Center for Life Sciences Management and Policy

About

The Center for Life Science Management & Policy (CLSMP) is an interdisciplinary center that brings together researchers from management, economics and the social sciences, whose research addresses the social, economic and political implications of life science research and innovation. Relaunched in 2020 the center fosters interdisciplinary dialogue, research and teaching that supports, enables and reflects on the growing role of life science innovation and a bio-based economy for contemporary societies. The center connects School of Management researchers located at three different campuses within TUM: the Life Science Campus Weihenstephan, the TUM Campus Straubing for Biotechnology and Sustainability and the Main Campus in Munich.

Members

Prof. Dr. Frank-Martin Belz (Prof. Dr. oec.)

Chair: Corporate Sustainability

Email: frank.belz@tum.de



Dr. Vera Bitsch (Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c.)

Chair: Economics of Horticulture and Landscaping

Email: bitsch@tum.de

Prof. Dr. Claudia Doblinger (Prof. Dr. rer. pol.)

Head: Professorship for Innovation and Technology Management

Email: claudia.doblinger@tum.de

Prof. Dr. Magnus Fröhling (Prof. Dr. rer. pol.)

Head: Professorship Circular Economy

Email: magnus.froehling@tum.de

Prof. Dr. Sebastian Goerg (Prof. Dr. rer. pol.)

Head: Professorship of Economics

Email: s.goerg@tum.de



Prof. Dr. Martin Grunow (Prof. Dr.)

Head: Production and Supply Chain Management group

Email: martin.grunow@tum.de

Prof. Dr. Stefan Hirsch (Prof. Dr. agr.)

Head: Professorship Agricultural and Food Economics

Email: stefan.hirsch@tum.de

Prof. Dr. Alexander Hübner (Prof. Dr. rer. pol.)

Chair: Supply and Value Chain Management

Email: alexander.huebner@tum.de

Prof. Dr. Janine Maniora (Prof. Dr. Dr. rer. oec.)

Head: Professorship Finance and Accounting

Email: janine.maniora@tum.de



Prof. Luisa Menapace, Ph.D. (Prof. Ph.D.)

Head: Professorship Governance in International Agribusiness

Email: luisa.menapace@tum.de

Prof. Dr. Klaus Menrad (–)

Head: Professorship Marketing and Management of Biogenic Resources

Email: klaus.menrad@hswt.de

Prof. Dr. Martin Moog (Prof. Dr.)

Chair: Forest Economics

Email: moog@mytum.de



Prof. Dr. Ruth Müller (Prof. Dr. phil.)

Head: Professorship Science & Technology Policy

Email: ruth.mueller@tum.de

Prof. Dr. Jutta Roosen (Prof. Dr. Ph.D.)

Chair: Marketing and Consumer Research

Email: jroosen@tum.de

Prof. Dr. Johannes Sauer (Prof. Dr. agr.)

Chair: Agricultural Production and Resource Economics

Email: jo.sauer@tum.de

Prof. Dr. Michael Suda (Prof. Dr. rer. silv.)

Chair: Forest and Environmental Policy

Email: michael.suda@tum.de

News

8 September 2021

Interview with Prof. Dr. Johannes Sauer – Production and Resource Economics

Professor Johannes Sauer, who leads the Chair Group Production and Resource Economics, discusses his team’s research and teaching priorities. The professorship is located at the TUM School of Life Sciences at Campus Weihenstephan in Freising.

 

What is the main goal of your current research?

As applied economists, the core research of our chair is focused on assessing new technologies and policies that aim at boosting food production while using natural resources sustainably. We research technologies and policies’ impacts on natural resources. We e.g. assess technologies’ level of productive and sustainable resources use, and feed this information back to engineers and business managers, informing their designing of productive, sustainable, and resilient agri-food technologies. Policy impact evaluation is also an increasingly important area in our work because policymakers need more statistical and verified evidence on the impact of their policies. Also, a special focus is on water resource management-related analysis and policy advice.

Our research projects are located all over the world with a strong focus on OECD and emerging countries (Germany, E.U., Asia, South America, and Africa). In international projects, we are very careful in research being a two-way knowledge transfer. In Europe and China, we have one extra focus: the transfer of the old economy to a more bio-based one (i.e. bio-based and circular economy).

 

What do you aim for students to learn in your classes?

What is most important for us is the applicability of the knowledge, theories, and methods we teach our students. It is also crucial that they learn to find the right theoretical concept and apply it to their research topic adequately in order to produce meaningful and robust empirical findings. They learn to evaluate production and resource-related technologies, collecting data to measure their sustainability and productivity, applying economic frameworks and principles, and using statistical and econometric tools.

We try to increasingly deliver this applicability in our courses and to interest the students in applying knowledge that would impact policymakers and technology producers’ decisions. The theory and methods are all there, but what we ultimately try to achieve is to practically produce results that are beneficial to society.

 

How can working across disciplines contribute to your work?

Interdisciplinarity is a very important part of our work. Weihenstephan is a highly interdisciplinary research environment, where we have a lot of collaborations with engineers, technology designers, and natural scientists. Many of our research projects require and include interdisciplinary thinking and setup.

While we evaluate technologies after they are already being implemented, we also have projects with engineers and natural scientists where we work closely with them to find and evaluate new ways of producing or preserving resources when the technologies are still in the designing stage. We also want to expand our collaborations with social scientists and others who focus on policy and ethics.

 

What do you see as the social relevance of your research?

We focus on producing leading research that is visible internationally, striving to create a societal and policy impact, to enable society to use resources more sustainably as it produces food. These are our principles: we produce evidence that helps policymakers redesign their policies in an attempt to support sustainability goals and productivity in a more effective way. We need more food of a certain quality, such food needs to reach more groups in society, and we need to produce this food sustainably, in a resource-efficient and resilient way. For example, when we use water while we do not have a resource-oriented pricing scheme for this natural resource, then society suffers shortages of water of a certain quality in the future.

As we consider such implications, our research benefits the whole of society as we use the economic way of thinking to make the use of resources more sustainable.

 

How do you see your work contributing to responsible innovation and research?

We aim to direct our whole research toward creating responsible knowledge about sustainable and productive innovation. The main focus of our research is assessing technologies and policies that assist in pursuing productivity and sustainability goals. We collect data on their performance in terms of sustainability and productivity that help us make statistically robust and qualified statements on what kind of technologies and policies might work for different contexts.

In addition to producing general published knowledge, we also try to directly influence policymakers and funding agencies. We try to disseminate draft research findings to impact policy at an earlier stage. In addition, we do expert advisory work for policy organizations including, for example, the OECD and the Asian Development Bank. So, we try to contribute and crucially impact responsible public policy design at different levels.

09 June 2021

Interview with Prof. Dr. Stefan Hirsch – Agricultural and Food Economics

Professor Stefan Hirsch, who leads the Agricultural and Food Economics professorship at the TUM School of Management, discusses his team’s research and teaching priorities. The professorship is located at the TUM School of Life Sciences at Campus Weihenstephan in Freising.

 

What is the main goal of your current research?

My research focuses on understanding the functioning of competition in the food and agribusiness and the strategic actions of firms operating in these markets. Based on empirical industrial economics, we analyze firms along the food value chain to gain insights into the value chains’ economic functioning. As an example, a very relevant topic that we are focusing on is the high concentration in food retailing. In many European Union countries between two and five companies dominate the food retailing sector. This concentration can cause power imbalances and welfare losses in the food supply chain.

The core of the research focuses on companies in food processing and retailing. However, we pursue a holistic research approach that also looks at other parts of the value chain such as the farmer or farm inputs sectors (e.g. fertilizer or pesticide supply). On the other end of the supply chain, we look at consumers’ purchasing decisions, analyzing e.g. why consumers buy specific food products. A very relevant topic that we focus on in that respect is e.g. the increasing relevance of meat substitutes.

In our research, we have a very strong empirical orientation with a direct application to real-world problems. For that, we use econometric methods and large data sets to address relevant research questions. Our biggest goal is to provide relevant findings that support firms but also consumers and policymakers in enhancing the overall efficiency of the food value chain.

 

What do you aim for students to learn in your classes?

I teach classes in basic economics and agricultural economics as well as courses in statistical analysis and empirical research methods. My aim is to use a mixture of theoretical and empirical scientific knowledge to provide students with fundamental insights in food economics and statistical analysis. This is to give them the skills to better understand real-world phenomena in the food value chain. Gaining empirical analysis skills and an understanding of the agricultural and food sector, students get well prepared for jobs in academia, but also in any kind of institution or firm related to the food value chain. The gained knowledge will provide students with the knowledge to understanding the functioning of the processes and actors in that field.

 

How can working across disciplines contribute to your work?

I pursue a holistic research approach that looks at all actors starting from farmers and farm inputs all the way to the consumer at the end of the chain. Certainly, within the CLSMP, there are colleagues with in-depth knowledge of specific parts of the food supply chain. This detailed knowledge can dock into my holistic view of the entire value chain and significantly contribute to improving the models we work with. And what I also really like about the center is our meetings with colleagues from the different TUM departments, including those who focus on management, life sciences, and bio-based economics. These bridges between life science, management, and economics offer great opportunities to understanding the food value chain from a holistic perspective.

 

What do you see as the social relevance of your research?

We focus in our research on responsible food production, which is by default socially relevant since we all need food and we are all involved with it every day. My research aims to provide a better understanding of the food value chain with the main goal to improve its efficiency. Efficiency in this sense relates to using fewer inputs to get the same output. This will save resources and is better for the environment.

We also look at firms’ corporate social responsibility strategies and the relationship to firm profitability. Moreover, we are interested in how food sector firms address the challenges that are involved with the transition to a bio-based economy.

 

How do you see your work contributing to responsible innovation and research?

We do this by choosing research topics that aim towards socially responsible outcomes. For example, a very hot topic currently is how to substitute animal-based products with plant-based products. One of our main research questions in this respect is, for example, why consumers are still hesitant to buy these products or the reasons why consumers might reduce their meat consumption in favor of alternatives.  Given the environmental and health concerns related to high meat consumption, this has very high social relevance.

In general, our research questions aim at doing innovation that can potentially reduce harmful consequences to the environment.

20 May 2021

Interview with Prof. Dr. Claudia Doblinger – Innovation and Technology Management

Professor Claudia Doblinger, who leads the Innovation and Technology Management Professorship at TUM Campus Straubing for Biotechnology and Sustainability, discusses her team’s research and teaching priorities.

What is the main goal of your current research?

Our unit of analysis is mainly cleantech startups working on clean energy and transportation applications. We are trying to better understand the factors that help make them more innovative and also more likely to survive in the market, succeed, and attract investments. With startups, the likelihood of dying is already much higher than that of surviving. And the question is: how can you make sure that this does not happen?

I try to bridge the three fields of environmental entrepreneurship, environment innovation, and public policy. And as the focus of the research is environmental innovation and technology management, there is no way around also focusing on policy and how it affects cleantech startups.

So far, I have primarily focused on the United States because many of my current research projects emerged during my postdoc at the Harvard Kennedy School, but my current plan is to transfer this knowledge to the EU.

 

What do you aim for students to learn in your classes?

So far, I am primarily involved in the introductory and mandatory courses in the bachelor program. There are two courses that I would like to emphasize: one is entrepreneurship, and the other is policy and innovation.

In entrepreneurship, I want the students to learn how to think and act entrepreneurially to solve important problems; and to view issues not only as problems, but also as opportunities; and to solve them in a sustainable way, to really not only think about the economic outcomes but also environmental and social consequences.

And in the other course, policy and innovation, I put emphasis on how public policy and innovation within firms are related. Here they learn about the variety of tools, measures, and mechanisms that policymakers have at hand to stimulate innovation and how firms can contribute.

And these courses bring together the tools available to both firms and policymakers, which resonates with my research.

 

How can working across disciplines contribute to your work?

I’m still benefitting from the transdisciplinary focus that I experienced during my PostDoc as part of the Energy Technology Innovation Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School, which is something that we also have in Straubing. It is about bringing people from different disciplinary backgrounds together and then work on questions around sustainability and innovation.

I have many co-authors from that time, and one of my main co-authors has a PhD in physics. It is great to work with her on innovation and entrepreneurship because she has the technological knowledge to really understand what the innovation is about as described in patents etc. I do too, but of course not to the same extent. I truly belief that diversity in backgrounds, countries, and trainings enables new inputs that spur research and makes it more fruitful and exciting.

 

What do you see as the social relevance of your research?

To address the challenge of climate change, a lot more energy innovation is needed. And we know that startups play an important role given their agility, flexibility, and their fast response to market opportunities. And in this context, it is relevant for policymakers to know the impact of their policy measures at the level of rims, and whether their actions pay off.

At the same time, there is growing global energy demand, especially in developing countries. And more energy demand comes with economic growth, and so we need to meet this demand without ruining the environment. So, our contribution is the knowledge we generate on cleantech startups. On the one hand, it is supporting innovation which would contribute to addressing climate change; and on the other hand, this could encourage countries to avoid making our mistakes by directly jumping into clean energy and transportation technologies.

It is also important that the research is impactful in real life. So not only that it is published in highly ranked journals, but also that it is helpful for startups and can lay the ground for recommendations to policymakers.

 

How do you see your work contributing to responsible innovation and research?

A question that we’re discussing in the author team is: is clean innovation per se responsible? And that this is our implicit assumption when we are framing projects. So, we are saying that whenever a startup engages in a clean transportation technology, there is an assumption that this is good and responsible. And if I use this as an underlying assumption to this question, then yes, it is primarily dedicated to responsible innovation because the main goal is addressing the global climate challenge.

But frankly speaking, we need to do more to look at the outcomes not only from the environmental side, but also to include more focus on social implications of some of the environmental innovation. This is an angle that I want to emphasize more in future projects.

Events

Past Events

The first Symposium after the relaunch of the CLSMP aims at bringing together all its members for a virtual exchange about their ongoing interests. Through presentations from different fields with the Center – economics, management, policy, STS – we will facilitate exchange across the disciplines and explore potentials for interdisciplinary collaborations . If you are interested in attending this event please send an email to clsmp@wi.tum.de