Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Industry

Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Industry

IMPORTANT: In light of the current situation with COVID-19 and the current travel restrictions, this programme will be able to perform the courses with online classes and activities. More information and details will be published shortly.

Number of credits: 6 European Credits Transfer and Accummulation System (ECTS)
Price: 840 €
Teaching Language: English
Place: UAB Campus Bellaterra (Cerdanyola del Vallès)
Teaching Period: 22 June to 10 July 
Professor: Ricard Esparza, Javier Asensio, Andreu Turró

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Enrolment guidelines


Ricard Esparza Masana holds a bachelor in Economics by the Autonomous University of Barcelona, two MSc in Specialised Economic Analysis (Major in Innovation Economics) by the Barcelona Graduate School of Economics and the Pompeu Fabra University, and a PhD in Business Economics (specialisation in innovation policy) by the Technical University of Catalonia. He is currently a professor of economic analysis at the Autonomous University of Barcelona. He previously served as head of the international department of the university’s science and technology park.

He has undertaken works linked to research in the field of innovation policy, with a large range of collaborations and contracts with several institutions worldwide, in more than 30 countries in all continents, including the European Commission, the World Bank, the Government of Peru, the Government of Catalonia, and different EU and foreign national and regional governments and agencies, all in the field of designing, implementing, and/or monitoring innovation strategies, policies and instruments. Within the last 5 years, he has published a handbook and several reports and policy briefs on these topics; he has presented in over 20 conferences and seminars; and he has participated in over 15 R&D European and international R&D projects in collaboration with over 100 partners in the EU and worldwide. 

Javier Asensio holds a M.Sc in Regional Science (University of Reading, UK) and a Ph.D. in Economics (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona). He is tenured assistant professor at the Department of Applied Economics (UAB), where he teaches undergraduate courses on the Spanish Economy and Sectoral Economics, as well as postgraduate courses in Infrastructure Regulation (MEBA) and Applied Microeconomics (MAREB). His research focuses on applied industrial organisation in areas such as transport economics or retail. He has been visiting researcher at the Universities of Montreal, City University London and Imperal College.

Andreu Turró is a Serra-Hunter fellow at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB) Department of Business. Previously, he worked as an assistant professor at the Utrecht University School of Economics (the Netherlands). He received a Ph.D. (International Doctorate in Entrepreneurship and Management -IDEM) from UAB. He has a double degree in Business Administration and Market Research by the UAB and a Master in Marketing Management by 6 ESADE Business School. His research is focused on the conditioning factors for corporate entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial employee activity from a quantitative analysis. He published several academic papers in this research field. Currently he is participating in various Spanish and international projects on this topic.


Contents overview

Research and innovation (R&I) and new business ideas are the key for a long-term sustained economic growth worldwide, especially in the globalised modern world, where large rates of competitiveness require improving products, services, and processes, taking into account the international perspective to do so.

This course intends to offer an in-depth perspective to the role of R&I and its business-based logic in the modern economies, from 3 main perspectives: (i) understanding the logic of the investment for innovation, especially from a public point of view, and how stakeholders develop their R&I projects; (ii) turning new and innovative ideas into business opportunities, developing entrepreneurial activities; and (iii) understanding the effects of innovation on productivity changes, taking into account the conditioning role of factors such as firm size or the intensity of market competition, as well as discussing the role that industrial and competition policy have in fostering innovation.

The expected students for this course are any motivated international students from different backgrounds (from economics and politics who want to better understand these topics to more science-oriented students who aim at learning about the economic logic of their fields of expertise). No specialised background is required.

Week programme

Week Contents Teaching / learning activities
1 1. Innovation policy and projects
1.1. Public vs private investment in R&I
1.2. Innovation policy instruments
1.3. R&I projects
1.4. Innovation policies worldwide
1.5. Study, visit, and project presentations and discussion
This part will include, for each topic, 2 hours of theoretical lectures and another 2 hours of applied activities, in a student-based learning methodology where students will actively participate adapting the concepts learnt to their own countries’ contexts (presentations, group activities, debates, etc.).
2 2. Entrepreneurship
2.1. The entrepreneurial ecosystem
2.2. Entrepreneurship business models
2.3. Corporate entrepreneurship
2.4. Open & User innovations
2.5. Entrepreneurial finance        
This module combines theoretical explanations and (in class) case studies. In this regard, special emphasis is placed on several well-known European and Catalan companies. Students’ active participation and case discussion play a fundamental role in each session.
3 3. Innovation in the industry
3.1. Innovation and productivity
3.2. Firm size and innovation
3.3. Market competition and innovation
3.4. Industrial policy
3.5. Competition policy     
Five lecture-based sessions, with a mix of theoretical and practical examples based on basic economic models, international comparative studies, examples of industrial policy experiences and recent competition policy cases in digital markets.

The evaluation will consist on 3 short teamwork activities that students do once a week: Activity 1 (week 1): Presentation of an innovation project idea Activity 2 (week 2): Presentation of a business idea, briefing a potential business plan Activity 3 (week 3): Short essay based on lectures and suggested readings.

The final grade will be: 𝐺𝑟𝑎𝑑𝑒 = (𝐴𝑐𝑡𝑖𝑣𝑖𝑡𝑦 1+𝐴𝑐𝑡𝑖𝑣𝑖𝑡𝑦 2+𝐴𝑐𝑡𝑖𝑣𝑖𝑡𝑦) / 3

Links and references

  • Adner, R. (2013). The wide lens: What succesful innovators see that others miss. Portfolio/Penguin (New York, USA).
  • World Bank (2010). Innovation policy: A guide for developing countries. Washington DC: The World Bank
  • Nooteboom and Stam (eds.) (2008) Mico foundations for innovation policy. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press
  • Llerena and Matt (eds.). (2009) Innovation policy in a knowledge-based economy. Strasbourg: Springer S. Martin (2001), Industrial organization. A European perspective, OUP, Ch 5: Innovation
  • D.López-Salido, S. Núñez, S. Puente (2005), Productivity, factor use and potential growth, in Bank of Spain, The Analysis of the Spanish Economy, Ch 16.
  • B. van Ark, M. O’Mahony, M. Timmer (2012) Europe’s productivity performance in comparative perspective: trends, causes and recent developments, in M. Mas and R. Stehrer (eds.) Industrial Productivity in Europe. Growth and Crisis, Edward Elgar.
  • Ries, E. (2011). The Lean startup. Crown Business (New York, USA).