PhD and post doc projects

Leticia Antunes Nogueira, PhD Student at Aalborg University

Sub-supplier networks – knowledge strategies, consolidation and entrepreneurial action.
With the rise and development of an offshore branch within the wind power industry, differences and particularities in relation to the more established onshore branch become apparent and require technological innovation. Accordingly, the need for solving these issues generates numerous opportunities and room for entrepreneurial action. Within the innovation systems context, this work project aims at investigating the role of sub-suppliers in addressing such needs, in addition to their contribution for the establishment and growth of the sector through entrepreneurial action.
Offshore wind energy has attracted attention from a variety of players, also from companies with core activities in a different sector. This is not only because wind is a prominently important source for energy, but also because these firms have competences and assets that can be effectively put to use in meeting the challenges of this infant branch. Considering this paradigm, the underlying research question is to investigate how sub-suppliers influence the development trajectory of offshore wind power industry.



 Kalle Piirainen, Postdoc at DTU, Lyngby

The topic of the project is to investigate the networking between biotech and bioenergy companies and transfer of technology between industries, especially in Denmark, to date. It is well-known that bioenergy in Denmark is often closely connected to the agricultural sector. Compared to this, the connection and interplay with the biotech industry is less illuminated. The connections between the bioenergy sector and biotech industry can be expected to be of high importance for the future competiveness of new bioenergy solutions as well as wider industrial biotechnology industry both within Denmark and in the global markets. However, there is need of more systematic insight and better understanding of innovation activities and networks between biotech actors and bioenergy actors. The main approach will be network analysis based on data such as joint patents and collaboration in publicly subsidized R&D programs. The purpose of the proposed research is to analyze the Danish energy innovation system its dynamics and development trajectory. The contribution is identification of interaction dynamics between innovation systems and the role of the functions in shaping that co-evolution. These research findings will have implications for RDI and energy policy in addition to the contribution to literature on innovation systems.

Lourenço Galvão Diniz Faria

Indicators of energy innovation systems and dynamics of change towards sustainability: a patent-based analysis applied to the Danish context

One of the biggest challenges in the context of sustainable transitions is to analyze how the dynamics of change unfolds over time and what are its main drivers and obstacles of this process. This task is of special importance for the energy-related activities, in which the new technologies require long periods of gestation and experimentation. While the market diffusion of green technologies is still very incipient, it is possible to observe the characteristics and evolution of the innovation systems by using indicators that reflect the trajectory of technological change. The objective of the project is to address this gap by conducting an analysis of the Danish energy innovation system (EIS) based primarily on patent data from the REGPAT and Derwent Innovation Index databases. Besides a descriptive analysis of the evolution of the system, we use a series of advanced quantitative methods such as relative technological specialization index, co-citation analysis, cluster analysis and OLS/Logit panel data regressions to obtain a comprehensive picture of the knowledge creation and knowledge flows, impact of each technological area in the system, as well as the influence of major structural and conjuncture changes – particularly in the policy framework – in the past decades. The analysis intends also to compare the characteristics of the Danish EIS with other relevant countries, especially in Scandinavia using the analyzes mentioned.



 Tobias Møller Ruby,  former PhD Student at DTU, Lyngby



Innovation from energy efficiency activities. With the recent rapid rise globally of the climate agenda, energy savings and energy efficient technologies have gained unheard policy and market interest. Earlier studies have shown that the area of energy efficient technologies in Denmark is a highly innovative field. New product introductions and new business activities occur more frequently than in many other areas. However, what the innovation dynamics more specifically consist in and how the competitiveness is actually created in this area have not yet been analysed. Departing from the renewed policy efforts on energy savings and efficiency this project will analyse this. It is a hypothesis that despite common policy institutions, the energy efficiency innovations appear differently in different sectors.



Simone Franceschine,  former PhD Student at DTU, Lyngby  



New conceptual frameworks of innovation - is energy innovation eco-innovation? In recent years a row of new conceptualizations of innovation in connection to the climate and sustainability challenges have appeared, unifying environmental and economic goals, e.g. ‘green growth’, ‘sustainable innovation’, ‘eco-innovation’, etc. The aim of this project is to investigate whether and how energy innovation reflects these new conceptual frameworks. Evidence from Denmark and Germany indicates that there currently are fruitful synergies in combining a green and climate-friendly energy focus with innovation in a traditional sense (Rennings et al. 2009, Borup et al. 2009, Andersen et al. 2010). It is a further hypothesis that differences to traditional innovation appear both concerning the sets of actors involved, in the contents of the innovation activities, and in the political support and legitimating of the activities.



Daniel S. Hain, former PhD Student at Aalborg University

The Finance of Innovation in Renewable Energy. Highlighting the social nature of investment decisions and owing respect to the depicted complexity of the renewable energy landscape, a strong need for actor focused research on innovation finance can be identified. This project therefore attempts to contribute to a more holistic understanding of the financing of innovation, with addressing all stages of the technology life cycle of an industry containing very distinct sub-sectors including various shades of capital intensity and maturity. As outcome, it shall enhance the understanding of the role public and private finance plays in dynamic socio- and techno-economic regime shifts, how the characteristics and relationship between investors and investees these shifts, and how this manifests in different paths and pace of innovation.

Embracing systemic theories of innovation, foremost the “National Innovation System” approach, it shall provide concrete advices for policy-makers how to (i.) overcome an innovation system’s inertia by directed stimulus, (ii.) overcome system failure with policy driven network formation and information synchronization, and finally (iii.) formulate the proper “rules of the game” and create the institutional setup to secure a smooth functioning of the markets. You will find Daniel's thesis here.



 Roman Jurowetzki, former PhD Student at  Aalborg University

Systemic Energy Innovation for Sustainable Development
The purpose of this project is to find out, whether and to which extent Danish actors will continue engaging in the global energy transition, which is happening today. Do they have the required knowledge bases and do they interact in a way, which would allow them to produce integrated and sustainable energy solutions in the national context? Can this solutions also be used for  applications in less developed regions? 
The share of test and demonstration projects in the smart-grid sector, which are carried out in Denmark amounts to 22% of all European projects making Denmark a leader in this domain. The properties of the technology allow and require the integration of a large number of diverse technologies and actors. This should create a promising environment for innovation to happen.
There are also many signs that indicate that technologies, which are developed in the context of the decentralisation of energy production, can spur development in rural areas of less developed countries.
The project  will start up with analysing the the competence structure and interaction patterns of Danish actors, which are involved in the development of intelligent energy systems, particularly focusing on the micro grid technologies.You will find a longer description of the project here.


Anders Ørding OlsenAnders Ørding Olsen, former PhD Student at Copenhagen Business School

Innovation Partnerships in the Energy Sector
With the increasing maturity of areas like wind technology, bioenergy and solar energy, and the development of smart grid and emerging technologies, the energy sector is witnessing an increasingly complex multiple stakeholder reality. Furthermore, in accordance with an Innovation Systems perspective the sector is characterized by high interdependence whereby no actors can innovate and commercialize renewable energy technologies in isolation from other actors.
Based on the above, this project analyses the use of innovation partnership to develop and commercialize renewable energy technologies in the energy sector. It analyses the challenges and barriers faced by actors in the sector based on an Innovation Systems perspective by use of Open Innovation and collaborative innovation theory. It is a hypothesized that the systemic nature of the sector increases the interdependence, and thereby the need for and uses of innovation partnerships. It is further hypothesized that sector characteristics such as the regulatory levels, as well asymmetry in many partnerships, will create paradoxes for firms engaging in innovation partnership, thus requiring novel approaches to the structuring and management of partnerships in this sector.
You can see the full project description here.