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Third-party funded projects

Ongoing research projects

Innovation Policy Orchestra – Choice, Co-ordination and adjustment of instruments for socio-technical change (IPO)

  • Project description

    Innovation policy creates framework conditions and incentives for innovation processes. As a cross-cutting policy, it has a wide range of instruments at its disposal – from economic, research and education policy to health, environmental or digital policy. Often, innovation policy needs to orchestrate several instruments in order to support innovation activities, in general, or specific socio-technical transformations. Like an orchestra, innovation policy can be considered as an ensemble of instruments in which the mastery of one's instrument is a necessary but not sufficient condition for success. Success only unfolds in the harmonious interplay of all chosen instruments. The responsible departments in ministries, subordinate authorities or project executing agencies play the instruments. Political decision-makers who ideally coordinate their efforts conduct the orchestra to harmoniously address companies, researchers, consumers or other innovation system actors. 

    How can innovation policy instruments be orchestrated according to their specific goals and addressees? The project "Innovation Policy Orchestra" (IPO) aims to answer this research question. Through structured research and interviews with innovation policy actors, innovation policy instruments are collected, systematised and evaluated. The process will record possible target groups, preconditions for use, design options, and coordination possibilities. The project aims to develop a practice-oriented creative method for selecting and designing innovation policy instruments. Case studies on the promotion of research and production of the lithium-ion battery, m-RNA technology and the structural change of the Lausitz as a lignite mining region practically apply this creative method and result in the development of a policy guideline. This guideline intends to support the ongoing coordination of the innovation policy orchestra to transfer the dynamics of specific innovation processes into the play of instruments and to facilitate new innovation dynamics via innovation policy.
  • Funding Authority: German Federal Ministry of Research and Education (BMBF)
  • Project Promotion: Projektträger Jülich (PTJ)
  • Project Duration: 01.01.2022 - 30.04.2024
  • Project Scientific Coordinator: 

Mobilizing Innovation System in BiH for SME Innovation Capabilities, Subproject: Policy Analysis and Trainings (MISBIH)

  • Project description:

In order to achieve and maintain competitiveness in turbulent markets, firms need to effectively address rapid technological and market-specific changes by continuously generating innovation. For companies in emerging economies, like those in Western Balkan countries, this is a great challenge. Although recent years have seen some progress in promoting and boosting innovation activities in Bosnia and Herzegovina through different policy initiatives, most of them are sporadic and without a systemic and institutional approach. Namely, it has been 20 years since the signing of the Dayton Peace Agreement; still, there is no comprehensive policy framework with specified objectives and relevant support mechanisms, including suitably designed instruments that address concrete issues in research and innovation. More specifically, due to a lack of systematic monitoring of the innovation system in BIH, there is no evidence about its innovation actors and their routines, patterns, and issues. Consequently, there is no established evidence-based support program or policy in BIH, which could mobilize the innovation system and enhance the innovation capability of their actors.

Addressing this issue, we intend in this project to establish the fundament for an effective innovation policy in BIH by;

  1. Designing and conducting a pioneer, national innovation-related applied research study based on a jointly developed methodology.
  2. Developing a framework for an effective SME-oriented innovation policy in BIH.
  3. Training young researchers in Germany and in BIH for designing and implementing the innovation policy research.
  4. Training policymakers for designing fact-based innovation policy measures and instruments using the policy framework developed in the project.
  • Funding Authority: German Federal Ministry of Research and Education (BMBF)
  • Project Duration: 01.05.2021 bis 30.04.2024
  • Project Scientific Coordinator: 
  • Project Partners: 

    • Project Management: Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung ISI (Dr. Djerdj Horvat)
    • University of Sarajevo, School of Economics and Business (Prof. Dr. Amila Pilav-Velić)

Agility in research and innovation policy – conception, definition, operationalisation

  • Project description:

Societal challenges such as sustainability and climate change and technological dynamics via digitisation have led to the discussion, how research an innovation policy can be enabled for a more agile reaction and proactive guidance addressing new trends and challenges. However, the claim for agility has been formulated in different manners, because there is no common, coherent understanding on what kind of criteria contribute to an agile research and innovation policy. This research gap was addressed by the project “Agility in research and innovation policy – conception, definition, operationalisation”. By reconsidering the literature, a concept of agility has been developed and validated via expert workshops from relevant German ministries and expert interviews. 

Our team have been involved in the whole project as co-partners. We were leading the literature review and the development of an agility concept for further validation and analysis as well as the two main case studies for validating our agility project (so-called pilot applications) and the German research and innovation policy addressing COVID-19 as additional case:

  • Conceptualisation of an agile research and innovation policy from different streams of literature in form of five criteria and different levels and actors of governance
  • Analysis of the research and innovation policy for SMEs in Germany as a pilot application of agile policy making
  • Analysis of the demand-sided innovation policy for the governance of renewable energy diffusion at the German power market as another pilot application
  • Overview and analysis on programs and instruments supporting research on COVID-19 and vaccination and healing methods at the German and the European level
  • Funding body: Expert Commission for Research and Innovation (Expertenkommission für Forschung und Innovation, EFI)
  • Project duration: Jan 2020 – Sep 2020
  • Project team: Univ.-Prof. Dr. Carsten Dreher, Dr. Martina Kovač, Carsten Schwäbe
  • Project coordination: Dr. Matthias Weber, Austrian Institute of Technology

Academic partners: 

  • Austrian Institute of Technology, Center for Innovation Systems and Policy
  • Freie Universität Berlin, Professorship for Innovation Management

Social cohesion, food and health: Inclusive food system transitions (IFST)

  • Project description:

The need to transform the food systems is widely acknowledged. Social cohesion (SC) issues are inextricably linked to disparities and vulnerabilities in food systems and food-related health, as cause and effect. However, our understanding of the SC-food-health-nexus is missing in research and practice. To address this gap, the IFST project develops and tests a conceptual framework and methods for studying the nexus. It aims to establish an agenda on the SC-food system-health nexus research, and on practice interventions and systemic transitions that improve these three aspects of human welfare.

Our team leads the sub-project entitled “Analysis of incumbent and emerging social and technological innovation systems”, in which we focus on the protein transition. We understand ‘transition’ as long-term, multi-dimensional and fundamental transformation processes, which unfold through interactions within and between three analytical levels: a macro-level landscape, incumbent socio-technical regimes and emerging niches. The sub-project examines how social cohesion influences the transformation processes within and between the regime and two niches as well as the implications of such transformations for social cohesion and health. 

We are also involved in other sub-projects including: 

  • Development of the conceptual framework
  • Development of participatory socio-economic scenarios on possible future food systems 
  • Case study on novel food technologies
  • Validation and Integration
  • Funding body: Berlin University Alliance 
  • Project duration: Jan 2021 – Sep 2023
  • Funding body: Berlin University Alliance 
  • Project coordination: Prof. Peter Feindt, Humboldt University of Berlin

Academic partners: 

  • Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin 
  • Freie Universität Berlin
  • Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
  • Leibniz Institute of Vegetable and Ornamental Crops (IGZ) 
  • Technische Universität Berlin

Mobilizing Egyptian Innovation System for SMEs Innovation Capabilities (MEIS-SME)

  • Project description:

In Egypt, increased efforts have recently been made to implement targeted innovation support for SMEs. However, the institutional arrangements and innovation policies are often top-down structured or attempt to transfer concepts from outside the EU, in many cases without considering the specific characteristics of the Egyptian innovation context. In particular, there is a lack of empirical work that analyses the innovation activities of SMEs and prepares results for policymakers in a way that makes policies appropriate for the targeted groups of SMEs.

Therefore, the research project aims at (1) conducting a detailed analysis of the innovation behavior of Egyptian SMEs and developing an SME typology, (2) describing the problems and needs of the identified innovation types, and (3) examining existing support measures accessible to SMEs in a policy analysis concerning their adaptability. The main objective is to map and describe the Egyptian SME innovation behavior and establish a toolbox of innovation-oriented SME policies that target Egyptian SMEs' unique needs. Based on a representative stratified sample covering 4,000 Egyptian firms and all sectors, we develop a resource-based taxonomy of firm-level innovation behavior to create and design functional innovation policies.

Overall, the analysis will be based on a broad understanding of innovation which includes technological and non-technological modes. It is assumed that different innovation patterns, which range from the traditional "science technology-innovation" to other modes of "doing-using-interacting" or even mixed-modes, can be identified. This taxonomy of firm-level innovation behavior will improve the Egyptian capacity of evaluating and monitoring SME's innovation performance and is also an essential prerequisite for the design of evidence-based innovation policies. The results allow for an evidence-based discussion of recommendations and the derivation of concrete innovation policy measures. In addition, the results will serve as a basis for the scientific debate on innovation policy approaches in the MENA region.

Academy of Scientific Research and Technology (ASRT)
Management Center Innsbruck (MCI)
Nile University (NU)


Food for the Future - food4future (F4F)

  • The Consortium:

How can we provide future generations with enough healthy food? Are salt plants, algae, grills & jellyfish alternatives to traditional food sources? And how can we sustainably produce food in urban and suburban areas?

The joint project food4future - Food for the Future (f4f), funded by the German Ministry for Education and research as part of the programme Agricultural Systems of the Future, investigates radical innovations for a sustainable and sound food supply. By creating and adapting key technologies - (UV)LED technology and composite lightweight construction materials - innovation approaches are being developed and tested for their technical feasibility and their economic and ecological viability.

food4future conducts sociological and anthropological studies and deals with different future scenarios. These help to identify possible challenges to future food security and act as a driver of innovation. Subprojects under the lead of the Chair of Innovation Management at Freie Universität Berlin in the socioecological research field are Participation of the public in research projects with different time-horizons and Identification and evaluation of futures options for future food and identifying R & D needs (FUFO). Freie Universität Berlin also develops the food4future-Lab-Platform in a later stage of the project.

Coordination of the consortium F4F: Prof. Dr. Monika Schreiner, IGZ

For more information please visit the website of the project F4F: https://www.food4future.de/de/home

  • Project description 1 - Participation of the public in research projects with different time-horizons:
The aim of the project is to investigate participation of the public in research/innovation processes with short-, medium- and long-term horizons by employing participatory techniques/methods within the project F4F. Various and diverse positive effects are currently attributed to participation of the public which has become mandatory in many research and innovation projects. However, many questions about participation are unanswered, especially when it comes to projects with very long-term horizons. Under what conditions is participation in projects with different time horizons useful and provides insights or knowledge for the participants (penetration depth)? Which parts of the public (citizens, stakeholders, experts etc.) add value within participative processes? When is public participation useful? Are expert opinions more substantial? Here, acceptance research is reaching its limits because this discourse has to be focused on possible, probable and desirable futures - while considering the unknowingness of future needs. The latter are associated with great uncertainties and non-knowledge i.e. the lack of concrete ideas - in science as well as in public. The overall objective of the subproject is to investigate the usefulness and effectiveness of various methods for participation of the public in research projects with different time horizons. Accordingly the project uses the whole F4F-project as research-object. Thus, the project is located on a meso/macro level: the participation of the public can be understood as a dialogue on a macro level, the investigation of the feedback into the consortium takes place on the meso level.
Principal Investigator: Prof. Dr. Carsten Dreher (FUB)
Researcher: Dipl.-Kffr./ M.A. Myriam Preiss (FUB)
Project partners: IGZ, ATB, ZMT, PYCO, pmp, InnoMat, Osram, Terra Urbana, ADM Wild, HUB-IRI THESys, HUB
  • Project description 2 - FUFO - Identification and evaluation of futures options for future food and identifying R & D needs:
The aim of the subproject is to transdisciplinarily investigate the long-term horizons of the main topic area (food project) "Future Food" for the F4F project in the second half of the project duration. The start of this subproject is therefore planned for the third year of the overall project. The subproject aims to develop a concretisation of the future idea / vision of Future Food based on the current projects of the F4F-project and their results. This should serve as the basis for a sustainable development of the F4F project beyond the fifth year and identify the development options and their timing by the use of a roadmap. Thus, the subproject FUFO has a cross-sectional responsibility for all subfields of the F4F project and interconnections with all other projects. Methodologically, a multi-stage Delphi procedure is carried out within the subproject involving project-internal and external experts as well as stakeholders. In this way, it will be possible to monitor, adapt and sharpen future contents of the F4F project and its subprojects. Objectives are (a) systematically capturing and analysing the results of the F4F-project, (b) developing possible elements of "Future Food", (c) the discourse by means of a multi-stage Delphi-process with different interest groups (internal / external), (d) timing by means of a roadmap, (e) the identification of further R&D needs and (f) the discourse with the (professional) public on possible elements of "Future Food".
Principal Investigator: Prof. Dr. Carsten Dreher (FUB)
Researcher: N.A. (FUB)
Project partners: IGZ, ATB, ZMT, PYCO, pmp, InnoMat, Osram, Terra Urbana, ADM Wild, HUB-IRI THESys, HUB

Intellectual property models to accelerate sustainability transitions (IPACST)

  • Project description:

IPACST investigates how intellectual property management (IP models) supports sustainable innovation. In this context, different types and combinations of IP models and business models are analyzed for their relevance and function for sustainability. In order to achieve a comprehensive understanding of such IP models, we bring the areas of sustainability, IP- and Innovation management as well as political, legal and engineering sciences interdisciplinary together through the four involved partners. The lack of empirical data requires an exploratory research approach to provide a theoretical basis for the role of IP models in accelerating transformations towards a sustainable economy in different sectors and countries. The empirical part focuses on products based on closed-loop concepts that improve production and consumption patterns, as well as on the energy sector in industrialized, emerging and developing countries, especially India. The most important aspects of sustainable business models are considered, e.g. sharing-based product service models based on access and benefits rather than product ownership. We also examine sectors with global value chains and technology transfer activities. This combination of top-down and bottom-up approaches enables different stakeholders of sustainability transformations to select appropriate combinations of business models and IP models in different situations. The results are therefore important for actors who deal with social transformation towards sustainability, for example from politics, research funding and education. By providing insights into IP models and business models for the development and diffusion of sustainable innovations in renewable energies and various manufacturing industries, we also address companies. The project is financially supported by the Belmont Forum and NORFACE Joint Research Programme on Transformations to Sustainability, which is co-funded by DLR/BMBF FONA-SÖF, GCRF, ESRC, VR, and the European Commission through Horizon 2020. (https://ip4sustainability.org/)

  • Duration of the project: 01.01.2019 – 31.05.2022

  • Scientific coordination / Overall project management:

Prof. Dr. Elisabeth Eppinger (Elisabeth.Eppinger@HTW-Berlin.de)
Hochschule für Technik und Wirtschaft (HTW) Berlin, Department 5 / Design and Culture
Wilhelminenhofstraße 75A, 12459 Berlin

HTW Berlin - University of Applied Sciences
Indian Institut of Science
University of Cambridge
University Lund

Advanced UV for Life

  • Project description:

Solutions for social and economic challenges through decisive scientific and technical contribution are crucial for a sustainable future. In this context, the main objective of the consortium “Advanced UV for Life”, funded by the Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF), is to develop and market worldwide competitive UV-LED based components, systems and methods in the area of medicine, water treatment, industrial engineering, environment, Life Sciences and further industrial fields. Research and development of novel semiconductor-UV-units with customized features and applications will contribute to the achievements of objectives. The implementation will be carried out through a closed value added chain of material over manufacturing and system integration up to the final application in Germany.

The consortium “Advanced UV for Life”, under the direction of the Ferdinand-Braun-Institute, has emerged from an interdisciplinary combination of 8 research institutions and 14 industrial firms from the BMBF’s funding competition “Zwanzig20 – Partnerschaft für Innovation”. The funding program aims to support selected BMBF projects. For further information concerning “Zwanzig20” please visit www.ur-zwanzig20.de.

Management Development of Open Innovation in Complex Networks

  • Project Description:

Based on “UV-Strategy”, with regard to the continuation of the development strategy, the work of the FU Berlin aims also at bringing skills to open up the innovation process in the consortium and participating in the development of sustainable organizational structures, drawing on the understanding of open innovation (Project "Management development of open innovation in complex networks”). Moreover, as a component of the stategy for the consortia “Advanced UV for Life”, provisions are made for the continuation of scouting for ideas, the innovation audit, the scenario analysis and the advancement of the innovation controlling.

  • Duration of the project: 01.07.2015 - 30.06.2018
  • Project management: Laura Mitzscherling (laura.mitzscherling@fu-berlin.de)

Setting up an innovation laboratory

  • Project description:

In addition to the development strategy, the Freie Universität Berlin supervises with the ground-project "Building an idea and product workshop" a further initiative under the umbrella-project "Advanced UV for Life". This ground-project aims at developing and extending a pipeline of novel UV LED based solutions, as well as at tackling the urgent need to develop a patenting strategy to protect the innovative UV-LED based products of the consortium "Advanced UV for Life".

  • Duration: 01.01.2015  - 31.08.2016

"Testing and modification of outside-in methods in the field of production” (EMO)

  • Project description:

The sub-project "EMO" is part of the overall project "Innovative UV-LED-curable polymer materials to coat glass fibers for medicine and material processing" of the research consortium Advanced UV for Life. The aim of the project under the direction of the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP (research area Polymer Materials and Composite PYCO) is the development of new materials and processes for coating glass fibers. The sub-project EMO brings specific concepts and methods of innovation management - or more precisely, competences and instruments from the project "Setting up an idea laboratory" - into the overall project. The project focuses on the development of a project-specific methodology for exploring new fields of application and product ideas in the field of production (idea scouting, idea competitions) and on the other hand the testing and evaluation of "voice-of-the-customer solutions" to involve the (potential) customer in the project-specific innovation process.

  • Duration of the project: 01.04.-31.03.2019

                                        Andreas Scheel (andreas.scheel@fu-berlin.de )

  • Project partners: Collaborative project of the Fraunhofer Institute for Polymer Materials and Composite (coordinator), j-fiber GmbH, micro resist technology GmbH, Asclepion Laser Technologies GmbH

“Research and further development of cooperative innovation processes in the field of environment & Life Science” (KIPULS)

  • Project description:

The sub-project "KIPULS" is part of the collaborative project "SEcondaRy UV - Enhanced formation of secondary plant metabolites by irradiation with UVB LEDs for the production of natural functional foods" of the Advanced UV for Life consortium. Within the scope of the KIPULS sub-project, suitable methods of cooperative innovation processes for exploring new areas of application of the lighting unit in horticultural use are being examined (e. g. in miniaturized form for use in private households, restaurants or aquarium technology). In addition to the Quality Function Deployment- method, Open Innovation instruments such as the idea competition are used.

  • Duration of the project: 01.07.2016-31.12.2019

                                        Andreas Scheel (andreas.scheel@fu-berlin.de )

  • Project partners: Collaborative project of the Leibniz Institute for Vegetable and Ornamental Plants Großbeeren/Erfurt e. V. (IGZ), Ferdinand Braun Institute for High Frequency Technology (FBH), GEFOMA GmbH (GEFOMA), Großbeeren, Germany

“Development of a user research methodological approach to identify valid customer and market requirements for product innovations in the field of medicine” (EMMA)

  • Project description:

The sub-project EMMA is part of the collaborative project "Development and testing of a miniaturized procedure for the non-invasive determination of the sun protection factor of sunscreen products in human skin - SPF" of the Advanced UV for Life consortium. In connection with the collaborative project, both the possibilities of preventing skin diseases caused by solar radiation and the use of a miniaturized sensor for SPF determination of commercial products can be investigated. As part of the sub-project EMMA, a user research methodological approach is being developed to identify valid customer and market requirements for product innovations in the field of medicine. The methods used for this are, in addition to carrying out focus groups, participatory observations and the use of web analytics to identify trends and lead users in the mentioned application area of the sun protection factor sensor, which is going to be developed.

  • Duration of the project: 01.03.2017 – 01.01.2020

                                        Andreas Scheel (andreas.scheel@fu-berlin.de )

  • Project partner: Collaborative project of the Charité - University Medicine Berlin, Clinic for Dermatology, Venerology and Allergology, Hans Karrer GmbH, Courage + Khazaka electronic GmbH (C + K)

“Analysis and testing of key methods to strengthen innovation capacity in the water sector” (ZENIT)

  • Project description: 

The ZENIT sub-project is part of the overall project "Development of UVC-LED-based disinfection technologies for water disinfection" (ELEDWa) of the Advanced UV for Life consortium. The overall project ELEDWa addresses the development of LED-based solutions for the disinfection and hygienization of water. The subproject ZENIT of the FUB brings specific concepts and methods of innovation management - or more precisely, competences and instruments from the basic project "Setting up an idea laboratory" - into the overall project and supports the collaborative partners concretely in the analysis and testing of central methods for strengthening the innovation capacity in the water sector. In addition to the testing of open innovation instruments (idea scouting, idea competition), the focus is on the development of customized idea assessment procedures and the development of business cases for the use of UV-LED-based water disinfection systems at the point of use.

  • Duration of the project: 01.01.2017 – 31.12.2019

                                        Andreas Scheel (andreas.scheel@fu-berlin.de )



  • Project description:

The objective of the research project is to support the partners of the consortium Advanced UV for Life in determining and analyzing technological dynamics and evolutions. The project also support to the consortium for their strategic technology management with a focus on coordinating the partners’ R&D portfolios and business models accordingly. In order to achieve this, a decision tool for strategic management of companies and research institutions will be developed. Strategic, long-term sustainable technology management covers the selection and promotion of specific technologies and their application as well as the implementation in suitable business models.

The strategy decision tool is based on indicators for exploring the potential development and the development stage of technologies. A technology life cycle model and a database with reference indicators will be developed for the different technologies and application fields.

  • Duration of the project: 2016-2018
  • Initiator: German Federal Ministry of Education and Research in the context of the funding competition “Zwanzig20 – Partnerschaft für Innovation“
  • Direction: Ferdinand-Braun-Institut, Leibniz-Institut für Höchstfrequenztechnik
  • Project partners:

BKP Berolina GmbH & Co. KG, Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, CiS Forschungsinstitut für Mikrosensorik und Photovoltaik GmbH, CrysTec GmbH, Emerson Process Management GmBH, Ferdinand-Braun-Institut – Leibniz-Institut für Höchstfrequenztechnik (Projektkoordination), Fraunhofer-Institut für Optronik, Systemtechnik und Bildauswertung IOSB, Fraunhofer-Einrichtung für Polymermaterialien und Composite PYCO, Freiberger Compound Materials GmbH, FU Berlin, GMBU Gesellschaft zur Förderung von Medizin-, Bio- und Umwelttechnologien e. V., Leibniz-Institut für Kristallzüchtung im Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V., LayTec AG, MA&T Organisationsentwicklung GmbH, OSA Opto Light GmbH, PURION GmbH, SENTECH Instruments GmbH, Senspec GmbH, sglux SolGel Technologies GmbH, Silicann Systems GmbH, TECHNOPLOT CAD Vertriebs GmbH, TU Berlin, Xylem Water Solutions Deutschland GmbH

Mastering innovation in Serbia through development and implementation of an interdisciplinary post-graduate curricula in innovation management

  • Project description:

The general objective of the project is to contribute to the enhancement of the Serbian innovative capacity by modernizing the higher education system and providing a sustainable source of high-quality human resources. The project will achieve this by realizing its specific objectives – developing, accrediting and implementing interdisciplinary Master’s and PhD programs in innovation management as a joint degree offered at four Serbian universities (and with help of EU partners); as well as by developing and implementing a set of training courses (as a form of life-long learning education) in this field for industry professionals, to enable career development and increase employability.

The Master’s program to be developed will enhance the employability of students by fostering entrepreneurial thinking, providing up-to-date professional knowledge and skills through an interdisciplinary approach and practical experience. The new PhD program will make possible the emergence of a highly specialised workforce able to lead the next wave of innovative projects. Academic staff from Serbia will update existing and develop new knowledge and skills. Serbian industry, high-tech SMEs, business incubators as well as research and public administration institutions will be provided the opportunity to influence academic curricula and to target areas that need urgent life-long learning support. 

The project will support students’ and teachers’ mobility and partners’ networking, and provide a valuable upgrade of human and infrastructural resources at universities and for non-academic partners.


  • Duration of the project: three years, 01/12/2013 - 30/11/2017
  • Partners from Serbia:
  • University of Novi Sad, coordinator 
  • University of Nis
  • University of Kragujevac
  • Singidunum University, Belgrade
  • Technical College of Applied Sciences in Zrenjanin
  • Business Incubator Novi Sad
  • Business Innovation center Kragujevac
  • Innovation Fund, Belgrade
  • The Intellectual Property Office of the Republic of Serbia
  • Creative Educational Center, Novi Sad
  • Partners from EU:
  • Freie Universität Berlin, Germany
  • Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece
  • University of Maribor, Slovenia
  • South East European Research Centre, Thessaloniki, Greece
  • World University Service - Austrian Committee, Graz, Austria

Completed research projects


Evolution Perspectives of German Small and Mid-Sized Industrial Companies: Changing Innovation Patterns for New Challenges (VIVA-KMU)

(KMU = Small and Mid-Sized Companies)

  • Project description:

Industrial small and mid-size enterprises (SME) contribute significantly to the innovation and technological capabilities of Germany. This project intends to lead to an understanding about how the performance and innovation capabilities of the German SMEs in manufacturing sectors will evolve over the next decade and how to maximize their potential through specific political support and promotion. The aim of this project is to develop a SME typology of the German manufacturing sector by considering their different innovation patterns, from which statements regarding each specific innovation potential but also possible problems and requirements can be deduced. Together with the Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research (ISI), the Chair of Innovation Management at the Freie Universität Berlin has developed a typology of existing policy measures for SMEs and verified through various case studies the adaptability of existing instruments. These findings provide a solid foundation for the implementation and discussion of new approaches to political support for different types of SMEs.

  • Funding authority: German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)               

Advanced UV for Life


  • Project description:

Within this project, the Chair of Innovation Management (FU Berlin) in collaboration with the Ferdinand-Braun Institute, Leibniz-Institute für Höchstfrequenztechnik (FBH), will contribute to the strategic development. In particular, the Chair of Innovation Management (FU Berlin) has been working under the "UV-Strategy" project on the collection of basic data for the consortium, on idea-scouting, an innovation audit, a scenario analysis and the development of a method for controlling innovation.

  • Initiator: German Federal Ministry of Education and Research in the context of the funding competition “Zwanzig20 – Partnerschaft für Innovation“
  • Direction: Ferdinand-Braun-Institut, Leibniz-Institut für Höchstfrequenztechnik
  • Project partners:

BKP Berolina GmbH & Co. KG, Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, CiS Forschungsinstitut für Mikrosensorik und Photovoltaik GmbH, CrysTec GmbH, Emerson Process Management GmBH, Ferdinand-Braun-Institut – Leibniz-Institut für Höchstfrequenztechnik (Projektkoordination), Fraunhofer-Institut für Optronik, Systemtechnik und Bildauswertung IOSB, Fraunhofer-Einrichtung für Polymermaterialien und Composite PYCO, Freiberger Compound Materials GmbH, FU Berlin, GMBU Gesellschaft zur Förderung von Medizin-, Bio- und Umwelttechnologien e. V., Leibniz-Institut für Kristallzüchtung im Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V., LayTec AG, MA&T Organisationsentwicklung GmbH, OSA Opto Light GmbH, PURION GmbH, SENTECH Instruments GmbH, Senspec GmbH, sglux SolGel Technologies GmbH, Silicann Systems GmbH, TECHNOPLOT CAD Vertriebs GmbH, TU Berlin, Xylem Water Solutions Deutschland GmbH

Innovation, Co-Determination and Direct Participation of Employees

  • Project description:

In the face of ever-changing conditions of competition and demands for participation of employees, work councils and managers of organizations are confronted with the challenge to develop sustainable participation regimes. Therefore, critical factors are (a) the interplay of established and new elements of participation regimes, as well as (b) the effect of this interplay on the operational innovation performance. The results from factor (a) put work councils in a position to relate their activities to each other more efficiently and effectively than before. That applies to both the emphasis on content and on the use of their own resources. Empirical evidence concerning factor (b) as a dependent variable of the research model offers work councils and managers seeking participative approaches argumentative support for the communication of sustainable participation regimes vis-à-vis employees, at least those with a generally positive attitude.

Within the research project, a standardized questionnaire will be developed and applied to carry out an extensive interview of German work councils. The survey will take place in a nationwide census of work councils on the basis of a sample that is stratified in five groups of federal states (large region), three sectors and two employment-magnitudes (large and medium-sized firms with more than 50 employees). The project aspires to assure good representation for these stratification characteristics. In contrast to existing studies, alternative representative bodies as well as the management and work councils will be questioned. In this way, a matching of the answers will be possible and furthermore, a broad data base will be developed which will include the managerial employment situation and will reflect participation based on the existing knowledge flow processes among employees. The economic situation of the organizations will be taken into account in the research.

  • Initiator: Hans Böckler Foundation
  • Duration of the project: 2010-2012
  • Direction: Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Gerstlberger (University of Southern Denmark)
  • Project Partners: FU Berlin, Helmut-Schmidt-University Hamburg, University of Kassel
  • Publications:
Biedermann, A.; Dreher, C.; Gerstlberger, W.; Klippert, J.; Kopplin, S.; Meszléry, K.; da Mota Pedrosa, A. (2013): Partizipatives und ganzheitliches Innovations-management – Sichtweisen von Betriebsleitungen und Betriebsräten. Edition Sigma, Berlin.

Analysis of Regional Research Potentials in Berlin

  • Project description:

The federal state of Berlin holds a special nationwide position because of its extraordinary concentration of research institutions in many fields. The identification of focus areas as well as a differentiated examination of regional actor- and cooperation structures are important qualifications for structured advancement of the existing potential. On behalf of the Einstein Stiftung Berlin, the Department of Innovation Management of FU Berlin is conducting an extensive study for the analysis of regional research potential. Based on a multi-method approach (Publication-, Patent-, Third-party funds- and Network analysis, expert interviews and workshops), strengths and weaknesses of Berlin as a science location are analyzed comparatively. Furthermore, it will be examined how a leading position can be achieved or developed through suitable development strategies, in which fields, and with the help of which actors.

  • Initiator: Einstein Foudation Berlin 
  • Duration of the project: 2011-2012
  • Project Partners: HU Berlin, TU Berlin

Social Entrepreneurs as an innovation incubator for public service

  • Project description:

Because of intensive international competition as a sign of globalization, and in the context of reforms triggered by the economizing debate, public service will have to deal in the future with more complex tasks which need to be handled faster and with better quality but with more limited resources. However, this is not possible with the existing, common structures, competences and technologies. Therefore, the search for innovative and sustainable solutions for the institutions of public service is of great importance. In this context, the idea of the social entrepreneurship becomes more and more relevant: social entrepreneurs combine engagement in social affairs with the idea of entrepreneurial initiative, systematic organization and cost discipline within the corporation.

The social entrepreneur sector has expanded enormously over the last 20 years. Even in less developed countries the sector is growing two and a half times faster than the overall economy. In the face of the present situation it becomes obvious that social entrepreneurship can be considered to be one of the most important social political trends of the 21st century. The question as to what extent social entrepreneurs have the competence to find answers to the complex social political challenges increasingly attracts public interest. Can they use new approaches and employment structures and thereby become an example for reform endeavors in public service? To prevent the social political debate from being recognized only superficially and to ensure a substantial understanding of the relationship between public institutions and social entrepreneurs, it is essential to organize the current state of discussion and research.

In detail, it is of great importance (1) to analyze the innovation potential of social entrepreneurs in order to determine the impact on innovation and the devlopment of reform methods in public service that social entrepreneurs have as incubators. (2) Moreover, the relationship between public institutions and social entrepreneurs needs to be clarified. In this context, it is important to investigate whether social entrepreneurs have the capability of forcing traditional structures to become more open (e.g. more participative design) and to analyze social entrepreneurship’s relationship to public service: is it cooperative, competitive or complementary? (3) Furthermore, the working conditions in the social entrepreneur sector with its commonalities and differences in contrast to public service need to be investigated. It needs to be carved out what impact social entrepreneurs have in their position as employers and to what extent they undermine any reform endeavors of public service by using innovative (thus perhaps precarious) employment relationships. For a substantial understanding of the relationship between public service and social entrepreneurs, it is important (4) to investigate the future potential of social entrepreneurs and the consequences of this potential for public service. It also needs to be analyzed to what extent social entrepreneurs supersede public institutions through their actions, and how far certain sectors of social assumption of responsibility will be covered by private civil involvement in the future.

  • Initiator: Hans Böckler Foundation
  • Duration of the project: 2011-2012
  • Direction: Prof. Dr. Carsten Dreher (FU Berlin)

International Meeting/ Conference of the Center for Cluster Development - Planning Research for the Future?

  • Project description:

The conference from October 13-15, 2011 was hosted by Freie Universität Berlin, Center for Cluster Development in cooperation with the Association for the German Science (Stiftung für die deutsche Wissenschaft).

Research and science are keys to our future. But how do institutions and societies organize “their” research? How do they decide about research questions that are considered to be important? By chance or planning? And to what extent are issues and social challenges transferable to issues in science and research? What basic conditions are needed for the determination of issues and research questions – and what consequences do these conditions have for the research? Do conscious preparation and planning/ appropriation of funds enhance the chances for the success of science and thereby the likelihood for a solution to social problems – or does planning prevent creativity and the “lucky incident” so often required? How far can the promoters exercise influence – where does the “freedom of research” begin and where does it end? Where is the boundary between consensus and individuality, between the “without purpose” and “without sense” promotion of science?

These questions are answered differently by various actors in the science system. During the conference the different perspectives of international actors were brought together. The main issues discussed referred to the areas of conflict between chance and planning, the mutual impact of actors and social needs and the opportunities, boundaries and consequences of the research agendas in science.

  • Project Partners: Stifterverband für die Deutsche Wissenschaft