Prof. Dr. Jakob Edler

Executive Director

Professor Jakob Edler is Executive Director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research ISI from October 2018. He is also Professor of Innovation Policy and Strategy at the Manchester Institute of Innovation Research (MIoIR), which he led from 2011 to September 2018.

Before joining MIoIR in January 2007, he worked in the Department for Innovation Systems and Policy at Fraunhofer ISI, first as a researcher (1999-2004), then as the Department’s Deputy Head (2004-2006) and finally its Head (2006).

His research interests lie in the analysis and conceptualization of governance and policy in science and innovation. His work concerns the impact of science and innovation policy and he is currently leading an EU funded project to analyze evaluation practice in science and innovation policy (SIPER).  He is also working on the impact of science on society, and on policy in particular in the context of a research center that is funded by the Norwegian Research Council (OSIRIS) from 2017 to 2025 and led by the University of Oslo. One major focus of his work in recent years has been on demand-side innovation policy and the public procurement of innovation. He has also worked on theoretical issues of the governance of socio-technical systems and the governance of responsible research and innovation. More recently, he began working on the role of intangibles for innovation and competitiveness and policy interventions to support their development and use. Another, long-standing area of interest is understanding the dynamics and drivers of the internationalization of research and innovation activities and related governance and policy issues. His publication profile can be found here.

Jakob Edler has advised numerous public bodies at all political levels. His research has been funded by the UK Research Council, the EU and other international organizations (such as OECD, WIPO), and numerous national and regional bodies in many European countries.  In 2014, his work on the public procurement of innovation in a Manchester-based team was rated outstanding by the English Research Evaluation Framework.

In 2014, he was elected a member of the German National Academy for Science and Engineering (Acatech). He is an appointed member of the German Council of Science and Humanities, a member of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce, and a member of the Innovation Caucus  of Innovate UK. Since July 2023, he has been Chairman of the Fraunhofer Group for Innovation Research. He was President of the European Forum for Studies of Policies for Research and Innovation” (Eu-SPRI Forum) from June 2016 to June 2021.

Jakob Edler was awarded his PhD in Political Science by the University of Mannheim (with distinction), having previously completed two separate Masters degrees at the University of Mannheim (Business Administration/Management and Political Science/Economic History), including one year at Dartmouth College, USA. He did an internship at the European Commission during his PhD.