“We urgently need to speed up the transition to a sustainable society.”

Research focus: sustainable innovations and transitioning towards a sustainable society

Marko Hekkert is full professor of Dynamics of Innovation Systems at Utrecht University and part of the Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development. He studies the dynamics of emerging technological fields and the transformation of societies towards sustainable pathways.

Empirically, Marko studies the transformation to a circular economy, the agricultural transition and the energy transition.  Theoretically, he aims to contribute to improving our knowledge on how emerging innovation systems develop and what type of micro mechanisms (power, lobby, research, strategy, expectations, resources) determine the dynamics of innovation systems.

Marko Hekkert spent most of his research time on the development of the Technological Innovation System framework, which is one of the main frameworks to understand socio-technical transitons. Recently, Marko and colleagues are developing a new framework to assess Mission Oriented Innovation Dynamics. The framework is labeled as Mission Oriented Innovation System. The development of this framework is part of the work done at UU within the Mission Oriented Innovation Policy Observatory

Marko is also Director General pf PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency and member of the supervisory board of TNO

Areas of interest:

  • Sustainability Transitions
  • Innovation system dynamics
  • Sustainable innovation
  • Energy innovations
  • Emerging technologies
  • Circular economy
  • sustainable agriculture


Below an introduction to the framework of technological innovation systems as presented to the NEST community (in English)


Below an explantion of technological innovation systems applied to circular economy (in Dutch)


Below a presentation on the transition to nature inclusive dairy farming (in Dutch)




Dynamics of Innovation Systems
Inaugural lecture date