Innovation Innovation systems & socio-technical

This research theme explores how and why technology and business model innovation unfolds. With parallels with the entrepreneurial ecosystems theme, we examine the actors, institutions, networks and infrastructure necessary to help innovation to flourish.

This examines the dynamics of how new technologies and business models move from concept to market. An integral part of this is the policy interventions that governments make to support innovation, and methods to examine their effectiveness.



Abdullah Gok studies emerging technologies and their implications for business strategy and public policy. He is interested in how emerging technologies are developed, governed and commercialised. He was involved in research projects studying:

He was a Co-Investigator of the £10m five-year Synthetic Biology Research Centre in Manchester, studying responsible research and innovation alongside life sciences colleagues.

Matthew Hannon is an expert in the field of energy innovation and socio-technical transitions. With a focus on energy, his work explores approaches to best accelerate technology and business model innovation, culminating in a recent book on Energy Innovation for the Twenty-First Century: Accelerating the Energy Revolution, and a chapter on energy innovation and the sustainability transition in the Handbook of Energy Economics and Policy.

His case studies of energy technology innovation include wave power, power network and fast-breeder nuclear reactor innovation in the UK, as well as a global examination of floating wind and wind power in China.

His work also considers the wider implications of innovation and how its disruptive influence can trigger and shape wider system transformation, including the relationship between business model innovation and wider energy system transitions.

Dr Anna Spadavecchia’s work on innovation includes historical and contemporary perspectives. Taking a historical perspective, she has examined how corporations used fundamental patents to gain control of their industries (Fundamental Patents).

An additional area of interest is the international technological advantage of British regions and the assessment of the factors contributing to it (Technological Advantage). Moreover, her work has discussed the sources of knowledge contributing to innovation in the global industry of Integrated Circuit Design (forthcoming).