Dr. Toon Meelen

Vening Meineszgebouw A
Princetonlaan 8a
3584 CB Utrecht

Dr. Toon Meelen

Assistant Professor
Innovation Studies

Toon Meelen is Assistant Professor in Innovation Studies. He was a Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of Oxford (2018-2020) and holds a PhD from Utrecht University.

Toon's research concerns innovations in transport, energy and housing. 

He has received various individual and collaborative grants, among which NWO VENI.

Toon's research is interdisciplinary and builds on insights from the fields of Sustainability Transitions, Innovation Studies, and Political Economy. It centers around the following themes:

1) The political economy of the energy transition

2) Industrial policy and innovation policy

Current projects: 

  • JUSTNEXUS (starting phase) will explore how to foster just sustainability transitions at the intersection of mobility, energy and housing. This is important because while current approaches are often still sectoral, both challenges and solutions transcend these sectors. JUSTNEXUS explores both imaginaries as well as concrete experiments, for example where housing associations offer shared mobility, or electric vehicles feed power back into the grid.  Toon’s research focuses specifically on how different ownership structures, namely public, private and community ownership, can contribute to just transitions in the nexus. 
  • Retro-innovation: combining the old and the new for sustainability. Sustainable innovation is often only associated with breakthrough technologies. This project shows that sustainable innovation can also consist of combinations of old, existing and new practices and technologies. For international  rail, zeppelins and bikes-sharing, Toon investigates strategies by which organizations revive lost ways of transport with modern technologies and new meanings

(Co-)Supervision PhD Candidates:

Mirte van Hout is PhD Candidate Innovation Studies at the Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development. As part of the Platwork-R project, she studies the way in which professional logics and public values are and can be ensured within online labour platforms, or more broadly, the platform economy. Her main research interests lie in how digital and societal developments influence work (relations) and collective institutions.

Maurits Terwindt