Petra Ahrweiler is the Director of the European Academy of Technology and Innovation Assessment, a joint research centre of the Federal German state of Rhineland-Palatinate and the German Aerospace Center. Ahrweiler also holds a professorship for Technology and Innovation Assessment at the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz in Germany. Her main research interests are innovation networks in knowledge-intensive sectors such as ICT and biotech, issues of science in society, responsible research and innovation, and policy modelling for complex social systems using methods such as social network analysis and agent-based simulation.
Previously, Ahrweiler was Professor of Innovation and Technology Management at the Michael Smurfit School of Business of University College Dublin and Director of UCD’s Innovation Research Unit IRU. Furthermore, she belonged to the external faculty of the Engineering Systems Division at the Massachussetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
Ahrweiler studied law, sociology, journalism and political science at the University of Hamburg finishing with her PhD in the area of science and technology studies at the Free University Berlin, where she was supported by the German National Merit Foundation. Since her habilitation thesis at the University of Bielefeld on social simulation of innovation processes she worked as a Heisenberg Fellow of the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, DFG) and as a Professor of Economic Sociology at the University of Hamburg, where she built up a new research programme on innovation research.
The researcher has long experience as principal investigator and co-ordinator of international projects on innovation networks, for example the EU-projects on “Simulating Self-Organizing Innovation Networks (SEIN)”, “Network Models, Governance, and R&D Collaboration Networks” (NEMO) or “Governance of responsible Research and Innovation” (GREAT). Ahrweiler holds various research awards and is member of a number of advisory boards in both governmental and academic organisations.