ESR #11 - Industry 4.0 as an enabler of innovation ecosystem emergence

Job description

Project: European Training Network for InduStry Digital Transformation across Innovation Ecosystems – EINST4INE (funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 956745)

Field of Expertise: Technology Management, Engineering, Innovation Management

Faculty / Research Group: Institute of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Science, University of Stuttgart

Employment type: Full-time, fixed-term (36 months)

Gross annual salary: From 37,200.00 euros – additional family allowance based on personal circumstances may apply

Starting date: 1st September 2021

Full-time, 36-months fixed-term contract based at the University of Stuttgart but may be required to work remotely

International mobility: various short and long-term travel foreseen, including industry and academic secondments

Open to any nationality (requires a work permit for Germany)

Research activities focusing on industry 4.0 technologies and innovation ecosystems

Enrolment as a PhD candidate

Opportunities to conduct innovative research activities in collaboration with high level academic and industrial partners

Competitive remuneration and excellent working conditions

About the position: 

The PhD position is part of the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Action ‟European Training Network for InduStry Digital Transformation across Innovation Ecosystems” (EINST4INE), coordinated by RMIT Europe. EINST4INE project aims to develop new concepts, approaches and methods in the area of digital transformation and brings together a unique group of world-leading experts in the areas of Open Innovation, Industry 4.0, digital transformation and innovation ecosystems. EINST4INE six academic beneficiaries will recruit altogether 15 Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) working in the domain of industrial digital transformation who will meet regularly via a coordinated exchange programme organised across the international network, comprising secondments, visits, training events, workshops, and summer schools. The successful candidate will be based at the University of Stuttgart (Stuttgart, Germany) and enrolled in a PhD programme in this institution. 

PhD Project Description

Title: Industry 4.0 as an enabler of innovation ecosystem emergence

Description: The digital technologies behind Industry 4.0 enable new actors, new structures, and dynamics in the innovation ecosystems of industrial players. This project combines a technology-based perspective on the generative potential of digital technologies (including new machine-to-machine possibilities) with the innovation ecosystems perspective.

The methods and theoretical perspectives will be determined with the PhD student, but is anticipated to be possible to use advanced data analysis methods (including ML/AI). The ambition is to explore a combination of methods that help to understand the why’s, how’s, and to what extent are the technologies behind Industry 4.0 transforming what we know about innovation ecosystems emergence and evolution.

The project includes secondments, travel to doctoral schools and conferences


Research field(s): Emerging technologies, Digital Transformation, New Entrants, Technology Entrepreneurship and Commercialization, Innovation Ecosystem, Industry Emergence

Supervisors: EINST4INE research programs involve comprehensive, independent research under the supervision of an expert supervising team. For the current position, these are:

• Prof. Dr. Alexander Brem, main supervisor 

• Dr. Ferran Giones


Candidate Profile:


The ideal candidate should have a good background or interest in digital technologies, digital transformation, Industry 4.0, technology innovation, technology entrepreneurship.


Candidates should have a master’s degree (including research methods training) in one of the following disciplines or a related field: engineering, computer science, technology management, business management, economics.

Eligibility and Key Selection Criteria:

To be eligible, you need to be an “Early Stage Researcher”, simultaneously fulfil the following criteria at the time of recruitment:

Mobility: candidates must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc…) in Germany for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to recruitment under the EINST4INE project (i.e. from August 2018).

Qualification: candidates must hold a degree that formally entitles them to embark on a doctorate, either in the country in which the degree was obtained or in the country in which the research training is provided (typically a master’s degree – MSc).

Research experience: at the date of recruitment, candidates must be in the first four years of their research career, after the master’s degree was awarded.

Candidates must be proficient in English (level C1 expected).

Key Selection Criteria

1. Interest in conducting high impact academic research 

2. Interest in engaging with industrial partners in research and dissemination activities 

3. Writing and data analysis skills to generate and share research insights. 

4. Knowledge on data analysis methods and tools (Nvivo, MaxQda, STATA, Phyton, or R). 

5. Academic or industrial experience working with digital technologies (IoT, Blockchain, AR/VR, others).

The positions adhere to the European policy of balanced ethnicity, age and gender. Both men and women are encouraged to apply.

Working conditions:

We offer a 36-months full-time work contract, expected to start on 1st September 2021. The position will be based in Stuttgart (Germany) and international travels are foreseen. The remuneration, in line with the European Commission rules for Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant holders, will consists of a salary augmented by a mobility allowance, resulting in a minimum gross monthly salary of 3,100 euros, with possibility to be raised depending on the candidate’s family status at the time of recruitment.

Further benefits:

The ESRs will be involved in a Marie Skłodowska-Curie network with excellent opportunities for scientific and personal development. These include:

Regularly adapted personal career development plans

Funding for short stays at top-class research groups.

Regular training events and meetings across Europe.


Applicants will be selected on their potential for scientific excellence and adaptability to work in a multicultural environment. Recruitment will be a transparent, open and equal process following the guidelines of the European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers. Carefully read the guidelines before applying. NB: the recruitment and interview process for this position is specific to EINST4INE project. Still, applicants should make sure they comply with the recruiting institution conditions.

The application must be submitted online, together with the following supporting documents (in English):

A detailed Curriculum Vitae (2-pages max);

A letter of motivation (1,000 words max);

A brief, non-binding, research proposal for the ESR project, addressing the state of the art, the objectives, the methodology (3,000 words max);

A copy of your official academic degree(s) and the corresponding transcripts – if original language is not English or German, an official translation will have to be included;

A proof of English proficiency (level C1 expected).

The data of the applicant will be collected for the sole purpose of the selection procedure, such as described in Grant Agreement No. 956745 - Horizon 2020 EINST4INE. The candidate may refer to RMIT EU (coordinator) in order to exercise her/his rights under art. 15 – 22 Reg. (EU) 2016/679.

  • Seniority Level

  • Associate
  • Employment Type

  • Full-time
  • Topics

  • Job Functions

  • Academic Researcher
  • Professor / PostDoc.