User innovation in the energy market: new research project launched

Interconnected, intelligent energy systems are a highly discussed issue. Those systems are used by customers to control and meter their energy usage. So called energy prosumers go a step further and produce their energy, use it efficiently and feed excess energy into the grid. Of particular interest are users that are motivated to invest their time to deal with technical and organizational requirements and in consequence become innovative.

The Internet is an important enabler for those users. Here, they network, solve questions, discuss, share and improve ideas and work on collective projects. However, user communities in the smart energy area are a lot less intensively visible than in other areas of user development such as 3D printing, leisure sports and open source software.

Team: Prof. Dr. Hendrik Send, Matti Große and Moritz Neujeffski

Team: Prof. Dr. Hendrik Send, Matti Große and Moritz Neujeffski

In a three-year research project we are going to investigate the reasons that stimulate users to be innovative and those that impede such behavior. We will look at users that are interested in smart energy technologies, implement those technologies and those, that are active in online forums, open garages and discussions with like-minded people. In a later part of the project we will have a look at how the supply side can connect to active users through user-centric business models.

Comments, critique and ideas regarding our research project are highly appreciated.

Further information can be found here.


Professor Blind and IPlytics CEO Tim Pohlmann discuss at the Standards Your Innovation Bridge Conference in Brussels


Professor Blind and IPlytics CEO Tim Pohlmann were invited speakers at the first EU Conference On Standards: Your Innovation Bridge hosted and organized by CEN/CENELEC in Brussels. The goal of the conference was bringing together experts from industry, research and policy organizations to explore and discuss the role of standards and patents in research and innovation. Several speakers presented their experiences in linking the patent and standard world to show how each one is benefiting from the other. Professor Blind Chairman of CEN-CENELEC STAIR, moderated Breakout Session 4 Horizon2020 and discussed how standards and innovation relate in the closing expert panel. The discussions revealed that standards and patents are two different tools with different goals and strengths. Knowing when to use which is key in understanding how to monetise research and development expenditures. In this regard IPlytics CEO Tim Pohlmann held a presentation on the topic: “Understanding the Interplay of Patents & Standards to Leverage Market Potential“.

Standards Your Innovation Bridge Conference Tim Pohlmann, Ged Owens and Laurent Tonnelier

Standards Your Innovation Bridge Conference (l. to r. Tim Pohlmann IPlytics GmbH, Ged Owens EPO and Laurent Tonnelier mobilead)

In the follow-up panel discussion Ged Owens from the European Patent Office and Laurent Tonnelier from mobilead discussed with Tim Pohlmann the future perspectives on the interplay of IPR and standards. Pohlmann’s presentation revealed that patents and standards more and more overlap. In this regard the number of standard essential patents has not only been increasing, but develops to be relevant for sectors beyond information and communication technologies (ICT). In view of the industry 4.0 (Internet of Things), companies are more and more challenged by critical technology investment decisions that concern standards and patents at the same time. In order to make the right technology investment decisions, an innovative company needs to identify which technologies will be relevant in the future, which technologies are protected by intellectual property rights and which standards or specifications are to be adopted. In this regard Laurent Tonnelier stated that “standard setting initiatives are mirrors of how technology will look like in the future. Very often companies participate in standard setting projects that are unrelated from their todays core businesses. This interest in developing a standard reflects a company’s interest in future technologies and related product markets.” Ged Owens further noted that “patenting and standardization are both tools to foster innovation”.

IPlytics is a Berlin based company that offers an online based patent analytics platform tool to analyze market developments, technology trends and a company’s competitive position for patenting and standardization. IPlytics Platform integrates patent analysis, patent valuations, patent mapping, patent landscaping and a mapping of technology standards and products, such as an identification of standard essential patents, patent licensing terms or patent pools. IPlytics Platform helps companies making the right R&D investment decisions by providing actionable and trustworthy insights on relevant IP assets.


EURAS Conference 2014

Once again the European standardization community met at the EURAS conference to discuss recent developments within the field of standardization. This years’ EURAS was held in Serbia under the theme ‘Cooperation among standardisation organisations and the scientific and academic community’. The conference was kindly hosted by the Faculty of Organizational Science of the University of Belgrade which provided plenty of opportunity for discussing standardization issues in Eastern Europe.

The chair of Innovation Economics from the TU-Berlin was well represented. Michel Tolksdorf, Anne-Marie Großmann, and Sören Simon Petersen chaired different sessions at the conference and presented their current work. Jo-Ann Müller additionally delivered an invited speech covering the first results of the German Standardization Panel. Besides that Luisa Lazina and Julius Rauber, from the same chair, presented their actual research as well.

Jo-Ann Müller presenting at the EURAS

Jo-Ann Müller presenting at the EURAS conference in Belgrade

The overall resume of this year’s conference was that the incentives, benefits and drawbacks of organizations to be actively or passively involved in standardization need closer attention, both in theory and in practice at the standards developing organizations. The themes varied from regulation and standardization in general up to the analysis of standardization network. Once again the conference highlighted the relevance of standardization research and showed that the European research community is alive and well.


Chancellor Angela Merkel announces new High Tech Strategy

The 25th version of the 2014 weekly podcast of Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany, was dedicated to future technologies and the research and education environment in Germany. Anne-Marie Großmann, researcher at the Chair of Innovation Economics, asked Mrs Merkel about the future for jobs in Germany, the internal competitiveness of German universities and the agenda for future research.

Mrs Merkel emphasized that the High Tech-Strategy is now being extended to an Innovation Strategy, which she believes will establish Germany as an attractive location for innovation including the necessary employment. Due to the high number of graduates in higher education the government is trying to get enough young people into the dual education system. This dual education system is, according to Mrs. Merkel, also ensuring the possibility for life-long learning. With regards to the international attractiveness of German universities for international students, Mrs. Merkel welcomes the positive development to offer courses in English. With regards to research in future technologies, Mrs Merkel emphasizes that Germany is trying to reach “Weltspitze” (“top of the world”) in all disciplines. She stressed that Germany cannot be satisfied with mediocrity!

Watch the full viedo here and read the transcript here (in German).


Anne-Marie Großmann (TU Berlin) and Angela Merkel



Welcoming Visiting Scholar Paul Wiegmann from Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University

We warmly welcome Paul Moritz Wiegmann as a visiting researcher at the Chair of Innovation Economics from the 30th of June until the 11th of July 2014. Paul is a PhD candidate at the Department of Technology and Operations Management at Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University ( where Knut Blind is the promotor of his PhD project. Before starting his PhD project in October 2013, Paul obtained a MSc in Management of Innovation from Erasmus University Rotterdam and a BSc in Management from the University of Warwick.

Paul conducts his research on the interaction between different standardisation mechanisms and their impact on innovation. He has written working papers on the how different standard setting mechanisms contributed to a common outcome in the case of standardising plugs and connectors for electric vehicles in Europe (Wiegmann, 2013) and on factors that play a role in determining firms’ standardisation strategies (Wiegmann, 2014 forthcoming). During his stay with us he is planning the further trajectory of his PhD which will include some research on how standards from these different mechanisms impact innovation.

  • Wiegmann, P. M. (2013). Combining Different Modes of Standard Setting – Analysing Strategies and the Case of Connectors for Charging Electric Vehicles in Europe. In K. Jakobs, H. J. de Vries, A. Ganesh, A. Gulacsi, & I. Soetert (Eds.), EURAS Proceedings 2013 – Standards: Boosting European Competitiveness (pp. 397–411). Aachen: Wisenschaftsverlag Mainz.
  • Wiegmann, P. M. (2014 forthcoming). Choosing the Right Strategy – Considerations in Allocating Resources in Standard Setting. In EURAS Proceedings 2014.

Paul will present his work in our Research Colloquium on the 9th of July at 16:00.


Launch of the Global Innovation Index 2013

As part of my six months research stay at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), an agency of the United Nations, I had the privilege to work on the 2013 Global Innovation Index.

Two weeks ago, on July the 1th, Johnson Cornell University, INSEAD and the WIPO launched together with their knowledge partners Booz & Company, the Confederation of Indian Industry, du and Huawei the sixth edition of the Global Innovation Index (GII). The report was presented by Ban Ki-moon, Secretary General of the United Nations at the High-Level Segment of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).


Presentation of the 2013 GII at the High-Level Segment of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC)
(c) Soeren Simon Petersen

The GII measures the level of innovation of a country. This year’s edition looked at 142 countries using 84 indicators measuring a countries innovative capacity.The GII has become one of the most established innovation indices since it highlights the key role of innovation as a driver for economic growth as well as prosperity and, furthermore, introduces new instruments to measure countries’ innovative capacity like availability of microfinance, venture capital deals, the ease of starting a business or the state of cluster development.

In times of a shaky economic environment, innovation is still alive. Most economies recouped the cuts in research and development spending caused by the 2008 economic crisis. Particularly some middle- and low- income economies like China, Costa Rica, India and Senegal have shown an outstanding performance. On a broad geographical level, Latin America has shown the most significant improvement. Nevertheless, the rankings top positions are still dominated by high-income economies like (1) Switzerland, (2) Sweden, (3) United Kingdom, (4) Netherlands and (5) the United States of America. While Switzerland retained its top position, the United States rejoined the top five and Singapore dropped from rank five to eight.


Ban Ki-moon after the presentation of the GII
(c) Soeren Simon Petersen

The theme of the 2013 GII was the ‘Local Dynamics of Innovation’ which reflects the relevance of local hubs. Those hubs or clusters are a catalyst for innovation which foment the fire of innovation. This years GII analyzed the factors which lead to excellence of innovation hubs such as incubators, technology transfer programs, local ‘champions’, a strong founding structure as well as a strong integration of those cluster in local-, regional- and international networks. It became clear that the simple replication of innovation strategies is often not an effective way to innovate. Innovation strategies have to be linked with the comparative advantages, history and culture of a particular region for being successful.

The results of the 2013 GII lead to cautious optimism. Despite the crisis in 2008 and a shaky world economy in 2012/2013, the R&D expenditures of the top 1000 R&D-spending companies have grown significantly since 2010. Furthermore the R&D-expenditures of emerging economies like China, Argentina, Brazil, Poland and India is growing much faster than high-income economies. This trends show the high importance of innovation even in times of uncertainty and scarce resources.


Attending the GII presentation
(c) Soeren Simon Petersen

For further details on the Global Innovation Index 2013 please see:

Press comments:

Bloomberg Businessweek

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

Times of India

China Daily



Experts discuss what shapes the international Diffusion of Sustainable Innovations

The international transfer of sustainable technologies is influenced by many factors at the intersection of regimes for the protection of free trade, intellectual property rights and the global environment. At a workshop in Geneva hosted by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), experts from different organizations, such as OECD, WIPO, EPO, WTO, ICTSD, vividly discussed how these regimes interact in shaping the international diffusion of sustainable innovations. The event was organized by the Chair of Innovation Economics at TU Berlin as an integral part of the FONA research project N-tran:S.

Workshop Programme (DOCX, 64,3 KB)


Fraunhofer FOKUS publishes study on Public Innovation

How innovative is the German public administration? Fraunhofer FOKUS has analyzed innovation activities of public administrations in a Germany-Europe comparison. The study shows that public sector innovations in Germany are bringing added value for citizens, businesses and administrations. However, innovation activities in Germany lag significantly behind the European average. The study cites facts, searches for causes and points to possible courses of action.

Download the study (German) at:


Academy of Management Annual Meeting in Boston, August 3-7 2012

The Academy of Management (AoM) Meeting in Boston this year was one of our personal highlights so far in our time as PhD students. The AoM Meeting is exceptionally large compared to conferences we have been to so far. Roughly 10,000 attendees gathered in Boston to host so called Professional Development Workshops (PDW) and participate in these workshops, paper presentations or social receptions in the evenings.Academy of Management Annual Meeting

Theresa’s experience

I was among the lucky ones presenting own work at the AoM meeting. However, the most important aspects of AoM from my perspective were to participate in very interesting and extremely useful PDWs and to broaden and strengthen my network. To put it short: the AoM Meeting was an exceptional possibility to meet old friends and to make some new friends. Moreover, the offered workshops and paper session were of unequaled variety. Especially the workshops on career development (e.g., how to apply in the US job market; how to negotiate the first job offer) and on methodology (e.g., “Do I have an endogeneity problem and does it matter?”) were extremely useful for me and my personal professional development.

Moreover, I was able to present my work to an interested audience. The paper “Does competitive strategy protect from intellectual property free riding?” was well received and the feedback I got was very valuable. Moreover, the other presenters in my session had some very interesting and good papers which nicely fit together in one session. Notwithstanding, I value the broadening of my network over the feedback I got for my personal work. Once again I realized, how small the research community really is.

Annika’s experience

The first two days of the meeting, I attended a Doctoral Consortium organized by the Technology and Innovation Management (TIM) division. It was nice to catch up with and get to know other PhD students with the same research interests from different institutions all over the world. The first day was organized as an interactive, open discussion session where different smaller groups exchanged their views about the “job market”, “life as a professor” and “research, teaching and academic services” with internationally renowned scholars such as Mary Tripsas, Rahul Kapoor, Tobias Kretschmer, Andrea Fosfuri, and Tim Simcoe. The next day focused on “ethics in research” and on a panel session where we had the chance to meet the editors of highly ranked management journals. I also attended PDWs on topics such as “Behavioral Strategy 3.0: From “Why” to “How” or “The Present and Future of Behavioral Strategy” or “Using Experiments to Examine Interfirm Exchanges”. Everybody was extremely enthusiastic and the conference atmosphere was very stimulating and motivating. People talking with excitement about their own research are intriguing and can be the start of new research collaboration.

Theresa and I mutually agree on our first AoM experience: It was overwhelming, huge and a lot of fun.