Maureen McKelvey´s research focuses on the “Economics of Innovation”, including the broader societal and political contexts for innovations. Increasingly, she works at the intersection of “Economics of Innovation” and “Innovation Management” because firms are such crucial agents of change for innovations.
Much of her research has focused around “radically new” innovations, “search for innovations” and “emerging innovations”. This does not mean all innovations occur in R&D departments in firms nor only in “high tech” sectors. The source of that knowledge can range from university research to formal R&D within firms to informal networks. The questions involve how and why public agencie versus firms are prepared to make the considerable investment to develop and use new knowledge – and how that is related to economic exploitation of such knowledge, in firms in dynamic environments.
Maureen McKelvey´s work has proceeded both through empirical and theoretical contributions. Some work involves the longer term effects of innovation opportunities on industrial dynamics whereas other works has focused on or the effects of different types of innovations on employment and economic growth. In terms of technological fields, she has primarily conducted studies involving the economic dynamics of modern biotechnologies/ biosciences. Other knowledge fields/industrial sectors which PhD students or she have worked on, and sometimes s compared to biotechnology, include open source software and mobile telecommunications. Maureen McKelvey is currently director of RIDE research center, R&D, Innovation and Dynamics in Economies.