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CIEL's main purpose is from a multi-disciplinary perspective to develop research, knowledge and expertise within innovation, business enterprise and regional learning.
Research into small and medium-sized companies' business activities focuses on innovation and product development work, strategy and management, business enterprise, marketing, financing and internationalisation. Within regional development, research is carried out into organisation, management, learning and equal opportunities in regional developmental initiatives.
The research activities of these groups overlap with each other to a certain extent, partly with respect to the empirical phenomena which are being studied and partly in terms of the theoretical points of departure adopted. Through cooperation within the framework of CIEL, researchers are provided with a sounder basis upon which to initiate new multi-disciplinary projects. The combination of technology and social science – more specifically in the areas of economics and finance, sociology and work science also means that a variety of theoretical and methodological positions can be applied.
The PhD education in this area focuses initially on Innovation Management and Business Development, which includes research in the areas of Social Sciences and Behavioural Sciences, Technology and Natural Sciences, with a focus on innovations, their origins, growth, commercialization and establishment in the market.