Jakob Edler

Jakob Edler, Professor of Innovation Policy and Strategy

Prof, Executive Director Fraunhofer Institute of Systems and Innovation Research

Personal profile



I am Professor of Innovation Policy and Strategy AMBS Manchester Institute of Innovation Research.  

Since October 2019, I am Executive Director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research (Fraunhofer-ISI), one of the largest innovation research institutes in the world, with a focus on the analysis of system transitions. From January 2011 to September 2019, I was Executive Director of the Manchester Institute of Innovation Research (MIoIR), one of the largest academic innovation centres worldwide with 45 staff members and 40 PhD students. Before becoming Executive Director, I was Research Director of MIoIR. I joined AMBS and MIoIR in January 2007, after having been Head of Department for Innovation Systems and Policy at the Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research. I lead Executive Education at MIoIR, offering courses in science and innovation policy, evaluation and foresight.

My research interests lie in the analysis and conceptualisation of governance and policy in science and innovation. I am working on impact of science and innovation policy and am currently leading an EU-funded project to analyse evaluation practice in science and innovation policy (SIPER). I further work conceptually on the impact of science on society, in particular on policy, in the context of an 8-year centre funded by the Norwegian Research Council (OSIRIS) and led by University of Oslo. One major focus in recent years has been on demand side innovation policy and public procurement of innovation, currently leading a project on collective governance for procurement at regional level. I also have worked on conceptual and theoretical issues of governance of socio-technical systems and governance of responsible research and innovation. A final, long-standing area of interest is to understand the dynamics of and drivers for internationalisation of research and innovation activities and related governance and policy issues. 

I am author of numerous journal articles, reports and books (see list of publications e.g. on Google Scholar).

My research has been funded by the UK Research Council, international organisations (such as EU, OECD, WIPO), and numerous national and regional bodies in many European countries. I was elected member of the German National Academy for Science and Engineering (Acatech), member of the Austrian Council  for Research and Technological  Development, member of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce, and member of the Innovation Caucus  of InnovateUK and ESRC. From 2016 to 2021 I was President of the European Forum for Studies of Policies for Research and Innovation” (Eu-SPRI Forum).

I was awarded my PhD in Political Science by the University of Mannheim (with distinction), having previously completed two separate Master degrees at the University of Mannheim (Business Administration/Management and Political Science/ Economic History), including one year at the Dartmouth College, USA. During my PhD, I did an internship at the European Commission.

Research interests

Policy and Governance in Innovation Systems

  • Analysis and Development of New Policy Concepts: Demand Based Innovation Policy,  Public Procurement and Innovation
  • Internationalisation and Europeanisation of systems, policy and politics; national policies towards internationalisation
  • Impact, evaluation and monitoring of public policy
  • Modes of governance

RTDI Strategies of companies and research institutions

  • Internationalisation of industrial and public R&D
  • IPR framework and industrial protection strategies
  • Knowledge creation, management and transfer

Memberships of committees and professional bodies

Member of the Austrian Council for Research and Technological Development (June 2015), 5 years appointment.
Member of the Editorial Board of Research Fortnight (web).
Elected Member of the German National Academy of Science and Engineering (acatech), the German counterpart to the Royal Society of Engineering.
Member of the RSA (Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce)Memberr of the Scientific Council of (IFRIS) Institute Francilien Recherche  Innovation Societé, the French excellence network of seven French institutions combining excellence from a variety of disciplines
Member of the ESRC Review College (since 2011)
Member of the Audit Panel of the German University Rector’s Conference to audit the internationalisation strategies of German Universities (since 2010)
Invited member of the Working Party on “The future of the German science system” of the German Science Council (highest level advisory body comprised of invited academics, and high Federal and State policy makers http://www.wissenschaftsrat.de/en/about/function.html  (2012-2013)

Member of the Editorial Board of Research Evaluation (summer 2015)
Member of the the Editorial Board of European Policy Analysis (summer 2015)
Member of the Editorial Advisory Board Science and Public Policy


Memberships in following EU expert groups

Validation of the evaluation of the European Institute of Technology, KIC
Hungary Country Review 2016: Review of the Hungarian science and Innovation System, Policy Support Facility, EU Commission
Implementation of the ERA Communication Report of the Expert Group 2013Follow-up of the research aspects of the revised Lisbon strategy
ERA-NET Plus Review 2010. Final Report of the Review Panel, Report to the EU Commission. Brussels
International cooperation in science, technology and innovation: Strategies for a changing world
Risk management in the procurement of innovation. Concepts and empirical evidence. Brussels: EU Commission
COST for the Mid Term Review.
Supporting the Panel of the FP 6 Evaluation, August to December 2008 (Background report).
Policy Mix Peer Reviews: Country Report. BULGARIA (chair)
Policy Mix Peer Reviews: Country Report. LITHUANIA (chair)
Review of the ERA-NET iMERA and ERA-NET Plus “iMERA+” in view of the intention to prepare an Article 169 initiative 2008 (chair).
Procurement for Research and Innovation.
Improving the Effectiveness of Direct Public Support Measures to Stimulate Private Investment in Research, Report of the ETAN Working Group on Direct Measures for Directorate General Research.



Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 1 - No Poverty
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land
  • SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Manchester Institute of Innovation Research


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