Dr. Ben Kokkeler is an Associate Consultant based in The Netherlands. He has extensive experience on IT business innovation, smart cities, smart health and start-ups in ehealth, and governmental IT innovation programmes. Besides Technopolis, in the regional parliament of the Province of Overijssel, he is spokesman Economic Affairs and Innovation for the Dutch Labour Party. At the Avans University of Applied Sciences he is professor of Social resilience in the digital society.
Ben has a background in higher education management, governance and management in the public sector, focusing on emergent innovation structures and distributed leadership in alliances, (social) innovation and new technologies (smart cities). He studied at the University of Twente, the University of Amsterdam and the Radboud University (Nijmegen); he holds a Master degree in Urban and Regional Planning (his thesis concerned introduction of new technologies). In 2014 the University of Twente granted him the PhD degree. His PhD thesis on “distributed academic leadership in emergent research organisations” was supervised by professors Arie Rip and Stefan Kuhlmann (Science, Technology and Policy Studies) and Olaf Fischer (Organisation Studies and Business Ethics). As a researcher and evaluator he covers a broad repertoire of methodologies and skills: feasibility studies, marketing studies, stakeholder analysis, benchmark studies, impact studies, technology assessment, multilevel research of innovation processes within and between organisations, case studies, surveys, and scenario studies.
Prior to working with the Technopolis Group, Ben worked for more than 25 years at Dutch and German universities and research institutes, developing and governing international (joint degree) programmes, technology transfer projects and international alliances and consortia. Positions that he held were manager strategy and operations at the Dutch national ICT research institute (the Telematics Institute), director of International Affairs and director of the Graduate School at the University of Twente, Rektorats Projektleiter Hochschulmarketing at the University of Dortmund, Secretary to the Board of a European consortium of universities (ECIU, the European Consortium of Innovative Universities), Chairman of a Dutch-Flemish consortium of science centres. As a consultant, he was programme manager at the Ministries of Health, Agriculture and Economic Affairs, and boardroom consultant for governors of (youth) health organisations and municipalities.
For Technopolis, he recently conducted evaluations of the Belgian Collection of Microbiological Collections, the Dutch National Materials Science Programme, the Dutch government’s policy on IT innovation and eGovernment, of the impact of TA on Dutch national policy formation in the agri-food sector, and of the Dutch Research Council for Health’s start up programme, a study for the Dutch Province of Brabant on opportunities for digitalisation, a study for the Belgium Government on data driven Evidence Based Practices in first line health care, and advised the EU EIT Digital programme ‘Thought Leadership’ on smart health & wellbeing. Currently, he is strategic advisor to a consortium of four Dutch universities, Provinces, health centres and companies that aim to establish a high impact innovation and valorisation program on Smart Medical Technologies.
Besides a few hundred confidential consulting reports, Ben’s papers, presentations, work papers and project reports at national and international conferences can be found at https://utwente.academia.edu/BenKokkeler