Research

The Technology, Innovation & Society (TIS) group engages in research on the societal and economic embedding of innovation. Technological innovations offer many opportunities to address key societal challenges in areas like sustainable energy, mobility, globalization and Europeanization. However, change is not only about the mere availability of such innovative technologies (like renewable energy technologies or cleaner cars), but rather requires a transformation of existing socio-technical systems. This includes changes in firm strategies, consumer behaviour, social practices, institutions and regulations, etc. Different aspects of such transition processes cannot be studied in isolation, but require a broader, systems oriented perspective. In our view, society shapes technological progress, but technological progress also shapes our society. Technologies intertwine with radical transformations in work, travel, communication, and private life.

The TIS group aims to contribute to understanding of the above phenomena by research that:

  • focuses on the interaction between technological, economic, and social developments;
  • emphasizes pervasive, long term changes or ‘transitions’;
  • addresses the developed as well as the developing world;
  • addresses multiple aspects of the innovation journey – invention, innovation, diffusion, appropriation, governance, policy intervention, and societal implications.

Highlight publications that reflect the work in the TIS group include:

  • van Bree, B, Verbong, G.P.J., Kramer, G.J. (2010). A multi-level perspective on the introduction of hydrogen and battery-electric vehicles. Technological Forecasting and Social Change 77(4), 529-540
    The multi-level methodology is mainly developed here at our department, and has been taken up by many other researchers in the field. This paper applies this methodology to the field of sustainability.

  • Romijn, H.A. (2011). Land clearing and greenhouse gas emissions from Jatropha biofuels on African Miombo Woodlands. Energy Policy 39(10), 5751-5762
    This paper demonstrates our ability to expand our research boundaries beyond socio-economic sustainability assessment of innovations, using sustainability science principles to analyse environmental consequences.

  • Book series. Making Europe. Technology and Transformations, 1850-2000. Edited by Johan Schot and Philip Scranton. London: Palgrave Macmillan (2013-2016). Winner of the EASST Freeman Award.
    This six-volume book series reframes the grand theme of European history and identity from a technology-based perspective, and contains books co-authored by Oldenziel, Schot and van der Vleuten. It won the 2014 EASTT Freeman Award, and was praised by the jury as “genuinely pan- European in scope”, “refreshingly ambitious” and “original”.

  • Niesten, E.. Alkemade, F (2016). How is value created and captured in smart grids? A review of the literature and an analysis of pilot projects. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 53 (2016) 629–638.
    This paper demonstrates our efforts to combine technological knowledge with knowledge about socio-economics aspects of the ongoing energy and mobility transitions, and their integration in the area of smart grids.

Publications of specific researchers can be found on their employee pages.