Lisa De Propris is Professor of Regional Economic Development, Birmingham Business School at the University of Birmingham (UK). She has expertise in manufacturing and service clusters/districts, creative industries, regional economic development, industrial policy and EU cohesion policy. She has extensively published on these themes in academic journals and books.

She is currently leading a EU funded H2020 project called MAKERS – Smart Manufacturing for EU Growth and Prosperity funded by Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions- RISE Actions (www.makers-rise.org).

She has recently led or been involved in EU projects on Industry 4.0 and skills (SKILLUP – Skill development and firm upgrading to sustain the competitiveness of the EU manufacturing sector, https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/schools/business/research/research-projects/skillup/index.aspx  [MSCA-Actions-IF Actions] and Welfare, Wealth, Work for Europe,  http://www.foreurope.eu/ [FP7].

Ferran Vendrell-Herrero is a Senior Lecturer in business economics at the University of Birmingham, UK. His research focuses on the innovation dynamics of business models within creative and manufacturing industries. His has published and edited special volumes in prestigious journals in the areas of innovation, international business and operations management. He scientifically directs the International Conference on Business Servitization.

Steffen Kinkel is Professor for International Management, Innovation Management and Networked Business at Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences. He is founder and director of the Institute for Learning and Innovation in Networks (ILIN). In parallel, he lectures at Hohenheim University. Dr. Steffen Kinkel has coordinated numerous national and international research projects. His main research areas include global and local value chains, offshoring and backshoring, Industry 4.0, smart business models, production and innovation networks, evaluation of business locations, and technology planning and foresight.

Oscar F. Bustinza is Reader in Strategy and Operations Management at the University of Granada (Spain). His work aims to analyse product-service innovation, demand chain management, and drivers of firm’s boundaries choice based upon data driven analysis. Dr. Bustinza’s research has been published in the Journal of Supply Chain Management, International Journal of Operations & Production Management, International Journal of Production Economics, and British Journal of Management among other outlets. Dr. Bustinza is work-package leader on Product-service innovation in MAKERS and P.I. of a Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (Spain) funded piece of research which examines the servitization of business.

Cristina Chaminade is a full professor in Innovation Studies at the Faculty of Economics and Management at Lund University. Her main field of expertise is on the linkages between innovation and development. For more than 25 years she has been mainly interested in understanding how firms, regions and nations create and use knowledge when knowledge is globally distributed; and how policies can be designed to support innovation in a global context. In MAKERS she works mostly in WP2 investigating the role of national and regional innovation systems and global innovation networks in the transformation of manufacturing.

Simona Ciappei graduated from University of Florence in 2015 with a Master Degree in Economic Science. She joined Fondazione per la Ricerca e l’Innovazione in May 2017 after working for almost two years in consultancy. As a secondee to University of Birmingham she works on WP3, with a focus on the role of information and communication technologies in the upgrading of local manufacturing systems.

Simon Adderley is a Senior Lecturer in Enterprise and Entrepreneurship at Oxford Brookes University.  Simon’s research interests focus upon the changing paradigms of business and the development of economic and social welfare policies in a time of demographic and environmental flux. He is currently developing research projects around social enterprises and co-produced and co-delivered services.

Max Nathan is Senior Birmingham Fellow (Regional Economic Development) at Birmingham Business School, and is a Deputy Director of the What Works Centre for Local Economic Growth. He is an economic geographer with a background in public policy. His research focuses on urban economic development, in particular the economics of immigration and diversity; innovation systems and tech clusters; and public policy for cities.

Marco Opazo Basáez, Ph.D. (University of Granada) is currently a Lecturer (Assistant Professor) in Marketing at the University of Deusto, Deusto Business School, Spain. His work focuses on firm´s leading edge practices, analysing drivers that shape strategies, models, and mechanisms for value-creation based upon data driven analysis. His research interests include servitization, digitalization, sustainability, and innovation. In MAKERS he was involved in WP4. During his secondment (September 15th – November 15th, 2016) he investigated the potential benefits of Industry 4.0 on Reshoring and Offshoring decisions.

Marco Bellandi is full professor of Applied Economics at the University of Florence (Italy), Department of Economics and Management (DISEI), teaching industrial economics, local development and industrial development policy in under- and post graduate courses.

His research concerns cases and models of industrial organization, local development and innovation, policies of industrial development at the Italian and international level. He has published many papers and book. Among the co-edited volumes, with Giacomo Becattini and Lisa De Propris, A Handbook of Industrial Districts (Elgar, 2009). He is involved at the moment in two EU funded projects: MAKERS; and UMETECH University and media technology for cultural heritage.

He is member of various boards of associations and journals in the fields of industrial and regional economics. He has been Pro-vice chancellor to Knowledge Transfer and External Relations at the University of Florence (2009 – 2015).

James McKeever is a researcher in innovation studies at the Faculty of Economics and Management at Lund University. His main area of interest and focus is the industrial transformation of creative industries and the digitalization of globalization. His most recent work explores knowledge networks in the new media industry and the role of digital platforms in augmenting interacting learning and knowledge exchange. In makers, his work is mainly focused on WP2 exploring the role of global and regional knowledge networks and how they facilitate manufacturing upgrading in the video game industry.

Hana Nielsen is a post-doctoral researcher at the Department of Economic History, Lund University. The main focus of her research is on various aspects of long-run energy transition from organic economy to modern economic growth. At a moment she is involved in a number of projects, incl. historical developments in manufacturing energy efficiency, energy embodied in trade and carbon displacement, and innovations in the use of renewable biomass and efficient bioprocesses to support sustainable production in Sweden. In MAKERS her work is mainly related to WP2 utilizing the SWINNO database of Swedish innovations in the manufacturing sector.

Frank van der Most is a research engineer at the Department of Economic History at Lund University. He is responsible for the development of a database on Swedish innovations in the manufacturing sector (SWINNO). He has an MA and PhD in Science Technology & Society studies. In addition, he has a background in computer science. Over the past 20 years, he has worked on, among other things, the history of technology in the Netherlands, the response of European research councils to the emerging field of nanotechnology and the role of evaluations in academic careers. Within the MAKERS project, he brings the attention to the possibilities of innovation output databases for academic research and regional policy making.

Erica Santini is a post-doc researcher at the Fondazione per la Ricerca e l’Innovazione. Her main research fields are structural changes and learning processes in local manufacturing systems. During her PhD program she explored endogenous processes fostering new paths of development. She has been interested in understanding the main features of local systems leading to lock-in conditions. In MAKERS she is mostly involved in WP2. She investigated the impact of technological change in the knowledge transfer processes in traditional manufacturing areas.

Arianna Pittarello holds a M.Sc in Statistics and collaborates with the Research Centre inside the Chamber of Union of Veneto (UCV). Her research focus is on new skills development and the economy on the Veneto region (Italy). She creates statistics analysis and reports about the industrial trends in the Veneto region. She was in secondment at the University of Birmingham in 2017 and in MAKERS she works mostly in WP7 investigating the job polarizations and on the skill-biased technical changes.

Antonella Trevisanato holds a M.Sc in Statistics and she is Senior Researcher inside the Chamber of Union of Veneto (UCV). She is in charge of the statistics surveys developed by the Research Centre and coordinate the economics insights of the Veneto Region. She is doing her secondment at the University of Birmingham. In MAKERS she works on WP7, investigating on the job polarizations and on the skill-biased technical changes.

Diletta Pegoraro is a PHD Student in Management at Birmingham Business School. Her research focuses on relocation of manufacturing activities in advanced economies and Global Value Chains (GVC). She is working on the WP4 – Reshoring. Her secondments were in UCV (Italy), the Reshoring Institute (United States) and National University of Singapore (Singapore).

Giovanna Guzzo holds a degree in Economics at Ca’ Foscari University of Venice and a Master’s Degree in Political regulation of local development at Padua University. As from 2007 she’s been working as researcher expert in socio-economic territorial analysis at the Association of Chambers of Commerce of Veneto Region (UCV). Her main fields of expertise are labor market, external trade, business development and local cluster system. As secondee to ASTON University of Birmingham she’s in charge for working  on WP8, investigating the industrial policy for EU New Manufacturing.

Ludovica Munari holds a Bachelor degree at Padua University in Political Science and Public Administration in 2008 and a Master Degree in Public Policies in 2010. She started her career in 2010 at the European Policy Department of the Association of Chambers of Commerce of Veneto Region (UCV)  where she was responsible, as project manager, for implementation of projects funded by EU commission. As from January 2017 she’s been working for the Delegation of Bruxelles of UCV, where she represents SMEs interest at EU level. Now she’s carrying out her secondment at the Aston University where she’s developing WP8 – investigating the industrial policy for EU New Manufacturing.

Encarnación Álvarez Verdejo is a Senior Lecturer in quantitative methods for Economics and Business at the University of Granada, Spain. Her research focuses on sampling and quality control and fuel poverty. She has published in prestigious journals in the areas of statistics, computational statistics and operations management.

David Bailey is Professor of Industrial Strategy at the Aston Business School. He has written extensively on industrial and regional policy, especially in relation to manufacturing and the auto industry. His recent research has been funded by a number of state and private organisations. He is now participating in the H2020 RISE project MAKERS, with particular responsibility for the work package on Industrial Policy. He was an Area Coordinator (on industrial policy) for the major FP7 project ‘Welfare, Wealth and Work for Europe’ (WWWforEurope). He is a regular newspaper columnist and media commentator. He is the Editor-in-Chief of the journal Regional Studies, as well as an editor of Policy Studies, and the Journal of Industry, Competition and Trade. He also sits on the advisory board of the RSA’s open access journal Regional Studies, regional Science. A previous Chair of the Regional Studies Association, David is now Chair of the RSA Europe Think-Tank and policy forum. Tweet him @dgbailey

Valentina Romanin

I am a researcher at Ca’ Foscari University, graduated in Local Development. Since 2016, I work on the field of Social Innovation and Social Enterpreneurship. Many collaborations with local stakeholders have been arise during these years, aimed to get closer the relation between the territory needs and the academic knowledge. In particular, I am project manager of the Active Learning Lab – Social Innovation, an innovative learning initiative aimed to transfer social enterprise tools to university students, through a “learning by doing” approach.

With MAKERS Project, I made my secondment period at the University of Lund, in Sweden. My contribution has been related to the analysis of the different kinds of collaboration existing between the University and the territory (public and private stakeholders) to foster the social innovation and the technological transfer.

Giancarlo Corò is Professor of Applied Economics at Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, where he is director of the School of Economics, Languages, and Entrepreneurship for International Trade. His research topics are Industrial cluster economics, Global value chains analysis, Regional economic policies. He is also director of the Master in Economics of Eastern Europe and he has the scientific responsibility of The Urban Innovation Bootcamp, an action-learning programme involving students, firms and institutions in projects of social and green innovation.

Among the last publications: Territorial Capital as a Company Intangible (Journal of Intellectual Capital, Vol. 17/2016); The impact of Foreign Multinational Firms on the Local Labour Market (WP CMET 2016); The Governance of Metropolitan Areas in Italy: A Plan to Enhance Competition (Tafter Journal, 85/2015); Rethinking the Role of Manufacturing in Global Value Chains (Industrial and Corporate Change, 2/2014).

About my contribution to Makers project, I have analysed the enable factors in advanced digital technology adopters, focusing on human capital endowment and trade openness in small and medium enterprises. I have also analyzed the role of regional policies in Industrial Cluster upgrade, promoting innovation and encouraging the development of links between Universities and businesses.

Chiara Guiggiani graduated in 2015 in Economic Science Master Degree at the University of Florence. She worked abroad and in Milan in the consulting field and she is now part of Fondazione per la Ricerca e l’Innovazione. She joined Makers project in 2018 as a secondee at the University of Birmingham, focusing on WP2 and investigating technological transfer and digital transformation of SMEs in specific areas.

Dr. Juan Francisco Muñoz Rosas is Full Professor in the Department of Quantitative Methods on Business and Economic at the University of Granada (Spain), and is also the Coordinator of the official Master on Quantitative Techniques on Business Administration. His research is about economic and social indicators, survey sampling, statistical quality control, etc. Different mentoring, training and dissemination activities were developed within the MAKERS Project, highlighting the participation in the 36th International Conference on Mathematical Methods in Economics and the 14th International Conference on Social Sciences. In addition, some papers were written partially during this secondment, and they are related to sampling plans in the context of statistical quality control.

Meet our Partners

Get to know a little more about a selection of our partners through the videos below:


A message from Makers project partner Rieke Packaging Systems.

A message from Makers project partner Fondazione Recerca e Innovazione.

Learn more about how and why partner Galdon Software are involved in the Makers project.