assignments and the oral exam. Your coursebook will also include the explanation of resit options. 

The estimated workload is 60 hours, including 10-15 hours per week and 10-15 hours per assignments/oral exam. 

ECTS equivalence: 2 

Participants will receive 2 ECTS equivalence credits and the certification will be offered through an online educational badge. 

Individual participation:  600 euro 

Duration: 10 weeks 

You will be enrolled for 10 weeks, including 1 week to access the platform and become familiar with the materials, 4 weeks of coursework, 2 weeks to do the oral exam and 3 weeks for potential resit time. 

In case you prefer to use the 10 weeks in a different way, please agree with your tutor during your first exchange. 

Starting date and enrollment:  

Deadline Application  Course Start Date 
28 August
15 January 
11 September
29 January 


Upon a successful enrollment, every participant will start the course on an individual basis, immediately after the acquisition of the course materials. Your tutor will reach out to you to agree on a timeline. 


You can register for the certificate programme via the application form by clicking on the “Apply Now” button on the right side of this page.  


To pay the tuition fee, please make the transfer to the following account. Upon payment, you will be registered as a student and contacted by your tutor. Please note that we need to receive the payment by the application deadline. On average, it takes 1-2 weeks between your transfer of funds and us receiving it. 

Bank account no. 
IBAN  NL05 INGB 0657 618705 
Swift or BIC code  INGBNL2A 
Beneficiary  Maastricht University 
Bank name  ING Business Banking 
Bank address  P.O. Box 90153 
  5600 RE  Eindhoven 
  The Netherlands 
Payment specification  your last name and 45320002001N 


Download the coursebook

Required Readings:

The cost of the course does not include books or hardcopies of the course material. Course materials can be bought, ordered or downloaded by the participant him/herself. 

The books “Oxford Handbook of Innovation” (2009) and “Primer on Decision Making: How Decisions Happen” (1994) are not available for free and need to be acquired separately. Links are provided below. 

  1. FAGERBERG, D. MOWERY and R. NELSON (eds)., The Oxford Handbook of Innovation, Oxford University Press, 2009: Chapter 1 Innovation: A Guide to the Literature, available from: .html?id=uF30DAAAQBAJ&printsec=frontcover&source=kp_read_button&re dir_esc=y#v=onepage&q&f=false
  2. MARCH (1994), A primer on decision making, Free Press, New York, available from: d=RyC7AAAAIAAJ&redir_esc=y


Francesca Rubiconto ‐ Online course tutor

Most of the participants in the online course of Economics of Innovation are professionals who intend to continue their studies or who want to acquire the theoretical basis in this field for future projects. In familiarizing themselves with the main concepts of the literature, they reinterpret them based on their practical experiences. For this reason, our meetings become a mutual enrichment, in which each participant brings his specific point of view. It is precisely the synergy between theory and practice that makes this experience unique!
Francesca Rubiconto, UNU-MERIT

Dr. Mindel van de Laar - Online course programme director

We specifically aim to teach professionals that are unable to visit us in Maastricht in an individual or small group setting. Due to the small scale education with intensive tutor support we manage to serve public policy makers and researchers from all around the globe, and lead them to successful completion of the coursework within the set time frame.
Dr. Mindel van de Laar, UNU-MERIT