About Me

I am a Professor in Regional Innovation at the University of Stavanger Business School, Norway. I was born in the lovely town Kühlungsborn at the shores of the Baltic Sea. After completing my Masters in Economics in Jena, I obtained my PhD in 2008. Since then, I’ve been working at different universities in Germany, The Netherlands, and Norway. I love to spend time in the Harz Mountains and recently started Kayaking on Norwegian Fjords.

Professor Tom Brökel
Tom Brökel

My research

Technological Complexity

The World is getting more complex, or is it? How do we know? While we widely believe that “the world” has become more complex, showing this empirically is challenging. On the basis of patent data, I developed the index of “structural diversity” that allows to assess the level of complexity associated with individual (patented) technologies in 2019. Multiple studies have confirmed its usefulness.

Networks and Proximities

Significant portions of my research focuses on knowledge networks, i.e. networks with the objective of knowledge and information diffusing between individual actors, organisations, and regions. I am specifically interested in quantifying the relative importance of different types of proximities (geographical, organisational, institutional, cognitive, social) for the development of knowledge networks as well as for their impact on innovation processes.

Regional Innovation Performance

How can we measure the innovation performance of spatial units? What factors make regions vary in it? In my research I have sought to answer this question using methods of non-parametric efficiency analysis.

Innovation policy

While most of us agree that innovation is something to be supported, it is still largely unclear how this can be done in a proper way. The part of my research particularly seeks to inform (regional) policy makers on this matter.

Regional News

News is a crucial source of information that influences our every day lives. In my research I explore how news differ between regions in terms of topics and sentiments.

My Teaching

My teaching encompasses courses on Innovation Studies, Economic Geography, Advanced Statistics, Social Network Analysis, and the Geography of Innovation.