Prof. Dr. Sebastian Pfotenhauer

Associate Professor for Innovation Research

Innovation Research

Sebastian Pfotenhauer is Assistant Professor for Innovation Research and head of the Innovation, Society and Public Policy Research Group at the Munich Center for Technology in Society (MCTS) and the TUM School of Management, both Technical University of Munich. He is also the coordinator of the EU-Horizon2020 project SCALINGS (“Scaling up co-creation: Avenues and Limits for Integrating Society in Science and Innovation”) – a EUR 4 Million flagship initiative investigating use of new collaborative innovation formats such as living labs and pre-commercial procurement  in robotics, autonomous driving, and urban energy systems across 10 countries.

Sebastian’s research interests include regional innovation strategies and innovation cultures; the adoption and global circulation of “best practice” innovation models; co-creation and responsible innovation practices; science and innovation in international settings; governance and institutions of science and innovation; and capacity-building for development.

Before joining TU Munich, Sebastian was a research scientist and lecturer with the MIT Technology & Policy Program and the MIT Sociotechnical Systems Research Center, as well as a research fellow at the Harvard Program on Science, Technology and Society. He has served as consultant on innovation policy to various regional and national governments, as well as for the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development in Paris, France. His work has appeared, among other outlets, in Research Policy, Social Studies of Science, Nature, the OECD Science, Technology and Industry Outlook, and Issues in Science and Technology. He holds an S.M. in Technology Policy from MIT and a PhD in Physics from the University of Jena, Germany, and has received post-doctoral training at MIT and Harvard.

  • Innovation Cultures: Co-production of technoscientific and social/political order in the innovation society
  • Science, Technology, and Innovation Policy
  • National, regional, and institutional innovation strategies
  • Global circulation and adoption of innovation models
  • Innovation and social responsibility
  • Complex international science, technology and innovation partnerships
  • Capacity-building in science, technology, higher education, innovation
  • Governance of complex sociotechnical systems
  • Science and Democracy Network (SDN)
  • Society for the Social Studies of Science [4S]
  • European Association for the Study of Science and Technology (EASST)
  • IEEE
  • ESYS2 – Energy Systems of the Future, Joint Project of the German Academies
  • Scientific Advisory Board – TATuP – Journal for Technology Assessment in Theory and Practice
  • Project co-lead (MIT) for NSF Grant „Technology, Collaboration, Learning: Modeling Complex International Innovation Partnerships,“ 2013-2016
  • Project collaborator (Harvard) for NSF Grant „Traveling Imaginaries of Innovation: The practice turn and its transnational implementation,“ (2015-2017)
  • Leading Technology Policy Fellowship (MIT), MIT Technology & Policy Program (2010-2013)
  • Dissertation with distinction („Summa Cum Laude“)
  • MIT Education Excellence Award for graduation with 5.0 GPA
  • ERP Fellowship (European Recovery Program), German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy / German National Academic Foundation (2008-2010)
  • Undergraduate fellowship, Evangelisches Studienwerk Villigst („Academic Foundation of the Protestant Churches“), (2000-2005).