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Maureen Mckelvey


Unit for Innovation and
Visiting address
Viktoriagatan 13
41125 Göteborg
Postal address
Box 625
40530 Göteborg

About Maureen Mckelvey

Professor McKelvey’s research addresses innovation and entrepreneurship. An underlying theoretical proposition from an evolutionary and Schumpeterian paradigm is that innovation and entrepreneurship are closely related to processes of creating, accessing, and diffusing knowledge and opportunities.

McKelvey's research focuses on the development and use of knowledge at the interplay between innovation management and entrepreneurship with science and engineering. She has publishes in journals such as Small Business Economics, Research Policy and Applied Economics as well as books with Routledge, Oxford, Cambridge, and Edward Elgar. Professor McKelvey has had high level positions in expert groups and written reports, for Swedish organizations as well as for the OECD and EU.

Her research and results will greatly impact the transformation of society through knowledge, innovation and entrepreneurship by opening up new scientific breakthroughs; building upon extreme methodologies recently developing in social science research; and pioneering new approaches into the unknown.

Scientific leadership
As an independent principle investigator since 1995, McKelvey contributes with internationally recognized contributions within the field. Her first book Evolutionary Innovations: The Business of Biotechnology was based upon her PhD dissertation and was awarded the prestigious Schumpeter Prize. Two decades ago, her research produced pioneering explanations of radical business innovations based on science. Her later work explained how universities are a central source of new knowledge within innovation systems, and in the 2009 EU Business Panel for Future Innovation Policy, she set forth grand societal challenges and inclusive engagement as the public policy vision. In recent years, international collaborators and McKelvey explicated the distinct theoretical and empirical characteristics of “knowledge intensive entrepreneurs”. She is recognized as one of the international leaders in her field, also seen in numerous plenary speeches.

McKelvey’s full publication list includes 44 peer-reviewed scientific articles, of which 38 are in the top journals in her field as well as in top journals of related disciplinary fields. Her research career is rooted in Innovation Studies and Evolutionary Economics, but there are links to scholars in Economics, Management & Business Studies, Economic Geography, Entrepreneurship, and Science & Technology Studies.

Earlier in her career, the field’s publishing tradition consisted mainly of books, the occasional journal article, government reports and public policy projects including direct interaction with policy-makers. Following this tradition, she has written 3 books, edited 11 books and written 60 book chapters published in academic books by the most respected international publishers, in addition to the journal articles.

Scientific mentoring
McKelvey’s philosophy and strategy for mentoring young talents is to promote scientific curiosity. She strongly urges young scholars that scientific curiosity is driven by four questions - the “what’s right” and “what’s wrong” with theoretical understanding; the “what if” of unexpected empirics; and the “what’s new” of the results.

Her PhD students have all had successful careers in academia, business and government. Three former PhD students have become Professors, two in Sweden and one in Germany. One is Senior Lecturer and two are currently Assistant Professors on a tenure track position at the University of Gothenburg. One former PhD student has a top post in Swedish Government Offices and another is Business Development Manager, Region Skåne.

Her post-doctoral scholars currently have academic positions in China, France, Germany, Ireland, Netherlands, Sweden, Turkey, and the UK. These scholars are successful in pushing forward the boundaries of the field.

She has designed and implemented three successful two year MSc Programs taught in English (one at Chalmers; two at the University of Gothenburg), which together graduate more than 100 students annually.

This track record testifies to McKelvey’s ability to promote and foster young talents.

Local leadership in the field
McKelvey was Professor at Chalmers University of Technology (6 years) before being recruited to the University of Gothenburg, where she is now Professor of Industrial Management. She is Deputy Head of Department of Economy and Society and has on the last decade led the design, creation and implementation of the Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, by building a completely new research environment together with colleagues. See

The Institute now has 22 researchers and PhD students. McKelvey founded on the principle of integrating research with teaching and societal impact, within the subjects of innovation and entrepreneurship. These phenomena engage different actors involved in the generation, diffusion and exploitation of ideas into business and societal innovations, including change of both existing firms as well as renewal of society through new firms and industries. The Institute currently teaches 170 Masters students, who are enrolled in the highly successful MSc programs “Innovation and Industrial Management” and “Knowledge-based Entrepreneurship”.

Local leadership for the university
McKelvey has taken on demanding academic leadership jobs. At Chalmers, she was Director of a VINNOVA Center of Excellence for four years. At the School of Business, Economics and Law she was Vice-Dean for three years and also the Director for Graduate School for six years, with responsible for over 400 Masters students in all business school subjects.

On other web sites

Research areas

  • Innovation management, Entrepreneurship, University-Industry interactions,

Teaching areas

  • Innovation and Industrial Management Entrepreneurship

Selected publications

Creating innovative opportunities through research collaboration: An evolutionary framework and empirical illustration in engineering
McKelvey, Maureen, Zaring, Olof, Ljungberg, Daniel
Technovation, 39-40, s. 26-36, 2015

Innovation Spaces in Asia: Entrepreneurs, Multinational Enterprises and Policy
McKelvey, Maureen, Bagchi-Sen, Sharmistha

Academic engagement and commercialisation: A review of the literature on university-industry relations
Perkmann, M., Tartari, V., McKelvey, Maureen, Autio, E., Brostrom, A., D'Este, P., Fini, R., Geuna, A., Grimaldi, R., Hughes, A., Krabel, S., Kitson, M., Llerena, P., Lissoni, F., Salter, A., Sobrero, M.
Research Policy, 42:2, s. 423-442, 2013