sustainability innovation researcher
I am a political economist researching sustainability innovation and policy affecting long-term socio-technical change at the intersection of clean-tech and artificial intelligence. I focus on complex innovation systems, so-called multi-technology innovations, that tap into various policy domains and span across different economic networks, especially in the energy and mobility sectors. My work combines insights from innovation studies, political economy, and policy analysis. I have been a consultant for projects related to innovation policy, green technologies, and industrial strategy.
Currently, I am a researcher and PhD candidate at the Department of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Public Policy at University College London (UCL STEaPP), fully funded by the UK Engineering and Physical Science Research Council. At UCL, I teach 'Public Administration' and co-supervise Master's projects. I hold a Bachelor of Science from the London School of Economics and a Master of Philosophy from the University of Oxford, where I was a member of St. Antony's College. I speak English, German, Spanish, reasonable French, and some Portuguese. For queries regarding collaboration, consultancy, or details about my CV, please contact me directly.
The main theme of my doctoral research project is 'multi-technology challenges'. These concern issues where socio-economic problems are intended to be solved by technologies, which are in themselves complex compilations of multiple sub-systems. Examples include smart energy, autonomous vehicles, or smart agri-tech. Because such innovations involve multiple stakeholders in large networks and aim at improving life for society, these become political issues as well. Hence, I investigate how policy can coordinate the development and innovation of such multi-tech solutions, making them more efficient and environmentally friendly, accelerating their development, and ultimately, making them more socially beneficial. This work, hence, combines insights from innovation studies, public administration, and political economy.
Enhancing economic prosperity often stands in contradiction to promoting environmental sustainability - coalescing both requires a new way of thinking. Investigating how a transition towards sustainability can be achieved in a way that does not vitiate economic prosperity is the goal of this project. A 'transition' implies a large scale transformation across the economy with new business models and innovative technologies. Both rely on incentive structures and policies that regard a large sustainability transition as a long-term and holistic 'mission'. Here, I focus on renewable energy technologies and the energy transition in emerging market economies.
Connected autonomous vehicles (AV) are hyped as a mobility solution of the future resolving many of the transport and environmental problems cities face today. At the same time, they are a prime example of a multi-technology innovation that affects various policy and regulatory domains, which often results in a governance challenge. I ask to what extent AV can satisfy these expectations and how policies or regulations shape and coordiante the innovation of the technology. Relying on a system analysis approach, I cross-compare the policies and the development of AV innovation in Singapore, Estonia, and Sweden.
Innovation is a highly complex phenomenon because it includes many different component parts, such as actors and institutions with different interests and priorities that all evolve over time, and it affects social, economic, technological, and behavioral dynamics simultaneously. This is the case, for example, in knoweldge networks, for science policy, technology transfer, or technology regulation. Before governments change such networks, we have to grasp the underlying complexity of it, ensuring that policies only have their intended effects. Hence, understanding the structure and the interdependencies of these innovation networks is the goal of this project, where I focus on energy system innovation and environmental policies.
The transport sector, in general, and the aviation industry, in particular, are one of the main sources of greenhouse gas emissions responsible for global climate change. In this project, we investigate to what extent a transition to sustainability of the aviation sector is possible, which avenues - technologically, economically, and politically - chould be pursued, and why the transition scholarship should pay attention to it. We focus especially on alternative fuels, on the one hand, and on behavioral changes, on the other. I conduct this project jointly with Antoine Habersetzer (Bauhaus Luftfahrt) and Carsten Schwäbe (FU Berlin).
green industrial strategy
Industrial strategies define the direction into which governments hope that the economy will develop. This project takes a comparative approach to analyse the industrial strategies of several advanced economies - among others the UK and Germany - to investigate to what extent their policies are environmentally and econmically sustainable, mission-oriented, cross-sectoral, and, therefore, long-term value creating. This project is based on a consulting project for the UK Royal Academy of Engineering (RAEng) and is conducted with colleagues from the University of Cambridge.
conferences & workshops
11th International Sustainability Transitions Conference
Vienna (Austria), August 2020
Paper: Designing and Implementing Transitions – Public Administrations in Innovation Systems
Paper: Coordinating Multi-Technology Innovation Systems – Governance of Autonomous Vehicles
Paper: Transitions in the Aviation Industry: a Technology Innovation System Perspective (co-authored)
European Forum for Studies of Politics for Research and Innovation Conference
Utrecht (The Netherlands), June 2020
Paper: Policy Coordination in Innovation Systems - the Role of Public Administrations in Governing Emerging Technologies
5th Network of Early Career Researchers in Sustainability Transitions Conference
Zurich (Switzerland), May 2020
Paper: Governing Multi-Technology Innovation - Policy Coordination Strategies for Autonomous Vehicles
2020 Convention of the International Studies Association
Honolulu (USA), March 2020 (conference cancelled)
Paper: Governing Socio-Technical Innovation Systems - Policy Coordination Strategies for Sustainability
4th International Conference of Public Policy
Montreal (Canada), June 2019
Panel (Chair): The Design and Organisation of Innovation Policy
Paper: Coordinating Multi-Technology Innovation Policy
10th International Sustainability Transitions Conference
Ottawa (Canada), June 2019
Paper: Coordinating Multi-Technology Innovation Towards Sustainability - a Case Study from Sweden
4th Network of Early Career Researchers in Sustainability Transitions Conference
Lisbon (Portugal), May 2019
Paper: Coordinating Multi-Technology Innovation Towards Sustainability - a Case Study from Singapore
Innovation Growth Lab Winter Research Workshop, NESTA
London (UK), December 2018
9th International Sustainability Transitions Conference
Manchester (UK), June 2018
Paper: Policy Capacities for Sustainable Technological Innovation
University Sustainability Alliance Conference, Freie Universität Berlin
Berlin (Germany), April 2018
Poster: Coordination Capacity for Mission-Oriented Innovation
Leadership in Action Workshop, University College London
London(UK), January 2018
Innovation Measuring and Modelling Summer School, Utrecht University
Utrecht (Netherlands), August 2017
Centre of Innovation and Energy Demand Summer School, University of Sussex
Brighton/Falmer (UK), July 2017
Economic Networks Summer School, Mathematical Institute, University of Oxford
Oxford (UK), June 2017
Innovation Growth Lab Global Conference, NESTA
Barcelona (Spain), June 2017
Science Policy Research Unit PhD Forum, University of Sussex
Brighton/Falmer (UK), May 2017
Innovation in the Industrial Strategy Workshop, Royal Academy of Engineering
London (UK), March 2017
Interdisciplinarity and Co-production PhD Workshop, University College London
London (UK), November 2016
European Consortium of Political Research Workshop, King's College London
London (UK), June 2015
Brazilian Association of Political Science Convention
Brasilia (Brazil), August 2014
news & media
academic conferences in crisis mode - a verdict
My new blog post for the UCL STEaPP blog highlights how conferencing has changed in times of a global pandemic, what is good about this, and what not so much, and why early career academics are hit especially hard.
academia and twitter
I regularly use twitter to inform about my research, to enage with colleagues and experts on topics I work on, and to inform myself about the newest developments in my academic fields and beyond. I invite you to follow me on @AndyPKopp and find out for yourself, how enriching the social media platform can be!
founding host for video podcast 'steapp chat'
Our new video-podcast series features collegues from UCL and highlights their research, policy engagement, or consultancy projects across the entire spectrum of digital policy, infrastrucutre, sustainbility, science advice, and more. Check out our Youtube channel!
book recommendation july 2020:
Hans Rosling (2018)
London, UK: Sceptre
In times of fake news and many uncertainties, relying on facts, analysing them, and understanding how our perceptions are often distorted, comes in handy. Plus, you learn how to be more 'factful' ...