The mission statement of our research group is to become a leading group in developing quantitative measurement systems and probabilistic risk modelling with a special focus on the innovation & entrepreneurship high tech ecosystem on one hand and security issues in general on the other.
Currently the scientific field of innovation & entrepreneurship and that of risk modelling are covered by mainly qualitative techniques and qualitative models. Our goal is to ban all those qualitative techniques and replace them by much more reliable quantitative techniques and models. Up to a few years ago this was almost impossible given the calculation power needed for dealing with the complex and CPU-intensive calculation models. Since a few years however the computer power of relatively small systems did reach a level where those calculations were made possible without too heavy investments. That’s where our team started with importing techniques from the physics field into the field of innovation & entrepreneurship. Those techniques were already successfully applied in European FP7 projects were they were considered as brand new and promising innovations in the evaluation (measurement) and quantitative assessment of risk of portfolio’s of innovative projects. In the mean time the same has been applied to tunnel project, and several industrial projects, covered by NDA.
Due to its complex nature, the activity of our research is based on a multidisciplinary approach and collaboration with other faculties and universities is indispensable.
The research topics of this research group can be catalogued in 3 major interlinked domains.
A first domain covers measurement systems and risk modelling applied to innovative projects in general and in an entrepreneurial context in particular, with a focus on high tech applications. Specific applications were dealt with in Building, Medical Devices, Electronics, Mechanics, Cleantech and ICT. We looked at all players in the field of innovation and incubation, working within the Triple Helix® concept to enable policy makers as well as industry to use our findings
A second domain –intimately related with the first one- covers the modelling and assessment of environmental impacts (as a part of the overall risk) with a focus on new product development and new industrial processes. In terms of applications major collaborations are developed with the industry and building industry.
A third –more emerging- domain, and again intimately coupled to the first two domains- covers probabilistic risk modelling as such where a broad gamut of applications can be looked at. Given the abstract nature of the risk models, the applications can be multiple (finance, supply chain, disasters, terrorism, insurgency, conflicts, etc.). The research covers also the risk-modelling field as such, as new techniques and methods are applied thanks to the availability of powerful computers and the raising importance of the (risk induced by the) Internet.
As research methods some generally accepted state-of-the-art methods are being used such as LCA and quantitative modelling techniques that can be found in literature.
In more specific cases some techniques are imported from the field of physics, used as stand-alone technique or often combined with others, where whether the technique might be somewhat exceptional and unique on itself for the given field of research; or the combination of techniques is.
Bayesian inference and statistics are applied using Monte Carlo techniques and Markov Chains with the aim of building PRA models using the Value of Information concept for optimization. Recently the domain of causality has been introduced to the research team with a promising future to even better modelling and understanding risks of all kind.
Some of the research outcome is used in courses such as “Innovation Management and Policy”, “Sustainable Products development”, “Sustainability Management” and “Risk Management”.
In the course Innovation Management and Policy the context of innovation is developed and students have to build a business plan for an internal or external project.
In the course Risk Management quantitative techniques are used for specific assignment, to be solved by students. The concept of risk modelling is introduced.