Dr. K.J. Schaefer

Universitair docent
Economic Geography

Kerstin J. Schaefer is working on topics related to innovation, standardization and new mobility technologies. Her research has been spanning boundaries between Economic Geography and International Business Studies as well as Transport Studies. 
During her PhD, she analyzed the role of experienced inventors at offshore labs for building innovation capability in latecomer firms. Her findings emphasize the importance of participation in global industry standards for emerging region firms’ competitiveness. This motivated her to further investigate the participation of emerging region firms, in particular from China, in the standardization of new technologies created to enable automated driving.
For another project, she studies multinational firm’s R&D internationalization strategies by creating an indicator for technology seeking investments based on patent data. She is further interested in the future of mobility and transport. In her research on the digitalization of mobility access via apps, she investigates the risk of transport related social exclusion by the increasing digitalisation of access to public transport.

She supervises bachelor and master theses on:

  • Multinational Firms and Global Knowledge Flow
  • R&D Internationalization (focus on emerging market firms)
  • Competitiveness of Chinese Multinational Firms
  • Technology Development and Standardization
  • The Uneven Geography of Standardization
  • Digitalization and New Technologies in Mobility
  • AI & Jobmarket Transformation
  • Automated Vehicles in Public Transport
  • Transport Related Social Exclusion


  • Survey research
  • Qualitative Interviews and Document analysis
  • Patendata analysis
  • Regional statistical analysis