PhD projects

PhD projects

Our current PhD research projects advance knowledge in various frontiers in innovation and entrepreneurship.

Use your brain

Research area: Innovation and corporate entrepreneurship

The future of neurodiversity in teams

Turning weaknesses into strengths – leveraging neurodiversity in entrepreneurship and leadership

Neurodevelopmental disorders (e.g. ADHD & autism) are, by definition, impairing and go along with social problems and negative side-effects such as stress and anxiety. At the same time, most traits are not universally positive or negative. Neurodiversity is a concept where these neurological differences are to be recognized and respected as any other human variation. With this project, we aim to remove stigma related to neurodevelopmental disorders by highlighting the inherent benefits and strengths of neurodiversity for innovation-related teamwork. By embracing diversity and empowering individuals, we equip neurodiverse individuals with the skills of future work. By doing so, we try to find a way to prepare people to work or lead neuro-diverse teams of entrepreneurs or within a corporate setting by training them to be open and welcome “anomalies” (in the environment and in people).

Phd Student: Laurine Keller

Tunnel with tubes

research area: open innovation, open entrepreneurship and eco system

Innovation impact of big science organizations

Innovation impact of big science organizations – conditions, interactions, and knowledge spillover

Big Science Organizations (BSOs) - known as research infrastructures in Europe - are increasingly important as influencers in innovation ecosystems, as they are capable of driving technological advancement for the relevant industries. Studies on BSOs have shown their importance in technological breakthrough and their impact on national and international economies and society.

The relationship between BSOs and industrial firms is an area of interest in terms of innovation in recent research. BSO-industry collaborations both create new knowledge and engage in knowledge spillover, generating impact on both scientific and innovative performance for those involved. The theories on knowledge spillover, open innovation, supply-driven innovation and proximity economics will be used as the foundation for this project, and the areas to which this project will make theoretical contributions.

PhD Student: Erika Susan Dietrichson

post it notes on wall

research area: sustainable entrepreneurship and innovation

Business model innovation for the SDGs

Dealing with uncertainty and complexity in business model innovation for sustainability

Business model innovation is a type of a forward-looking exercise where organizations intend to create or transform their business logic and assess its future outcomes in order to create and capture value. To achieve business model resilience and manage through unforeseeable circumstances optimal decision-making is crucial. Yet, when innovating business models, innovators are often faced with complexity and uncertainty. Such circumstances may hinder optimal and rational outcomes of the innovation process. This is especially relevant in the context of business model innovation for sustainability (BMIfS), where the forecasted impact is crucial for the entire system.

Business model innovation, as one of “entry points” to business at large, has a great potential of contributing to sustainable development goals. Therefore, a deeper understanding of the BMIfS process is needed to promote sustainability in practice and stimulate further research on the topic. This study adopts the cognitive perspective to explore in detail the process and phases of BMIfS.

The overall aim is to understand the cognitive patterns that innovators follow to cope with uncertainty and complexity within the process of BMIfS.

PhD Student: Martyna Anna Jurek

postit moods

Research area: Entrepreneurship and health

Leveraging AI to promote entrepreneurial mental health

Detecting the Onset and Spread of Negative Wellbeing in Startup Teams Using Diverse Datatypes

Research has shown that entrepreneurs are exposed to an environment which is paradoxical in its impact on wellbeing: on the one hand, the autonomy and devotion entrepreneurs show in their endeavours are often reflected in positive levels of eudaimonic wellbeing (related to autonomy and fulfilment); on the other hand, the entrepreneurial landscape is regularly fraught with risk and uncertainty. These daunting stressors lead to startup failure and can eventually have negative, and even mortal, repercussions on entrepreneurs’ physical and mental health.

The goal of this study is ultimately to produce data-driven insights that will encourage early interventions, allowing the development of these effects to be curtailed and positive wellbeing to be achievable. The value of successful interventions is particularly felt because it has been established that stress is subject to spreading between individuals; there is therefore motivation to stem the tide of this spread, and to protect the wellbeing of team members. The data used here will include text and physiological biomarkers, with influence from machine learning approaches applied outside of entrepreneurship; text data will provide a valuable look at healthy language in startup settings, while biomarkers can constitute warning signs of the ongoing physical effects of stress and poor wellbeing.

Phd student: Gustav Ravi Hjerting



Entrepreneurship for sustainable development

Enablers and disablers of sustainable entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship: individual and contextual factors

In the last two decades, studies on entrepreneurship for sustainable development in top management journals have increased. However, an under researched element of the field remains, it being a formalized knowledge on individual and contextual determinants influencing sustainable entrepreneurial intentions and outcomes. Moreover, despite being known among practitioners, a little number of studies has addressed the role of the sustainable intrapreneur, an intrapreneur that focusses on generating social and environmental impact while securing profit for the company. Therefore, the overall objective of this PhD project is twofold: first, to advance the knowledge on the interconnectedness of the determinants shaping sustainable entrepreneurial intentions and outcomes; second, to dig into sustainable intrapreneurship so to unveil the distinctive aspects of the phenomenon.

Phd student: Giorgia Scartozzi

Person facing pc

Research area: Entrepreneurship and digitalization

Artificial intelligence supporting innovation and entrepreneurship

New functions and effects of intermediaries for innovation and entrepreneurship, equipped with artificial Intelligence

The goal of this research project is to find how artificial intelligence/machine learning tools can support innovation intermediaries (hubs, incubators, science parks, clusters, networks, RTOs, etc.) when providing innovation and/or entrepreneurial services to industry. Furthermore, we study how the implementation of these technologies fits in the digitalisation strategy of these organisations.

The outcome of the project aims to provide a framework for public and private organisms designing, implementing and/or running Innovation intermediary’s organizations and implementing AI/ML technologies.

glasses nimisha mekala on unsplash

Research area: Entrepreneurial finance

Carbon as currency

Monetizing carbon savings for cleantech startups

A persistent cleantech startup financing gap inhibits the innovation’s potential to curb climate change, and the designated financial instruments for carbon savings could be better utilized to minimize the gap. Notably, the rise in corporate voluntary climate commitments is finally gaining momentum and both academics and practitioners recognize the need for diverse projects and financing solutions for reaching their goals. At the same time, there is a lack of research connecting cleantech financing options with current carbon trading practices.
The intended outcome of this project is to generate research findings leading toward frameworks and methods to guide and support financing mechanisms for cleantech ventures relating to voluntary carbon offsets.

Phd Student: Mia Blatancic


Research area: Entrepreneurship didactics and diversity

The bias in gendered entrepreneurship

Farnaz is investigating how gender bias affects the gender gap in entrepreneurship. She is interested in examining how the social construction of gender and entrepreneurship influence individual cognitions and perceptions, and inform biases, which effect the entrepreneurial processes in various ways. She is passionate about finding a solution by exploring how machine learning and big data can help expose implicit gender biases to reduce the gender gap in entrepreneurship.

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