Dr Derek Eaton is a principal consultant and economist with Technopolis Group, focusing on evaluation and strategy, with expertise in agribusiness, biotechnology, green economy, circular economy, bioeconomy and sustainability. With over 25 years of experience, he has worked in various stages of the science-policy-practice interface, including in academic research, applied research, research funding, and research policy formulation. He has a particular interest in the role of innovation policy in addressing complex societal challenges. He is proficient in statistical analysis, interviews, surveys and case studies.
Currently Derek leads the provision of policy support to the African Union-EU High-Level Policy Dialogue on Science Technology and Innovation. He is also contributing to an evaluation of the Belmont Forum, an instrument for international research on global environmental change. He has recently contributed to the development of a roadmap for the blue bioeconomy for the EC. He has also managed an impact assessment of the Aflateen+ education programme in Cameroon, following a RCT design.
Derek began his career in the early 1990s with United Nations Environment in Nairobi and then worked as a research associate with the London-based International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED). He subsequently worked for Global Affairs Canada as a food security economist, where he was responsible for managing Canada’s contributions to the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). Derek spent 10 years as a research economist with Wageningen Economic Research, concentrating on smallholder agricultural development and sustainability in international value chains in Sub-Saharan Africa, South and Southeast Asia and China.
Derek returned to the United Nations in 2009 to develop the international policy agenda on green economy, with responsibility as research lead on the production of the flagship report, “Towards a Green Economy”, and a co-author of the chapter on renewable energies. From 2012 to 2015, he was Executive Director of the Centre for International Environmental Studies at the Graduate Institute, Geneva. From 2015 to 2016, he was VP Research of the Global Footprint Network, concentrating on the measurement of energy footprints and their use in decision-making by financial institutions. Immediately prior to joining Technopolis Group, Derek had a range of independent consulting assignments in evaluation and strategy.
Derek obtained his PhD (economics) from Wageningen University, an MSc in Environmental Economics from University College London, a graduate diploma in international development from the University of Ottawa, and a BSc in Economics and Quantitative Methods from the University of Toronto. He has published in various academic journals and also served as a peer-reviewer. Originally from Canada and also holding Dutch nationality, Derek is a native English speaker, fluent in French and Dutch, and has an advanced knowledge of Spanish and beginner’s Swahili.