mRNA a new breakthrough technology for vaccines: a lucky shot?




Inizio: Giu 28 | 02:00 pm

Fine : Giu 28 | 03:30 pm

innovation |
research |

Via Lambruschini, 4B 20156 Milano MI

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Seminar in presence

Building BL26/B – Room 1.25 (first floor)
Department of Management, Economics and Industrial Engineering
Via R. Lambruschini, 4/B


Reinhilde Veugelers
KULeuven, Belgium



mRNA technology proved in the context of the pandemic its breakthrough value for COVID-19 vaccines. Yet, the technology is the result of a long bumpy process of accumulation of innovation capacity, which could easily have turned out differently. The mRNA vaccines story suggests that a vibrant biotech ecosystem cannot be taken for granted in terms of delivering the breakthroughs needed. It suggests how public R&D policy can be improved to generate the full global social benefits from breakthrough novel technologies, like mRNA.


Reinhilde Veugelers is a full professor at KULeuven (BE) at the Department of Management, Strategy and Innovation.  She is a Senior Fellow at Bruegel since 2009 and a Senior Non-Resident Fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics since 2020.  She is also a CEPR Research Fellow, a member of the Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium for Sciences and of the Academia Europeana. From 2004-2008, she was on academic leave, as advisor at the European Commission (BEPA Bureau of European Policy Analysis).  She served on the ERC Scientific Council from 2012-2018 and on the EU-RISE Expert Group advising the commissioner for Research.  She is a member of VARIO, the expert group advising the Flemish minister for Innovation.    She is currently a member of the Board of Reviewing Editors of the journal Science and a co-PI on the Science of Science Funding Initiative at NBER. 
With her research concentrated in the fields of industrial organisation, international economics and strategy, innovation and science, she has authored numerous well cited publications in leading international journals.  Specific recent topics include novelty in science and technology development,  global innovation value chains,  young innovative companies, innovation for climate change,  industry science links and their impact on firm’s innovative productivity, evaluation of research & innovation policy. 




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