I am a political economist working on ways to make the most of the opportunities emerging from a greener economy - for the economy, people, and especially the planet. The scale of sustainable innovation and long-term socio-technical transformation is vast and provides enormous scope for political, economic, business, and social change. I particularly focus on innovation systems at the intersection of clean-tech and artificial intelligence such as in the energy and mobility sectors. My research combines insights from innovation studies, political economy, economics, and policy analysis. I have been a consultant for projects related to clean technologies and green transformations on the micro-level, as well as for innovation policy and a green industrial strategy on the macro-level.
Currently, I am a researcher and consultant at the Department of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Public Policy at University College London (UCL STEaPP). At UCL, I also teach on the MPA programme and co-supervise Master's projects. I completed my PhD in 'Government and Economics' at UCL, fully funded through a scholarship by the UK Engineering and Physical Science Research Council. My PhD thesis entitled 'Networked Transitions Towards Sustainability: Policy Coordination in Socio-Technical Innovation Systems' is available upon request. I also hold a BSc from the London School of Economics and a MPhil from the University of Oxford, where I was a member of St. Antony's College. I speak English, German, Spanish, reasonable French and Portuguese, and some Russian. For queries regarding collaborations, consultancy, or details about my CV, contact me directly.
political economy of innovation
Innovation does not occur in isolation. Innovation systems are embedded in a wider political and economic context, which shapes the input into the system, stakeholder preferences and capabilities, and the interdependencies between them. To understand how contextual factors affect innovation outcomes, I rely on an analytic framework that distills the technological, sectoral, geographic, political, and macroeconomic preconditions and assesses their impact on the innovation system as blocking and inducing mechanisms. Combined, understanding the systemic embedding of innovation (systems) allows governments and companies to better design intervention strategies, to grasp and capitalise on spill-over effects, and to estimate unintended consequences. Such context factors are particularly important for socio-technical innovations, for example, to achieve better environmental sustainability and when implementing green innovation policies.
complex innovation systems
Innovation is a highly complex phenomenon. The more sophisticated socio-technical innovations are, the more stakeholders tend to be involved – across the industry, academia, government, and society. Mission-oriented innovation (policy), i.e. cross-sectoral and cross-jurisdictional approaches to solve a particular problem, often result in so-called multi-technology innovations. These technologies are in themselves complex compilations of multiple sub-components and sub-systems. Examples include smart grids, autonomous vehicles, or smart agriculture technologies. Governing such innovations creates coordination challenges across the innovation network and stakeholders. Understanding how coordination failures can be resolved to accelerate the advancement of the innovation system is the goal of this project. The research focuses on complex mobility solutions and on energy systems.
implementing innovation policy
Innovation policy is the government’s way to shape innovation, tilt the playing field, and define the direction of future socio-technical trajectories. An increasingly employed approach advocates for mission-oriented policies, i.e. policies that focus on a solution rather than a sector or technology to bring about significant socio-economic change. This project extends the initial mission-oriented innovation policy approach and analyses how such policies can be implemented in practice. The state is not a unitary actor and its organisations have different interests, capacities, and capabilities. The ‘TIS+’ framework introduced in this project defines the role of public sector organisations in innovation systems and shows that networked approaches are best apt to adapt to the challenges emanating from complex innovation.
coordinating green transformations
The opportunities - and challenges - inherent to the transformation to a green(er) economy are vast. Large scale-transformations can only succeed if actors collaborate to achieve (partial) goals. Governments and industry leaders have taken different approaches to foster such cooperation through policy, strict laws, voluntary initiatives, market mechanisms, labels, and more. What is the best way to quickly achieve discernible impact to the benefit of everyone, including the environment? Networked transitions towards a green economy are particularly fruitful. This includes interdisciplinary, cross-sector, triple-helix collaboration, i.e. including public and private stakeholders, plus researchers. Intermediaries can coordinate goal-oriented projects and targeted cooperations can foster technological and business innovations systematically. Understanding these dynamics is key to expanding them, and ultimately to 'turn green' more quickly and efficiently.
clean autonomous mobility futures
Connected autonomous vehicles (AVs) are considered a mobility solution of the future that resolves many transport and environmental problems cities face today. At the same time, they are a prime example of a multi-technology innovation that includes several industry sectors, involves countless stakeholders, and affects various policy and regulatory domains. I ask to what extent AVs can satisfy these expectations, whether they can really contribute to a smarter, more efficient, and sustainable mobility system, and how policies or regulations can shape and coordinate the innovation of this technology. Relying on network analyses and a system-based approach, I cross-compare the development and impact of AVs in three highly innovative economies: Singapore, Estonia, and Sweden.
renewable energy transitions
Ensuring the transition towards sustainability without vitiating economic prosperity is a key debate, especially in emerging markets. Achieving large-scale transformations across the economy necessitates new business models and socio-technical innovations. These rely on incentive structures, economic opportunities, available capacities, and policies that regard a large sustainability transition as a long-term and holistic 'mission'. In this project, I focus on renewable energy technologies and the energy transition in emerging economies by analysing the trajectories and trends in the energy market in Brazil. I assess the role of incumbent firms, the potential of newly established start-ups, and the power of existing policies and regulatory frameworks.
research project collaboration
The transport sector, in general, and the aviation industry, in particular, are principal sources of greenhouse gas emissions responsible for global climate change. The COVID-19 global pandemic poses an additional, challenging crossroads for the aviation sector. In this project, we investigate to what extent a transition to sustainability is feasible in this sector, whether it is economically viable, and which avenues – politically, economically, and technologically – could be pursued. We employ a systemic approach and focus especially on alternative aviation fuels, on the one hand, and on behavioral changes of operations and companies, on the other. We also discuss why the transition scholarship should pay attention to aviation – a topic thus far under-researched in this field.
Kopp, A.P. (forthcoming). Networked Transitions Towards Sustainability: Policy Coordination in Complex Innovation Systems. Ph.D. Thesis, Department of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Public Policy, University College London.
Kopp, A.P. (under review). The Role of Public Organisations in Innovation Systems: a New Analytic Approach 'TIS+'.
Kopp, A.P. (under review). Coordinating Multi-Technology Innovation: a Comparative Case Study of Autonomous Vehicle Governance in Highly Innovative Economies.
Tzachor, A. and Kopp, A.P. (under review). Considering Sustainability Transitions as an Economic Development Theory - Possible Theoretical and Practical Benefits.
Habersetzer, A., Kopp, A.P., and Schwäbe C. (in preparation). Sustainable Aviation Fuels and Their Impact on the Transition of the Aviation industry.
Kopp, A.P. (in preparation). Coordinating Innovation - Innovating Coordination: a Systematic Review.
European Forum for Studies of Politics for Research and Innovation Conference
Oslo (Norway), June 2021
Paper: Implementing Challenge-Led Policies - the Role of Public Sector Organisations in Coordinating Innovation Systems and Shaping Directionality
Guest Lecture, Master of Public Administration (MPA), University College London
London (UK), November 2020
Lecture: Coordinating Innovation through Policies and Networks
Invited Talk, Innovation Studies Group, Copernicus Institute for Sustainable Development
Utrecht (The Netherlands), September 2020
Talk: ’TIS+’ or the Role of Public Administrations in Mission-Oriented Innovation Systems
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 Technological 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
My consulting work focuses on one of the most important challenges our economies face in the 21st century: the transformation towards a green economy. The year 2021 marks somewhat of a turning point in this regard. Not only do we face the aftermath of the Covid-19 global pandemic with the potential to re-arrange many long-standing, conventional, and rigid structures, but many global leaders also embark on the push for resolving the climate crisis. We need to turn our economies more environmentally sustainable, to protect the climate and the planet, and thus, our future, liberties, and opportunities. This transformation contains enormous potential. My consulting works focuses on achieving systemic transformations for the benefit of all.
These might be small steps for every individual, but as we know, a system is more than the sum of its parts, such that many small steps can lead to enormous leaps. A systemic orientation towards the mission to achieve a greener and more sustainable economy, hence, implies changes to the way we think and do things, whilst also promoting increased prosperity for everyone.
Contact me for further details regarding my consulting work.
We must understand the interdependencies between economic, social, and environmental systems in their entirety.
Businesses, government, and society must be brought together such that they can work hand in hand.
Technologies alone will not resolve the climate crisis, instead policies can guide business practices and human behaviour.
System change and its impact must be evaluated through feedback loops across the system and staholders through short-, medium-, and long-term perspectives.
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 2021:
Mariana Mazzucato (2021)
London, UK: Allan Lane
We are facing some pretty big challenges globally: climate change, pollution, health crises, poverty, and more. Approaching these problems through 'missions' can help governemnts to re-organise political, economic, and innovation systems such that we all benefit, Mazzucato claims. An insightful and bolstering read for trying times and a handbook for policymakers, entrepreneurs, and scholars alike ...