Planet Earth

Number of credits: 6 European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) Price: 840 €
Price for UAB students*: 200 €
*Max. 5 places
Teaching Language: English Place: UAB Campus Bellaterra (Cerdanyola del Vallès)

Teaching Period: 13 to 31

Professor: Gisela Leoz, Joan Reche and Joan Poch
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Enrolment guidelines


Gisela Leoz is a graduate student at UAB Geology’s doctorate program. She is completing her PhD Thesis on the study of coupled fluid - melt flow and metamorphism during the Variscan orogeny in the Catalan Costal Ranges.

Joan Reche is an associate professor at the Dept. of Geology (UAB). He teaches: Planet Earth, Fundamentals of Geology, Environmental Geochemistry, Industrial minerals and rocks and Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology. His research is focussed on Metamorphic Petrology processes during orogenesis in the middle and lower crust in the Variscan belt.

Joan Poch is an associate professor at the Dept. of Geology (UAB). He teaches: Fundamentals of Geology and Stratigraphy. He also teaches at the Faculty of Education Sciences. His research is focussed on conservation of geological heritage and UNESCO Geoparks. 


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).