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Knowledge about Innovation and Entrepreneurship: Important for Societal Progress


Innovation and Entrepreneurship represents knowledge that has an important place in a modern business school. Challenges like digitalization and globalization are examples of areas where we need increased knowledge about how innovation, commercialization and risk-taking can impact societal progress.

Within the Department of Economy and Society (ES), a dedicated unit focuses on developing and diffusing knowledge about innovation and entrepreneurship through education and research. Our strategy as an organization dedicated to innovation and entrepreneurship is to promote an influx and outflow of people as it supports research, academia and internationalization. In recent years, more than 400 of their master’s students have graduated and proceeded to working life, where they hands-on tackle relevant issues related to innovation and entrepreneurship in many sectors and walks of life.

Moreover, the ongoing research is of high international quality, with many associated researchers both nationally and internationally. One important person is Sharmistha Bagchi-Sen, Professor in Economic Geography at the University of Buffalo, the State University of New York. She was previously (2009-2013) Visiting Professor within the Visiting Professors Programme (VPP) at the School of Business, Economics and Law at the University of Gothenburg.

Photo of Sharmistha Bachi-Sen
Sharmistha Bachi-Sen

- This Innovation and Entrepreneurship research group offers an interesting collaboration, to share ideas, explore emerging topics, and collaborate with a diverse group of students and scholars. Collegiality is central to the success of the educational and research programs. I look forward to new developments in the global center GOT KIES!

Sharmistha Bagchi-Sen, who is currently member of the International Academic Advisory Council, at the School of Business, Economics and Law.

Masters programs that lead to exciting careers

Two very popular international master’s programs are offered: Innovation and Industrial Management (IIM) and Knowledge-based Entrepreneurship (KBE). IIM is also part of the School of Business, Economics and Law’s successful Double Degree program with LUISS Università Guido Carli in Italy. This double-degree structure means that a group of students, after special admission, divides their study time between the two universities.

Both Masters programs contain theoretical and also many practical elements, together with the business community and other societal actors. An excellent example of this is the collaboration with GU Ventures within the framework of the entrepreneurship Master’s program (KBE), where students are trained in evaluating and further developing entrepreneurial ideas - a process that, if the student wants, can also include completely own proposals.

Photo of Lina Bakker
Lina Bakker

- Completing this master's program has helped me in many ways. I learned both the theoretical and practical basics of how companies can work more innovatively, not least in relation to the challenges that it also entails. The fact that the program has such close collaboration with industry means that as a student you get many practical and reality-based insights and knowledge. It also gave me good contacts that have led me to the job I have today. In my current position, I work directly with innovation projects at Lynk & Co, something that is both fun, dynamic and rewarding, says Lina Bakker, Co: Lab Business Innovation at Lynk & Co.

A year ago, the unit introduced an independent course at undergraduate level in innovation and entrepreneurship. The course is also a cornerstone of the School's new undergraduate program in Swedish, called Samhällsanalysprogram i ekonomisk historia och kulturgeografi.

Imacting research – both nationally and internationally

The research environment within Innovation and Entrepreneurship has been evaluated to be of high international quality, with many and well-cited publications. Areas where our research have a high impact relate to a better understanding and analysis of knowledge-intensive entrepreneurship, as well as the universities' role in economic and social development. As a natural part our research activities, the unit provides doctoral studies, with currently five doctoral students and opportunities for several post-doctoral scholars. They study, for example, entrepreneurship in creative industries; university incubators, and the importance of knowledge networks between universities and technology companies for innovation.

Our research environment is open, with a regular influx of visiting researchers who provide many new ideas and input, but much interaction has now switched to digital seminars where researchers from several countries participate. Our researcher-teachers directly collaborates with similar departments in Sweden but also in France, China, Germany, Denmark, Italy, the USA and Iceland.

Photo of Maureen McKelvey
Maureen McKelvey
Photo: Carina Gran

- Mobility and international networks are extremely important and valuable. It creates influence through dialogue, spreads ideas and provides conditions for both individuals and groups to better understand specific aspects and global trends in research, says Maureen McKelvey, Professor of Industrial Management.

In December 2017, Maureen McKelvey was granted the Distinguished Professor Programme of the Swedish Research Council, with a research program that will run for the next 10 years. This research program is called "Entrepreneurial ecosystems: Transforming society through knowledge, innovation and entrepreneurship". The aim of the research program is to update the theoretical and empirical understanding of how knowledge-intensive entrepreneurial ecosystems can be established and maintained in order to meet future societal challenges. The focus is on the power of the entrepreneurial ecosystem to revolutionize how we create growth and welfare, and issues that will be studied are, for example, how the entrepreneur's role changes within an ecosystem, and how it will change in the future as a result of technology and knowledge development.

Therefore, the department is now moving forward with forming an interdisciplinary global center, GOT KIES. Central is the dynamic between technology, innovation and entrepreneurship, and its impact on society. The subject of innovation, entrepreneurship and management of intellectual assets thus provides knowledge relevant to understanding of societal challenges and change processes in the economy. 


Facts about Innovation and Entrepreneurship at ES
  • Part of the Department of Economy and Society, School of Business, Economics and Law, University of Gothenburg.
  • Just over 20 colleagues, of which 10 teacher/researchers, 5 PhD students and several associated researchers, both national and international.
  • Two international Master’s programs; Innovation and Industrial Management (IIM) and Knowledge-based Entrepreneurship (KBE).
  • Courses at undergraduate level; ’Venture Cup’ and ’Innovation and Entrepreneurship’
  • Collaborations partners and funders during the years: Carl Bennet AB, Chalmers, EU, GU Ventures, IMIT, Riksbankens Jubileumsfond, SKF, Sten A Olssons Foundation for research and Culture, VINNOVA, Volvo AB and the Richard C Malmsten Memorial Foundation.
  • More information about Innovation and Entrepreneurship