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prof.dr. Stefan Kuhlmann

Stefan Kuhlmann studies co-evolution of technologies, knowledge and societies  

Stefan Kuhlmann is full professor of science, technology and society (STS) at the University of Twente, and he is heading the department of Science, Technology, and Policy Studies (STePS) at the faculty Behavioural, Management, and Social Sciences. He is also Academic Director of WTMC, the Dutch Graduate Research School Science, Technology, and Modern Culture, a collaborative doctoral training network of Dutch universities. Kuhlmann says: “Technological innovation is a genuinely social process. People matter. Technologies, knowledge and societies co-evolve. Our research and our education aim at better understanding of this co-evolution”.

I combine theory, critical analysis and active intervention to develop methods for articulation, negotiation and policy makingProf. Stefan Kuhlmann

His work starts from the assumption that science, technological development and innovation generate sites for articulation, contestation, navigation, negotiation, and change in modern societies. Kuhlmann and his colleagues at STePS combine theory, critical analysis and active intervention in real-world spaces for articulation and policy-making.

Kuhlmann also uses his broad experience to act as research and innovation policy advisor to governments, academic organizations worldwide and the European Commission.

Research and teaching

For more than 30 years, Kuhlmann has been analysing science, research and innovation systems and public policies, focusing on the dynamics of governance. He has held leading roles in many international collaborative research projects and networks, funded by national research organisations, governments and the European Commission. Recent research projects include “S4D4C – Using science for/in diplomacy for addressing global challenges” (funded by EU H2020); “Res-AGorA - Responsible Research and Innovation in a Anticipatory Governance Frame” (funded by EU FP7); “Governance of Discontinuation of Sociotechnical Systems” (DiscGo, funded by NWO); “Research and Innovation Futures 2030: From explorative to transformative scenarios” (RIF; funded by EU FP7). He is also supervisor of a broad range of PhD projects.

Kuhlmann’s graduate teaching includes ‘Management and Governance of Innovation and Creativity’; ‘Sources of Innovation’; ‘Policy Analysis in Public and Technological Domains’. For many years he and colleagues have been offering the international professional training programme ‘Research Evaluation Course. Methods, Experiences and New Approaches’.

About Stefan Kuhlmann

Professor Kuhlmann is a political scientist and studied history at the University of Marburg, Germany, where he graduated in 1978. In 1986 he received his doctorate in Political Science at the University of Kassel, Germany. In 1998 he got a ‘habilitation’ (2nd doctorate) in political science at this university. Before joining the University of Twente in 2006, Kuhlmann held leading positions at the Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research, Germany (1988-2006) and was Professor of Innovation Policy at the Copernicus Institute, University of Utrecht (2001-2006). In the 1980s, he was researcher at the University of Kassel, with a focus on the digitalisation of public administration (1979-1988). 

Currently, Kuhlmann is editor of the leading journal Research Policy (since 2005), associate editor of the Int. J. of Foresight and Innovation Policy and on the boards of several other international journals. His books include The Theory and Practice of Innovation Policy (2010); Research Handbook on Innovation Governance for Emerging Economies (2017); Handbook on Science and Public Policy (2019).

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