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Prof Smita Srinivas
Appointment
  • Honorary Professor
  • STEaPP
  • Faculty of Engineering Science
Biography

Prof. Smita Srinivas is currently Honorary Professor at University College London's STEaPP, and India Lead and Co-I on an ESRC-funded study on industry dynamics in cancer care where UCL plays a role until 2021.

She holds senior academic and visiting appointments at the Centre for Technology Innovation and Economic Research (CTIER); the Economics Department and IKD Centre at the Open University UK; and the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research's National Centre for Biological Sciences in India.

Srinivas is the Founder Director of the Technological Change Lab (TCLab), with prior full-time, research, and visiting appointments at Columbia University, MIT, Harvard, the LSE and ICRIER. She held several Fellowships at the Belfer Centre for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and was part of the MIT Industrial Performance Centre's Local Innovation Systems project.

In the US, East Africa and India, she has led international academic teams as Head of School, Director, and Co-chair to establish global university programs in a relevant economics, connecting economics to engineering, health, design, and environment. With other theorists and professionals, she has moved universities toward new global programs for economic development with high local development impact.

She has 25 years of professional advisory and consulting experience including consultations with labour organizations such as the ILO and SEWA the world’s largest labour union for informal workers, invitations from French conglomerate Engie one of the world’s largest investors in renewables and new technologies in energy, mobility, urban and energy infrastructure. She has served as Co-Chair of the Human Settlements Committee of the Global Thinking Group of the Aga Khan University to establish novel graduate programs in East Africa (Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Uganda, and elsewhere).

She is currently an appointed economics expert for the SDG Goals to the State Action Committee for the government of Karnataka (60+ million pop.) and the State’s Evaluation Authority for public programs. She has been a high-level invited reviewer, contributor, consultant, or discussant on several flagship and evaluation reports of the UNECA, UNCTAD, UNHABITAT, UNIDO, UNESCO, UNICEF, OECD, UNDP, the Aga Khan Development agencies, IAVI and WIEGO. She serves as an invited expert and external collaborator to the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development on the project New Methods in Social Policy. She has been an invited reviewer and participant to the New Climate Economy Project and ICRIER-World Resources Institute initiatives, and was recognized for leadership at the World Cities Summit in Singapore in 2014.

Srinivas sits on scientific or advisory committees for several new economics journals including the Review of Evolutionary Political Economy, PSL Quarterly Review, Innovation and Development, the African Journal of Science, Technology, Innovation, and Development, and reviews for a wide range of economics, innovation, and development journals such as the Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Review of International Political Economy, World Development, Journal of Development Studies, Feminist Economics, Research Policy, Regional Studies and others.

Her work has been recognized by funders including the UK’s Economic and Social Research Council; the World Health Organization, The Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET), Columbia University, MIT, Harvard, UNIDO, The Ford Foundation,the Brazilian Government’s FAPERJ grant, the Finish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation (TEKES) and Indo-Swiss/ICSSR grant support.

Research Summary

Smita Srinivas works in economics and public policy, with extensive research and advisory experience in economic development, technological innovation, and industrial policy. She has held senior appointments in global universities and policy centres. Her current research addresses heuristics in policy and microeconomic differences between late industrialization, evolutionary economics, and the economics of innovation. Much of her training has been in the US with prior degrees in economics, mathematics, and physics. Her MIT Ph.D focused on economic development specialised in microeconomics, technology and industrial policy.

Srinivas has 25 years of rich advisory and consulting experience from multinationals to grassroots and development agencies.

She was awarded the 2015 biennial EAEPE Myrdal Prize for her book Market Menagerie: Health and Development in Late Industrial States (Stanford University Press 2012, Economics & Finance).

She is Co-I and India Lead analysing industry dynamics and innovation in a 4-country research study on transformations in cancer care where UCL colleagues play active roles.

Teaching Summary

In the US, Smita Srinivas has taught courses in economics (microeconomics, political economy, public policy, institutional analysis), applied policy and planning courses and client-engaged formats. She has supervised over 40+ M.S. theses and supervising many Ph.D. exams and dissertation proposals. Several students have won thesis research awards for methods and policy relevance.

Select publications:

Srinivas, S. (forth.) “Industry Evolution and the Foundations of Social Policy” , UNRISD project on New Directions in Social Policy and Methods, Geneva; Srinivas, S., (forth.) “A New Economics for Health”, A. Mehdi, I. Rajan (Eds.) Health of the Nation: India (Oxford); Papaioannou, T., S. Srinivas. (2019). “Innovation as a Political Process of Development: Are Neo-SchumpetariansValue Neutral?” Journal of Innovation and Development, Volume 9, 1: 141-158; Srinivas, S. (2018) “Institutional-Evolutionary analysis and Industry-based methods for Social Policy” UNRISD working paper series; Srinivas, S. (2018) “Evolutionary Demand, Innovation, Development” in D. Nathan, S. Sarkar, M. Tewari (Ed).Upgrading and Innovation in Global Value Chains in Asia (Cambridge University Press); Srinivas, S. (2018) “No Global South’ in Economic Development Plans” in G. Bhan, S. Srinivas, V. Watson (Eds.) Companion to Planning in the Global South (Routledge, UK); Srinivas, S. (2016) “Healthy Industries, Unhealthy Populations: Lessons from Indian problem-solving” in M.Mackintosh, G Banda, W Wamae, P Tibandebage (Eds.), Making Medicines in Africa (Palgrave MacMillan); Srinivas, S., J. Vieira Filho. (2015),”Farms versus Firms in Economic Development: The assumptions and consequences of learning dynamics in agriculture and manufacturing”, Institute for Applied Economic Research (IPEA) Brasilia, Discussion Paper 207, Oct; Srinivas, S. (2014). “Demand and Innovation: Paths to Inclusive Development” in S. Ramani (Ed.) Combining Economic Growth with Inclusive Development (Cambridge University Press); Srinivas, S. (2010). “Industrial Welfare and the State: Nation and City Reconsidered” Theory and Society. 39 (3-4): 451-470; (2011) Tilly, C., Hanagan, M. (Eds.) Contention and Trust in Cities and States (Springer); Srinivas, S. (2009). “Industry Policy, Technological Change, and the State,” background paper prepared for UNCTAD Least Developed Countries Report 2009: State and Development Governance; Srinivas, S., J. Sutz. (2008). “Developing Countries and Innovation: Searching for a New Analytical Approach,” Technology in Society. 30 (2): 129-140; P. Wilson, S. Post and S. Srinivas. (2007). “R&D Models: Lessons from Vaccine History”, International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) IAVI Policy Research Working Paper #14, June, New York City; Sotarauta, M., Srinivas, S. (2006). “Co-evolutionary Policy Processes: Understanding Innovative Economies and Future Resilience,” Futures. 38 (3, 2006): 312–336; Srinivas, S. (2006).“Industry and Innovation: Lessons from Vaccine Procurement,” World Development 34(10):1742-64; United Nations Millennium Project.(2005) “Innovation: Applying Knowledge in Development.” Report of the Science, Technology and Innovation Task Force, London, UK, Sterling, VA: Earthscan Publishing; Srinivas, S. (2005). ”Technical Standards and Economic development: Meeting the most Common Denominator?” United Nations Industrial Development Organisation UNIDO, Industrial Development Report 2005; Srinivas, S., K-J. Kosonen, J.Nummi. (2005).“How public is publicly-funded knowledge? The Dynamics of R&D Projects”, MIT IPC Local Innovation Systems Working Paper 08-001, Cambridge, MA, USA;

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