Prof. Dr. Andreas Pyka is professor of Innovation Economics at the Economics Institute of the University of Hohenheim in Stuttgart, Germany. He also holds a research professorship at the Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung in Halle, Germany and is visiting researcher at CIRST at the University of Quebec in Montreal. Andreas Pyka studied economics and business administration at the University of Augsburg, Germany, where he completed his doctoral thesis on informal networks, absorptive capacities and collective innovation in 1999. His Post Doc period Andreas Pyka spent as a researcher employed for the European framework programme 5 project “Self-Organisation of Innovation Networks” at the INRA Institute in Grenoble, France. After his return to Augsburg, where he was habilitated in 2004 he was Visiting Professor at the Austrian Institute of Technology, Vienna and the Technical University Delft, the Netherlands. His first tenured professorship for economic theory he got in 2006 at the University of Bremen, Germany. In 2009 in accepted a call for a chair in innovation economics at the University of Hohenheim, Germany. Since 2011, Professor Andreas Pyka is Vice President for International Affairs.
Athena Birkenberg started her PhD in 2014 at the Chair of Social and Institutional Change in Agricultural Development (490c), University of Hohenheim. As an agronomist, specializing in soil sciences, she continued her graduation and research in the field of tropical agriculture, in particular natural resource management and socio economics of rural development. Geographically, she has field work experience in Thailand, Greece and Croatia, where she focused on poverty alleviation, forestry, governance, social-ecological systems, medicinal plants, tropical soils, ecology and food security. More recently, she started combining socio-economic with ecological methodology for her research on carbon neutral coffee production in Latin America.
Athena received her Bachelor and Master degrees from the University of Hohenheim. During her education she was a founding and active member of the student organization FRESH e.V., where she worked on issues like organic agriculture, food waste, the International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD), and she created a module on ethics of food and nutrition security. Prior to university, she used her school holidays to work on a large organic farm near Lake Constance and to do an internship on a farm in Estonia.
Lilli’s Ph.D. thesis is part of the larger BiomassWeb Project based at the University of Hohenheim in collaboration with various other institutions based in Germany and Africa. The project applies the biomass-based value web as multidimensional framework to understand the interrelation and linkages between several value chains and how they are governed. The “web perspective” was applied in the analysis of the sugarcane sector in Brazil, biomass flows in combination with the national innovation system allowed to identify Brazil’s strengths and weaknesses in the upcoming bioeconomy.
Her work is primarily based in Ghana where besides analyzing the governance challenges of the national fertilizer subsidy program, she is researching on the challenges of the implantation of the emphasized “participatory approach” on the showcase of plantain technologies. A gender analysis of the role of women based market associations in Ghana, is also part of her research interest.
She received her Master degree from the University of Hohenheim in the course “Agricultural Sciences in the Tropics and Subtropics” where she chose the curricula of natural resource management; previously she completed her Bachelor degree from the University of Florence. She has participated actively in international conferences and enjoys the exchanging ideas within multidisciplinary settings.