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Professor Birgitte Andersen

Professor Birgitte Andersen

Director, Big Innovation Centre


Telephone: 020 7976 3565

Professor Birgitte Andersen (PhD Economics) has been the Director of the Big Innovation Centre since April 2011. 

She was also appointed Professor of Business and Innovation at the University of Lancaster Institute for Entrepreneurship and Enterprise Development in July 2011. Birgitte has an international reputation as an expert in business innovation and technology policy, the productivity of services, the economics and strategic aspects of intellectual property and intellectual property rights (IPRs), as well as university-industry knowledge flows. Her work is regularly published in peer-reviewed journals, discussed in the media and highlighted in national and international government reports such as the World Development Report, among others. Her research on IPRs is used by courts, where she has acted as an expert defence witness on several occasions. Her authored and edited books include Knowledge and Innovation in the New Service Economy (2000); Technological Change and The Evolution of Corporate Innovation (2001); The Structure of Patenting 1890–1990 (2001); and Intellectual Property Rights: Innovation, governance and the institutional environment (2006). 

In addition, she has directed projects, variously funded by Research Councils UK, the British Academy and their Danish counterparts. Alongside this, she has co-ordinated work streams in two major international EU Framework Programmes (“DIME – Dynamics of Markets and Institutions in Europe” and “U-KNOW – Understanding the Relationship Between Knowledge and Competitiveness in the Enlarging European Union”), which include one of the largest-ever pan-EU projects on innovation, working on the influence of rules, norms and standards on knowledge exchange.

Through consultancy and collaboration she has provided knowledge transfer to economists and policy makers of national governments in and beyond Europe. These include: the government departments of Trade and Industry and of Business Innovation and Skills; the Intellectual Property Office; Brazilian Patent Office; Danish Ministry for Science, Technology and Development; United Nations (ILO and UNCTAD); Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development; World Intellectual Property Organisation and Industry Canada; as well as leading interest organisations and large firms.

Appointed to the University of London, Birkbeck College in 2000, she will retain this link by remaining Professor of the Economics and Management of Innovation in the School of Business, Economics and Informatics. Her previous roles there include director of the postgraduate (MSc and MRes) education programmes on business innovation (including specialised degrees in e-business; entrepreneurship and innovation and international technology management). 

Since 2005 Birgitte has also been Visiting Professor at the British Institute of Technology and E-commerce. Previously (1997–2000), she worked at the ESRC Centre for Research on Innovation and Competition (now Manchester Institute of Innovation Research) at the University of Manchester. 

As Director of the Big Innovation Centre, Birgitte is leading its research programmes and its work developing practical policy proposals to turn the UK into a global open innovation hub by 2025 in order to progress the urgent task of re-balancing and growing the UK economy.

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Related Reports

Making the UK a Global Innovation Hub: How business, finance and an enterprising state can transform the UK
The government must act now to avoid a ‘lost decade of stagnation’. They must adopt a strategy of collaborative, entrepreneurial investment in those areas likely to bring the greatest dividends in growth and jobs.

Prof Birgitte Andersen, Ian Brinkley, Will Hutton
08 September 2011

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The UK in 2025: Ubiquitous technology and a thriving innovation ecosystem
At the Big Innovation Centre, we are working to bring together the most important players in our innovation ecosystem to tackle some of the most pressing issues facing the UK’s future, because we believe that if we get our innovation ecosystem right, robots and technology won’t be stealing our jobs, but supporting our lives and enhancing our economy.

Professor Birgitte Andersen
08 June 2013

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Digital IP
Professor Birgitte Andersen , director of the Big Innovation Centre talks about the changing issues of digital IP.

Professor Birgitte Andersen
11 January 2012