Frank J. van Rijnsoever

Utrecht University

I am driven by an intense curiousity about how innovation processes work. Further, I strongly believe that science has a task to share its knowledge with society.

I have been employed at Utrecht University since 2005, in 2010 I received my PhD. The topic was information use by consumers when searching for information about new innovation. In addition, in 2008 and 2009 I was a guest researcher at Monash University, Melbourne. Currently, I work as an assistant professor innovation studies. I am primarily interested in behavioral aspects related to innovation.

My research focusses on two areas:

  1. University-industry interaction (especially start-ups)
  2. Acceptance of innovations by citizens or consumers

Methods I often apply are questionaires, discrete choice experiments, social network analysis and serious games. From 2013 onward, I will work on research supported by an NWO veni-grant. The topic is the emergence of collaboration between scientists and entrepreneurs in the clean-tech sector. I am also involved in the surpervision of several externally funded PhDs and junior researchers:

  • Larrisa Shnayder (NWO): Corporate social responsibility within the food sector (per 1-9-2011)
  • Colin Bos (NWO): Responsible food intake by consumers (per 1-9-2011, works at WUR)
  • Allard van Mossel (Climate KIC): Tipping points in organizational eco-systems (per 1-9-2011)
  • Kevin Broecks (CATO-2): Arguments, communication and the storage of CO2 (per 1-2-2012)
  • Marijn van Weele (Climate KIC): An international comparisson of incubators (per 1-11-2012)
  • Chris Eveleens (Climate KIC): Networks, incubators and start-up performance (per 7-10-2013)

Personally, I conduct research financed by Climate KIC, CATO-2, NWO and NL Agency. Empirical domains I study are CO2-storage, sustainable cars, food, energy-neutral buildings, smart-grids, energy technologies, websites and consumers electronics.

My most important task with regard to teaching is coordinating the master Science and Innovation Management. This research oriented master studies innovation processes from a systemic perspective. Graduates contribute with their knowledge to the build-up of a knowledge economy. Further, I organize a summer school for PhD students.


Last September was the second time that I had the opportunity to visit Ingenio, and the reception and stay was as warm at the first time. All colleagues also did their best help me where possible, and to make me feel at home. They more than succeeded. I really enjoyed becoming involved in research projects about university-industry interactions at the group with people like Ximo, Pablo or Ismael. I also enjoyed the long lunches in the sun or drinks with Davide, Richard, Jordi, François and the aforementioned people, which allowed us to exchange ideas in a less formal manner, and to debate academic culture. I really look forward to further concretize the projects that we have initiated and to start new projects in the future. To facilitate this process, Jordi has kindly arranged that I will become a guest researcher for the coming three years. In other words: I’ll be back!