The ETM section's research agenda is clustered into four main research areas to further improve our societal impact for the coming years. Here we mention key research questions and their relation to our research topics. Also, we describe our key partners and activities in these areas. Organisations interested in research collaborations in these areas are encouraged to reach out to the contact persons to explore opportunities.

For an overview of all ETM output, see the research repository

RESilient supply networks

Safe and secure societies require supply networks to withstand disruptions and unexpected events. How can artificial Intelligence and machine learning be used to predict and potentially prevent such external shocks? Will blockchain make supply networks more transparent and secure? How can circular supply chains improve the resilience of global supply networks? Research topics include secure resource allocation, the role of preferred suppliers and complementors in networked business, skills mismatches, and how (public) procurement can stimulate innovation, particularly in manufacturing, healthcare and/or online environments. At the ETM section, we host the UT’s European Laboratory for Innovative Purchasing and Supply (EL-IPS).

Contact: Dr. Niels Pulles

Regional ecosystems development

Due to global competition, inclusive economic growth requires local businesses and stakeholders to collaborate and innovate within their regions. How can regional ecosystems actors leverage technology, such as digital platforms, Internet-of-Things, data analytics, virtual and augmented reality, remote sensing, and drones to even better connect with customers and suppliers? This includes improved access to capital, mentorship, and networking opportunities, especially supporting underrepresented groups. We contribute to the innovative Twente ecosystem and other regions by studying, for example, SME and high-tech startup support structures for (sustainable) growth, cross-border regional collaboration, sustainable energy clusters, (rural) ecosystem business model design and dynamics, and systemic innovation. We collaborate with various partners, including the NovelT incubator of the UT and Saxion University of Applied Sciences, the REACH Entrepreneurship centre of the University of Münster, and local organisations, especially in challenge-based educational research projects.

Contact: Dr. Maximilian Goethner

Enterprise & Society

Social and environmental challenges are both a threat and an opportunity for contemporary business due to changing societal expectations that demand looking beyond short-term financial performance. What role do digital technologies such as data analytics and artificial intelligence play in monitoring and improving business social performance? Moreover, which opportunities do innovations in biotech, materials science, renewables, and the like provide on the road to circularity and beyond? For these challenges, inclusive and sustainable business models are crucial in promoting equitable economic growth in the long term. Examples of research that aims for positive societal impact are the transformation of employees’ mindsets, routines and behaviours towards sustainability, inclusive AI for managerial decision-making, market stewardship, trust and acceptance of sustainable products, inclusive microfinance, governance of digital transformation, and enterprising skills for societal challenges.

Contact: Dr. Barbara Kump

highTech transformation of industry

New technologies play a crucial role in addressing societal challenges and transforming industries, yet how to ensure such technologies be used well? The advantages of innovations in artificial intelligence, robotics, quantum computing, and cleantech are clear, but how can they best be brought to market, adopted and implemented to realise profound transformation? Our university is an ideal space to study the entire process, from innovation ideation to market adoption. Both UT’s NovelT and WWU Münster REACH incubators provide a fertile ground for startup research and connecting to science and engineering faculties. Likewise, (manufacturing) incumbents are becoming increasingly smart and require solid platform strategies and organisational cultures supporting digital transformation. Research varies from autonomous sourcing systems, consumer nanotech adoption, and deep tech systems development and innovation to effective transformation management and required employee skills.

Contact: Dr. Matthias de Visser