Members of the Commission of Experts

Prof. Dr. Irene Bertschek (Vice Chair)

Head of the Digital Economy research unit at the ZEW Mannheim and professor at the University of Gießen

Prof. Dr. Irene Bertschek has been a member of the Commission of Experts for Research and Innovation, appointed by the German Federal Government since 1 May 2019.

Since 2001, she has been head of the ‘Digital Economy’ research unit at the ZEW – Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research in Mannheim. She has also held the professorship in ‘Economy of Digitalization’ at the Justus-Liebig-University Giessen since 2017.

After studying economics at the University of Mannheim (Diploma) and the Université catholique de Louvain, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium (Master of Arts), majoring in econometrics and industrial economics, Dr. Irene Bertschek received her doctorate from the Université catholique de Louvain as part of the European Doctoral Programme. During this time, she spent research stays at CREST-INSEE in Paris and at the Humboldt University Berlin.

She has been working at the ZEW since 1999. From 2011 to 2017, she was Professor of Applied Empirical Economic Research at the University of Mannheim. Her research focuses on how digitalization changes economic processes and how it affects the productivity and innovation behaviour of businesses. Her methodological expertise lies in applied microeconometrics and the analysis of firm-level data.

She works on numerous national and international economic research projects and is associate editor of Information Economics and Policy. She is member and deputy president of the Steering Committee of the Swiss National Science Foundation’s National Research Programme “Digital Transformation“. She is also a member of the Plattform Lernende Systeme – Germany’s Platform for Artificial Intelligence at acatech, the National Academy of Science and Engineering. Since 2022 she is a member of the Future Council of the Federal Government. The advisory board formulates proposals to strengthen Germany’s resilience and technological sovereignty in key technologies and digitalisation.

Prof. Dr. Guido Bünstorf

Professor of Economics and head of the Economic Policy, Innovation and Entrepreneurship Group at the University of Kassel

Professor Guido Bünstorf has been a member of the Commission of Experts for Research and Innovation since August 2022.

Since 2010 Bünstorf has been Professor of Economics and head of the Economic Policy, Innovation and Entrepreneurship Group at the University of Kassel, where he also serves on the executive board of the International Center for Higher Education Research (INCHER) and as spokesperson of the Graduate School in Economic Behavior and Governance.

Guido Bünstorf studied economics and political science at the University of Freiburg (Breisgau) and the University of Massachusetts (Amherst). He obtained his doctorate and his habilitation from Friedrich Schiller University Jena and was research group leader at the Max Planck Institute of Economics. Bünstorf was a visiting scholar at Carnegie Mellon University, the University of California (Berkeley) as well as Stanford University. From 2016 to 2021 he held a visiting professorship at the University of Gothenburg, to which he is currently affiliated as a member of the Steering Committee of the Centre on Knowledge-Intensive Innovation Ecosystems (U-GOT KIES).

Guido Bünstorf’s research activities focus on the economics of innovation, higher education and science, as well as entrepreneurship research and regional economics. He is particularly interested in the evolutionary dynamics of innovative markets and industries, processes of embodied knowledge transfer based on individual mobility across organizations, regions and countries, and the experimental assessment of online trainings targeting potential and actual entrepreneurs. Bünstorf published his work in renowned scholarly journals and was awarded several prizes for his research. He is co-initiator of a research group on multiple competitions in higher education sponsored by the German Research Foundation as well as associate editor of the journal “Industrial and Corporate Change”.

Prof. Dr. Uwe Cantner (Chairman)

Professor of Economics/Microeconomics at the  Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena

Prof. Uwe Cantner has been a member of the Commission of Experts for Research and Innovation since December 2015. Since May 2019 he has been chair of the Commission. 

He holds the chair of Economics/Microeconomics at the Friedrich Schiller University Jena, where he is also Vice President for Young Researchers and Diversity Management. Furthermore, he is Professor of Economics at the University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark. As visiting professor, Uwe Cantner taught at the Collegio Carlo Albert in Turin, Italy, as well as at various universities in France. 

He was and is head of several committees such as the Joseph A. Schumpeter Society, which he headed in 2013/2014. From 2005 to 2011, he was deputy head of the Governing Boards of the DIME EU Network of Excellence (Dynamics of Institutions and Markets in Europe). He was chairman of the scientific advisory board of the Halle Institute of Economic Research (IWH) from 2012 to 2016.

Today, Professor Cantner is member of the scientific commission of the Mannheim Innovation Panel at the Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW), Director of the Jena Graduate School “Human Behaviour in Social and Economic Change”, member of the Board of Directors of the “Schumpeter Centre for the Study of Social and Economic Change” and member of the scientific commission of the Einstein Foundation Berlin.

Uwe Cantner is editor of the Journal of Evolutionary Economics and co-editor of numerous other publications. He has published six books and more than hundred scientific essays in international journals to date. He studied at the universities of Augsburg and Detroit, obtained his doctorate at the Ludwig Maximilians University Munich and qualified as a professor at the University of Augsburg. 

His research work focuses on innovation economics in the fields of entrepreneurship and start-up research, cluster, network and transfer research, industrial dynamics, radical and transformative change, science and higher education research, indicators, and research and innovation policy.

Prof. Dr. Carolin Häussler

Professor of Organization, Technology Management and Entrepreneurship at the University Passau

Since 1 May 2019, Prof. Dr. Carolin Häussler has been a member of the Commission of Experts for Research and Innovation, appointed by the German Federal Government.

Dr. Carolin Häussler holds the Chair of Organization, Technology Management and Entrepreneurship at the University of Passau. She also runs the International Centre for Economics and Business Studies, which she founded.

Her research focuses on innovation management and entrepreneurship. The gene scissors CRISPR/CAS, the rapidly advancing digitalisation or the increasingly public science - the so-called Open Science - are just a few examples of how research progress is continuously changing the world of life and business. Professor Häussler is interested in the interfaces at which this happens and how new findings are translated into new technologies. In particular, she examines the interfaces between universities, entrepreneurs, large companies and political decision-makers in order to optimise them. Her work has been published in numerous renowned journals and has been awarded numerous prizes. She works for public and private organisations as a scientific advisor and as a mentor for various start-ups. In recent years, her teaching has been intensively dedicated to the development of interdisciplinary study programmes in the field of Digital Technology and Entrepreneurship.

Professor Häussler studied business administration at LMU Munich and as a Sloan Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She also worked as a student and later as a lecturer at the Centre for Digital Technology and Entrepreneurship (CDTM) at TU Munich and LMU Munich. She did her PhD at LMU Munich and also completed her "Habilitation" there with a thesis on incentives, preferences and opportunities in innovation processes. She was also a visiting professor at Stanford University.

Prof. Dr. Till Requate

Chair of Innovation, Competition Policy and New Institutional Economics at Christian-Albrechts-University Kiel

Prof. Dr. Requate has been a member of the German Federal Government’s Commission of Experts for Research and Innovation since 1 May 2020.

He holds the Chair of Innovation, Competition Policy and New Institutional Economics at the Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel.

Till Requate studied Mathematics and Philosophy at Bielefeld University, where he earned his doctorate in economics with a dissertation on game theory and industrial organization and then completed his habilitation with contributions to environmental economics. After serving as a visiting professor of economic theory at the University of Oldenburg, he was appointed Professor of Environmental Economics at the University of Heidelberg from 1996 to 2002. There he headed the interdisciplinary Institute for Environmental Economics and was Chair of the Research Training Group Environmental and Resource Economics from 1998 to 2002.

Since 2002, Till Requate has been Professor of Economics in Kiel, where he was Dean of the Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences from mid-2016 to mid-2020. His main research specialties include environmental economics, in particular with focus on of incentives for innovation through environmental policy instruments, and experimental economics.

Professor Requate has won several scientific awards, including the Eric Kempe Prize of the European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists in 2004 and the Best Paper Award of the German Society for Health Economics in 2013. In addition to numerous stays abroad (e.g. at the University of California at San Diego, the California Institute of Technology and the University of Wisconsin), Till Requate was editor-in-chief of the Journal of Environmental Economics and Management from 2013 to 2018 and associate editor of various other economic journals (e.g. European Economic Review, Resource and Energy Economics). He has worked as a consultant for the OECD, the World Bank, InWent and various ministries.

Prof. Dr. Friederike Welter

Full-time president of the IfM Bonn and Professor of Business Administration, in particular of SME Management and Entrepreneurship at the University Siegen

Prof. Dr. Friederike Welter has been a member of the Commission of Experts for Research and Innovation since August 2022.

Ms Welter is the full-time president of the Institut für Mittelstandsforschung (IfM) in Bonn. At the same time, she holds the professorship for Management of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises and Entrepreneurship at the University of Siegen.

Ms Welter studied economics at the universities of Wuppertal and Bochum and completed her doctorate in Bochum where she was awarded a scholarship from the Graduate Promotion Programme of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia. In 2002 she habilitated at the University of Lüneburg.

From 1993 to 2006, she worked at the Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung (RWI), most recently as deputy head of the competence area “Start-ups and Business Development, Crafts, New Technologies”. From October 2004 to September 2008, she taught at the University of Siegen as a professor of General Business Administration, especially Management of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises. From October 2008 to January 2013, she worked at Jönköping International Business School in Sweden as Professor of Entrepreneurship and Associate Dean for Research.

Friederike Welter is engaged in SMEs and entrepreneurship research. In doing so, she has worked on innovation performance in SMEs in general as well as on women’s innovation activity in particular. Further research focuses include the contextual embedding of entrepreneurial activity and the social contribution of SMEs. She studies the diverse challenges for SMEs as a result of the transformation
to a social-ecological market economy.

Professor Welter is, among other, a member of the Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection‘s SME advisory board and is chair of the “EXIST” expert advisory board. She is a member of the advisory board of the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority and was chairwoman of the expert panel “Validation of the technological and societal innovation potential of scientific research VIP/ VIP+” of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research from 2009 to 2022.

In addition to her senior editing activities for the journal “Entrepreneurship Theory & Practice” and reviewer activities for various international scientific journals, she is co-editor of the book series “Elgar Impact of Entrepreneurship Research Series”. For her entrepreneurship and SME research, she was most recently honoured with admission to the Academia Europaea in 2021 and to the circle of 21st Century Entrepreneurship Research Fellows in 2020.

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