PhD scholarship in the New Functions and Effects of Intermediaries for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Equipped with Artificial Intelligence

tirsdag 10 mar 20

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Frist 3. april 2020
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Intermediary organizations have played an important role in innovation ecosystems within and across industries. Prior research has shown various functions of intermediaries, such as scanning and processing information, foresight and diagnostics, gatekeeping and brokering, testing and validation, and commercialization. Intermediary organizations also differ with regard to the industry/technology focus and market focus. To date, digital innovation hubs/platforms in various forms prevail, as new digital technologies have become one of the most wanted strategic assets for both public organizations and industrial firms. For instance, in Denmark several innovation hubs/platforms share a common goal – making digital competencies available and useful for the right industrial needs and enhance public service.

Yet, despite many interesting initiatives and abundant funding in the establishment of digital innovation hubs/platforms, our knowledge on the novel functions of these new intermediary organizations is limited. Moreover, the rise of Artificial Intelligence (AI) has created many new opportunities for innovation and entrepreneurship. However, to our knowledge, the conceptualization, evidence-based knowledge and best practices regarding how to use AI in the design and effective implementation of novel types of intermediary organizations is void. Therefore, the question is – would AI help new digital innovation hubs/platforms to create better impact regarding steering innovation and entrepreneurship? If yes, how? If not, why not?

This PhD project will first map the existing digital innovation hubs and several other non-digital intermediaries/platform, and then research about AI tools and technologies that are relevant for the functions of new digital hubs. After that, we will possibly apply some AI technologies to a selected European Digital Innovation Hub and test the effect of AI interventions with regard to innovation outputs of firms, innovation diffusion, creation of new business, and human-factors.

The PhD will be hosted at DTU Centre for Technology Entrepreneurship.

Responsibilities and tasks
We are looking for an ambitious candidate for a PhD project (3-year, full-time) to focus on the novel functions of innovation hubs/platforms based on AI technologies. We expect the candidate can perform rigorous and relevant research using a combination of quantitative and qualitative research methods and extend collaborations with key academic and industrial partners within and outside of the DTU during the PhD project.

Candidates should have a two-year master's degree (120 ECTS points) or a similar degree with an academic level equivalent to a two-year master's degree. Candidates should have a master's degree in social science, political science, business, management, computer science, engineering, digital media design, or a similar degree with an academic level equivalent to the master's degree in engineering.

In addition, we seek a candidate with the following specific qualifications:
  • Basic knowledge about innovation, entrepreneurship, AI and relevant research methods
  • A longer-term interest in pursuing a research career
  • Ability to work in an interdisciplinary and international environment as well as in a Danish context
  • Excellent writing and communication skills
Approval and Enrolment
The scholarship for the PhD degree is subject to academic approval, and the candidate will be enrolled in one of the general degree programmes at DTU. For information about our enrolment requirements and the general planning of the PhD study programme, please see the DTU PhD Guide

We offer
DTU is a leading technical university globally recognized for the excellence of its research, education, innovation and scientific advice. We offer a rewarding and challenging job in an international environment. We strive for academic excellence in an environment characterized by collegial respect and academic freedom tempered by responsibility.  

Salary and appointment terms
The appointment will be based on the collective agreement with the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. The allowance will be agreed upon with the relevant union. The period of employment is 3 years. 

You can read more about career paths at DTU here

Further information
Further information may be obtained from Director of Research, Professor Jason Li-Ying, email: Tel: +45 4525 4856, or Director of Education, Sannie Fisker, email:, Tel: +45 6011 0776.  

You can read more about DTU Centre for Technology Entrepreneurship at  

Please submit your online application no later than 3 April 2020 (23:59 Danish local time). Applications must be submitted as one PDF file containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please open the link "Apply online", fill out the online application form, and attach all your materials in English in one PDF file. The file must include:
  • A letter motivating the application (cover letter)
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Grade transcripts and BSc/MSc diploma
  • Excel sheet with translation of grades to the Danish grading system (see guidelines and Excel spreadsheet here)
Candidates may apply prior to obtaining their master's degree but cannot begin before having received it.

Applications and enclosures received after the deadline will not be considered.

All interested candidates irrespective of age, gender, race, disability, religion or ethnic background are encouraged to apply.

About DTU Centre for Technology Entrepreneurship
DTU Entrepreneurship is a newly established centre aiming to be a world-renowned centre of excellence for building the entrepreneurial and technology innovation capabilities of students, researchers, and organizations. The centre currently employs approximately 30 people, including eight permanent faculty and eight PhD students. The centre collaborates very closely with colleagues across DTU’s entrepreneurial eco-system. The centre provides a portfolio of courses for all students to become exemplary engineers with deep technical skills and the capability to recognize needs, innovate, productize and commercialize new technology. Research at the centre focus on building an effective feedback loop between entrepreneurship research and practice to ensure research are translated into practice – and that practice provides an empirical foundation for research.

Technology for people
DTU develops technology for people. With our international elite research and study programmes, we are helping to create a better world and to solve the global challenges formulated in the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Hans Christian Ørsted founded DTU in 1829 with a clear vision to develop and create value using science and engineering to benefit society. That vision lives on today. DTU has 11,500 students and 6,000 employees. We work in an international atmosphere and have an inclusive, evolving, and informal working environment. Our main campus is in Kgs. Lyngby north of Copenhagen and we have campuses in Roskilde and Ballerup and in Sisimiut in Greenland.