René Kemp

Rene Kemp

I amprofessor of innovation and sustainable development at the ICIS research institute of Maastricht University and professorial fellow at UNU-MERIT, a research institute of United Nations University and Maastricht University.  

I am an eco-innovation researcher with a background in economics and an interest in policy, history, societal change, theory and research methodology. I am an expert of sustainability transitions with eco-innovation expertise in the domains of energy, automobility, waste, eco-industry and households. The last few years I have studied social innovation and urban lab projects. As a professor of innovation and sustainable development I try to do socially relevant research and offer policy advice to create a better world. My experiences with policy dialogue and knowledge of the sociology of knowledge helped me to appreciate the ways in which facts and values are intertwined. I am a stern believer in interdisciplinary research for seeing the ‘whole elephant’. 

I have worked at different universities and research institutes as a payroll employee and visiting researcher: IPTS in Sevilla (Spain), STEP in Oslo (Norway), University of Twente in Enschede, TNO in Delft and Erasmus University in Rotterdam (The Netherlands), Harvard University in the US, CIRUS in Switzerland and the EIRC in Hobart, Australia. I consulted for the OECD and UNIDO and advised the European Commission on the RTD implications of climate change. For the Environment Council I wrote a policy note on eco-efficient innovation in 2004, which fed into the Council’s conclusions. I pioneered new approaches for policy such as Strategic Niche Management and Transition Management, which became the topic of much attention worldwide. In the last year, I developed a deep interest in the humanisation of the economy, as an important transformation process (catering to basic psychological needs of autonomy, relatedness and competence-based mastery and values of care & responsibility for the well-being of others and natural environment).