Our Team

Dominique FORAY

Dominique ForayProfessor

Phone : +41 21 693 00 35

Contribution to the Swiss Science Council blog

1 – Current occupations and activities

I am Full Professor at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) and hold the Chair of Economics and Management of Innovation (CEMI).

I am a member of the Swiss Council for Science and Innovation (SWIR); chairman of the Advisory Board of the Swiss Economic Research Institute (KOF); and a foreign member of the Center of Capitalism and Society (Columbia University, New York).

From 2007 to 2015, I served as a member of the Swiss National Research Council (Division IV – Large Scale Programs)

From 2013 to 2016, I was a member of the Expert Commission for Research and Innovation of Germany (E-FI) and a member of the Expert Group for the National Report on Research and Innovation (SBFI, Switzerland).

From 2008 to 2011, I served as chairman of the expert group Knowledge for Growth a group of prominent economists created to advise Commissioner J. Potocnik (European Commission, DG research). This is during this service as member of this Group that I developed the concept of smart specialisation (together with P.A.David and B.Hall) that is now a key policy mechanism of the EU (cohesion policy).

My expertise includes the economics of innovation and knowledge and the economic policy implications of the new knowledge-based economy. I have presented many opening speeches and key note address in academic and policy conferences on these topics. I have written numerous academic papers as well as two books and have edited several books and special issues in these fields. Among these books,I like to highlight :

• Technology and the Wealth of Nations (Pinter, 1992) ed.with C.Freeman;
• Unemployment and Growth in the Knowledge-based Economy (OECD, 1996), ed. with B.A.Lundvall;
• Knowledge economies and societies (a special issue of the International Social Science Journal, Basil Blackwell, 2002, with editions in French, Spanish, Chinese, Arabs, Russian);
• The Economics of knowledge (MIT press, 2004, paperback in 2006) with editions in France, Italy, Korea, China, Greece, Syria and Algeria
• The New Economics of Technology Policy(Edward Elgar)2009, ed.;
. Smart specialisation : opportunities and challenges for regional innovation policy(Routledge, 2015)

2 – Education, previous appointments and academic positions

– I received my Ph.D. in economics in 1984 and my “habilitation à diriger des recherches” in 1992 from the University Lumière of Lyon.
– In 1985, I joined the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) as a Research Fellow in economics.
– In 1990, I joined the Ecole Centrale de Paris as professor of economics, and taught in the program “ingénieur économiste”.
– In 1993, I was nominated as Research Director at CNRS and joined the “Institut pour le Management de la Recherche et de l’Innovation” (IMRI) of the University of Paris-Dauphine.
– In 2001-2004, I worked as a Principal Analyst at the Center for Education, Research and Innovation of OECD (Paris).
– I joined the EPFL as Professeur Ordinaire in 2004.

3 – Honours and awards

Best young economist award – City of Lyon (France)1986
Outstanding research in 1995 (médaille du CNRS)(France)
Futuris award in 2012 for his work on smart specialisation
Best paper award, EJIM, 2014
Doctor Honoris Causa, University of Cluj Napoca, 2017

I was also elected as Research Fellow at ICER (International Center for Economic Research) in Turin, at the Wissenschaftskolleg in Berlin and at IIASA in Laxenburg; and I was Invited Professor at the Universities of Santiago de Compostela, Torino and Padova.

4 – Consulting activities

I have done consulting work for the UNESCO, the OECD, WIPO, UNCTAD, UN/ECE,the European Commission, the Swiss Government and other public organisations. I am currently strongly involved into the “smart specialisation” debate in Europe, giving talks and providing advices in many countries and regions in Europe.

5 – Expert Group
Knowledge for Growth
EC – DG Research

6 – Current work
In this section, I describe my main current research topics and my main recent publications as well as some works in progress related to each of these topics


  • “Smart specialisation strategies and industrial modernisation in European regions”, Cambridge Journal of Economics, 2018
  • “Smart specialisation strategies as a case of mission oriented policy – a case study on the emergence of new policy practices, Industry and Corporate Change, 2018
  • “The policy space of smart specialisation”, European Planning Studies, 2016
  • Smart specialisation : opportunities and challenges for regional innovation policy, London: Routledge, 2015
  • “From smart specialisation to smart specialisation policy”, European Journal of Innovation Management, vol.17, 4, 2014
  • “Smart specialisation: the concept”, Knowledge for growth, prospects for science, technology and innovation, ERA, EUR 24047, Brussels, with P.A.David and B.Hall, 2009

An important aspect of my work on this topic involves the preparation and development of a 12 weeks EPFL MOOC for executive education on “designing smart specialisation strategies” – in collaboration with BAKeconomics (Basel, CH).


  • “Public R&D and social challenges: what lessons from mission R&D programs?”, Research Policy, vol.41/10, with D.C.Mowery and R.R.Nelson, 2012;respol.2012.07.011
  • “Can medical products be developed on a not-for-profit basis? Exploring product development partnerships for neglected diseases”, Science and Public Policy, with V.Munoz, F.Visentin and P.Gaulé, 2014
  • “The emergence of educational tool industry : opportunities and challenges for innovation education”, Research Policy, with J.Raffo, 2014
  • “Structuring a policy response to a ‘Grand Challenge'”, Knowledge for Growth, prospects for science, technology and innovation, ERA, EUR 24047, Brussels, 2009
  • Building the capacity to experiment in schools: a case study of the Institute of Educational Sciences in the US Department of Education”, Economics of Innovation and New Technology, vol.16, 5, with T.Coock, 2007
  • Randomized trials of education and medical practices: strengths and limitations, Economics of Innovation and New Technology, vol.16, 5, with R.Murnane and R.Nelson, 2007


  • “The formation of Coasean institutions to provide complementary capabilities for innovation – a case study and a statistical analysis about current trends in Switzerland, draft, with Martin Woerter, 2017
  • “Die Schweiz – ein innovationsstarkes Land”, “La Suisse : pays de l’innovation”, Volkswirtschaft, La Vie Economique, special issue, April 2016
  • “An assessment of the Innovation Union Scoreboard as a tool to analyse national innovation capacities: the case of Switzerland”, Research Evaluation, with H.Hollanders, 2015


  • “On sector-non-neutral innovation policy : towards new design principles”, Journal of Evolutionary Economics, 2018
  • “Why is it so difficult to translate innovation economics into useful and applicable policy prescriptions?”, in The rate and direction of inventive activity revisited, Lerner and Stern eds., National Bureau of Economic Research, The University of Chicago Press, 2012
  • The new economics of technology policy, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, 2009
  • “Science, technology and innovation for economic growth: linking policy research and practice in ‘STIG’ systems”, Research Policy, vol.38, issue 4, with P.Aghion and P.A.David, 2009


  • “Platform for economic discovery”, in Technology and Innovation Report, UNCTAD, United Nations, 2018
  • “From transfer of technology to innovation : the centrality of the discovery process and economic knowledge”, chapter 7, in Transfer of Technology and Knowledge Sharing for Development, UNCTAD, Geneva: United Nations, 2014
  • “Knowledge policy for development”, in Innovation and the development agenda, OECD Innovation Strategy, Paris, 2010


  • “Economie de la Connaissance” – 3ème édition, La Découverte, Paris, 2018
  • “The challenge of innovation in turbulent time”, World Economic Forum paper, with E.Phelps, 2014
  • “Patent-free innovation: a review of economic works including the analysis of a recent work in the field of experimental economics”, Revue Economique, vol.64, 1, 2013
  • “The fragility of experiential knowledge”, in R.Arena, A.Festré and N.Lazaric (eds.), Handbook of Knowledge and Economics, Edward Elgar, 2012
  • “The university research and public-private interactions”, in B.Hall and N.Rosenberg (eds.), Handbook of Economics of Innovation, North Holland, with F.Lissoni, 2010
  • “Structural changes in industrial R&D in Europe and the US”, Science and Public Policy, 37(6), with S.Lhuillery, 2010
  • “The economics of open technology: collective organization and individual claims in the ‘fabrique lyonnaise’ during the old regime”, Frontiers in the economics of innovation: essays in honour of P.A.David, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, with L.Hilaire Perez, 2006
  • Advancing knowledge and the knowledge economy, Cambridge: MIT Press, with B.Kahin (eds), 2006
  • “The explicit economics of knowledge codification and tacitness”, in Understanding Industry and Corporate Changes, G.Dosi, D.Teece and J.Chytri (eds.), Oxford University Press, 2005
  • The economics of knowledge, Cambridge: MIT Press, 2004 (paperback in 2006)
  • “An introduction to the economy of knowledge society”, International Social Science Journal, 171, with P.A.David, 2002

I am currently involved in the preparation and coordination of “The Economics of Knowledge” – as part of the “International Library of Critical Writings in Economics” series (Edward Elgar)

I am also currently preparing the third edition of my pocket book – “Economie de la Connaissance” – Edition La Découverte (Paris)


  • “On the economics of social innovation : a conceptual Framework and first empricial study”, draft, with A.Cuntz and E.Mostovova, 2017
  • “Common Innovation in the light of reflections on Mass Flourishing”, Book review essay, Research Policy, 2015


  • “How did medical technologies integrate new information technologies?”, draft, with M.Coffano, 2015
  • “Advanced postdoc.mobility fellowship (SNSF): a policy evaluation, Policy Brief, Institute of Technology & Public Policy, with S.Barrufaldi, M.Marino and F.Visentin, May 2015
  • “Enriching the indicator base for the economics of knowledge”, in Science, Technology and Innovation Indicators, Paris: OECD, 87-100, 2007
  • “Pitfalls in estimating the returns to corporate R&D using accounting data”, Knowledge for Growth, IPTS-EC/Sevilla, with B.Hall and J.Mairesse, 2007
  • Measuring knowledge management in the business sector, Paris: OECD, with F.Gault (eds.), 2003


  • “The future of the EU as an inclusive and sustainable innovation economy”, D.Foray & G.Romme (leading authors), position paper co-signed by 12 Eurotech Professors in innovation and entrepreneurship, Eurotech Alliance, April 2016


Cyrielle BLANC

Cyrielle BlancAdministrative Assistant

Phone : +41 21 693 01 21


Camille Aouinait

Camille Aouinait PhD Student

With a degree of engineering in food industry and agronomy, my interests were directed towards innovation in research and development. In 2011, after a brief experience into product innovations in dairy industry, I moved forward to the sustainability of the food supply chain. I wanted to go deeper in the understanding of the governance and management of innovations under an economic, social and environmental perspectives. Agriculture and food are fundamental in our societies, especially with the increasing pressures on environmental and social resources. The master class I followed in south of France was beneficial regarding the analysis of the global food value chain.
I engaged in the PhD program of the College of Management of Technology in EPFL in order to solve questions  I highlighted during a European project of the 7th Framework Program. It aims to transfer knowledge into small enterprises producing traditional food.
The focus is on the Swiss agricultural sector and its strategies to cope with a policy change in a context of trade liberalization.


Charles Ayoubi

Charles AyoubiPhD Student


Charles Ayoubi joined CEMI for his doctoral studies in September 2015.

He holds a Master’s degree in energy engineering form Ecole Centrale Paris in France.  He also obtained a Master’s in Economics of Innovation from the Université Paris 11 in France. His research interests at CEMI focus on the process of innovation in the field of energy in particular.

He is also involved in an economics of science project dealing with the impact of collaboration on the stimulation of innovation in collaboration with the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF).


Gabriele Cristelli

Gabriele CristelliPhD Student


Gabriele Cristelli joined EPFL-CEMI for his doctoral studies in September 2016. He received his MSc in Economics from University of Milan-Bicocca in Italy. Throughout his studies he has been an exchange student at Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne and worked as research assistant for Prof. Francesco Lissoni at Université de Bordeaux in France.

He is fascinated by the Economics discipline in general, and holds a particular interest for the fields of innovation and migration. His current research efforts focus on high-skilled migrants’ role in knowledge diffusion and their relationship with host countries’ inventive activities.


Claudia Pellegrin

Claudia PelligrinPostdoc Researcher


Claudia Pellegrin joined CEMI for her doctoral studies in September 2013.

She studied International Business and Economics at Pavia University in Italy. During her studies, she worked as intern at the European Parliament, in collaboration with Pavia University. She obtained her Master degree with a thesis on the failure of cap-and-trade systems and the necessity of a carbon tax, under the supervision of Professor Alberto Majocchi.

Her research at CEMI focuses on the micro-econometric empirical evaluation of policies for innovation and diffusion of green technologies.She is involved in two environmental projects, in collaboration with other universities: “Sinergia – Innovation, Diffusion and Green Growth”, founded by the Swiss National Science Foundation, together with ETH Zurich, The Graduate Institute of Geneva and London School of Economics, a project combining theoretical, empirical and policy-oriented research for clean technologies; “SCCER-CREST”, coordinated by the Swiss Commission of Technology and Innovation, a common research project for Swiss universities and companies in the field of energy.”.


Former members


Denis BedniaguineDenis Bedniaguine has obtained his university diploma of economist specialising in international economic relations from Moscow State Institute of International Relations – MGIMO (1996) and a postgraduate Master’s degree in energy from EPFL (2003).

After graduation in 1996 he worked as a Project Development Officer in the area of construction of large scale power plants in India and Finland. He also worked as a Marketing Manager on various assignments in Russia.

In 2002 he joined the Laboratory of Energy Systems (LASEN – EPFL) where he worked as a Research Trainee on various projects in the areas of modelling assessment of energy systems, international trade in carbon emission reductions and integrated assessment of biomass energy technologies.

In 2004 Denis Bedniaguine started his PhD project with the aim of developing a new methodological framework for the assessment of positive externality effects of research, development and demonstration of controlled thermonuclear fusion technology.



Marcel BoggersMarcel Bogers studied at the Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands. During his academic instruction, he also spent one semester at UC Berkeley as an exchange student.

Marcel Bogers wrote his Master thesis on “Knowledge Sharing and Protection in R&D Collaborations: Exploring the Tension Field” at the Department of Industrial Management and Economics at the School of Management of Technology at Chalmers, Göteborg (Sweden). He received his Master of Science diploma with designation ‘honourable mention’ from the sub-department Technology and Innovation Policy at the Department of Technology Management in Eindhoven.

In February 2005 Marcel Bogers joined CEMI for his doctoral studies to investigate the role of users in corporate innovation.

After finishing his PhD in May 2009, Marcel Bogers left CEMI for an academic position at the University of Southern Denmark, where he continues working on issues such as informal innovation, user innovation and open innovation.



Julie CallaertAfter graduating in Industrial Psychology from the Catholic University of Leuven (Belgium) in 2001, Julie Callaert began working as a researcher in the university’s Department of Applied Economics. In this role, she participated in two research projects on the identification of centres of scientific excellence.

In 2003, Julie Callaert embarked on her PhD studies, for which she was awarded a grant from the Intercollegiate Centre for Management Science, Belgium. For her doctoral thesis, she is examining the complexity of multi-tasking within academic environments.

Between September 2005 and July 2006 Julie Callaert spent 8 months at CEMI as a visiting PhD student where she studied the mechanisms for combining the production and valorisation of academic research at EPFL.


Annamaria CONTI

Annamaria ContiAnnamaria Conti joined CEMI in September 2005 for her doctoral studies on economics of innovation. Previously, she has been working as an economic analyst for Caterpillar, Geneva, where she specialised in creating econometric models to forecast the machine industry sales in the areas of Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

Annamaria Conti currently holds a Master degree in International Economics from the Graduate Institute of International Studies in Geneva. She wrote her Master thesis on the determinants of intra-industry trade between the EU-15 and the Central Eastern European countries, under the supervision of Prof. R.Baldwin.

Annamaria Conti obtained her undergraduate degree in Political Science, with economic specialization, from the University La Sapienza of Rome. During her studies, she also spent one semester at the UCE University of Birmingham.

Annamaria Conti left CEMI at the end of September 2009. She got a Postdoc fellowship from the Fonds National de la recherche Suisse (FNS) to do a one-year research at Georgia Tech with Professors Marie and Jerry Thursby.



Tea DaneluttiTea Danelutti studied Economics at the University of Lausanne and obtained her Master’s degree in July 2003.

During and after her studies, she gained professional experience not only as a Research Assistant at the University of Lausanne, but also in the bank industry with companies such as JP Morgan and the Crédit Suisse Group. Before joining EPFL, she has also been involved in a project aimed at enhancing decentralised cooperation in Europe, supervised by the Council of Europe.

In November 2004 Tea Danelutti joined CEMI as a Research Operations Officer. Her tasks within the chair included the management and coordination of research (projects, contracts, academic collaborations); the budgetary planification; the development and follow-up of fundraising opportunities; as well as the scientific management of workshops and conferences.

Tea Danelutti left CEMI at the end of August 2009. She took over new responsibilities at the financial level in the Collège of Management of Technology as well as in the Institue of Management of Technology and Entrepreneurship. Helping research units to raise external funding is also part of her new activities.



David FischbachDavid Fischbach holds a Master’s degree in Economics of the University of Zurich. After completion of his studies, he has been working at the Swiss Federal Statistical Office in Bern and Neuchâtel from 1995 to 2000. Since 2000 he has been located at the University of Applied Sciences of Southern Switzerland (SUPSI) in Lugano, where he was personal collaborator of the R&D director before becoming an applied research specialist of the Servizio Ricerca USI-SUPSI.

David Fischbach is now a technology transfer officer at Ticinotransfer, the knowledge and technology transfer network of Southern Switzerland. In addition to that, he is in charge of the Centro Promozione Start-up USI-SUPSI. He is also program manager of Venturelab and has been teaching Economics of Innovation and Business Management at SUPSI from 2001 to 2006.

In November 2006, David Fischbach joined CEMI as a PhD student and researcher in the field of Economics of Innovation, especially focused on knowledge and technology transfer processes.



Abraham Garcia-Torres

Patrick GAULE

Patrick GauléPatrick Gaulé joined CEMI in October 2005 for his PhD on the economics of innovation. His research interests include pharmaceutical R&D for neglected diseases, means to enhance access to pharmaceuticals in developing countries and university-industry technology licensing. He holds an undergraduate degree in Economics from the University of Geneva and a Master degree in International Economics from the Graduate Institute for International Studies, Geneva.

He successfully completed the Swiss program for beginning doctoral students in economics at the study center Gerzensee in February 2007.

Since June 2003 Patrick Gaulé has been working part time for the World Health Organization (WHO) where he has helped to collect and analyze information on how intellectual property rights may affect access to vaccines and vaccine R&D.

Patrick Gaulé left CEMI at the end of August 2009. He got a Postdoc fellowship from the Fonds National de la recherche Suisse (FNS) to do a one-year research at MIT with Prof. Azoulay.



Intan Hamdan-LivramentoIntan Hamdan joined CEMI in January 2005 focusing her doctoral study in examining the role of intellectual property rights in facilitating knowledge creation. She also serves as a part-time consultant for the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Geneva since October 2004.

Prior to joining the CEMI group, Intan Hamdan had work experiences with the World Trade Organization, Geneva and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Washington D.C as a research assistant in the area of international business and trade.

Intan Hamdan currently holds two master’s degree in International Economics from the Graduate Institute of International Studies, Geneva and in International Law and Economics from the World Trade Institute, Berne. She obtained her undergraduate degree in Economics from Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington.

Intan Hamdan-Livramento has completed her PhD and is opening a consulting firm on issues of economics of innovation and international trade. This CEMI-spinoff will provide research, business and market analysis on issues related to innovation and international trade.


Jennifer KATZUNG

Jennifer Katzung


Stéphane LhuilleryStéphane Lhuillery has been Associate Professor since 1998 at the University of Paris Nord, as well as a permanent expert at the office of statistical studies at the French ministry of research and higher education since 2000.

Previously, he has been working for two years at the Agence Nationale de la Valorisation de la Recherche (ANVAR) on the assessment of public funding of innovating firms. He received his PhD in 1996 from the University of Paris Nord.

Stéphane Lhuillery is specialised in statistics and econometrics of innovation. In this field, knowledge transfer, S&T indicators and policies are his main interests.



Julio RaffoJulio Raffo is a post-doctoral researcher at CEMI. He earned his PhD from the University of Paris 13, and his main research focus was the study of the innovation phenomena under developing countries environment.

Julio Raffo holds a master’s degree (research orientation) in industrial organization, innovations and international strategies from the University of Paris 13 and an undergraduate degree in economics from the University of Buenos Aires. In between studies, he has been working at the development and collection of R&D indicators for Latin America within the international network RICYT.

Since February 2007 Julio Raffo is actively participating in CEMI research activities. He is particularly involved in the management and development of the EPO Patstat database at CEMI.


Christian ZELLNER

Christian ZellnerChristian Zellner joined CEMI in 2005 to explore technology transfer at EPFL, including the commercialisation strategies adopted by existing firms and those based on the formation of high-tech spin-off companies. He has previously worked as a consultant in the field of visualisation technologies and is especially interested in the medical device / medical imaging industry.

In September 2006 Christian Zellner joined the World Economic Forum in Geneva.




Markus Simeth joined CEMI in September 2009 for his doctoral studies on the economics of innovation with particular focus on open innovation processes. Dr. Simeth successfully completed his PhD in 2013 under the supervision of Prof. Dominique Foray.

Markus Simeth holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Munich (LMU), where he majored in Innovation Management. During his master thesis, he examined characteristics and authorship behaviour of researchers which create Patent-Paper Pairs. Besides, Markus Simeth spent one semester at Halmstad University in Sweden and accomplished internships in the banking and engineering sector.


Marianna MARINO

Marianna MarinoMarianna Marino joined the CEMI in September 2009 for her doctoral studies in the economics of innovation.

She studied Economics and Management of Public Administrations and International Institutions at Bocconi University. During the second year of her Master course she spent a semester at Aarhus University as an exchange student. She obtained her Master’s degree in March 2008 with a thesis on the effects of public funding to R&D under the supervision of prof. F. Malerba.

After her studies, she joined the research center for Reserch on Innovation and Internationalization of Bocconi University. From August 2008 to August 2009 she worked as a Research Assistant at the Danish Center for Studies in Research and Research Policy, where she mainly studied the impacts of knowledge spillovers on firms’ productivity and propensity to patent.

Dr. Marino successfully completed her PhD in 2014 under the supervision of Prof. Dominique Foray.



Viviana Munoz TellezViviana Munoz Tellez was a PHD student on economics of innovation, with particular  focus on developing countries.

Viviana is also Manager of the Innovation and Access to Knowledge Programme of the South Centre, an intergovernmental organization of developing countries based in Geneva.

Dr. Munoz Tellez successfully completed her PhD in 2015 under the supervision of Prof. Dominique Foray.



Stefano BaruffaldiStefano Baruffaldi joined CEMI in September 2010 as PhD student. Within the economics of innovation his studies focus on the agglomeration economies and the mobility of human capital.

Stefano obtained both his Bachelor and Master’s degree in Management and Production Engineering from the Politecnico di Milano University. During the third year of his Bachelor he spent nine month at the Coimbra University, Portugal. During this period he took part in a project on the qualified immigration in Portugal developed by the Centro de Estudos Sociais (CES), financed by the Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (FCT).  Afterwards his Bachelor and Master’s thesis focused on the phenomenon of the international mobility of researchers.

Dr. Baruffaldi successfully completed his PhD in 2015 under the supervision of Prof. Dominique Foray.



Monica Coffano joined CEMI in September 2011 for her doctoral studies on  management of innovation with particular focus on patent applications.

 Monica Coffano obtained a Master’s degree in Management and Production  Engineering from the University of Brescia, in November 2009, with a thesis on the  optimization of the human resources in a public institution. Besides, Monica Coffano  worked almost two years at Bocconi University taking part in the project “Academic  Patenting in Europe” (APE-INV) financed by European Science foundation.

 Dr. Coffano successfully completed her PhD in 2016 under the supervision of Prof.  Dominique Foray.



Fabiana Visentin
Fabiana Visentin received her Ph.D. degree in Economics and Organization from the Advanced School of Economics of Ca’ Foscari University in Venice (Italy).

She was a Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Lugano, Lugano, Switzerland, and at the Goizueta Business School, Atlanta, USA. She was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Chair of Economics and Management of Innovation (CEMI), École Polytecnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Lausanne, Switzerland.