Dr. C.C.R. (Caetano) Penna


Caetano Penna is Assistant Professor in Economics at the section of Economics of Technology and Innovation of TU Delft’s Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management. He holds a PhD in Science and Technology Policy Studies from Sussex University (United Kingdom) and an MA in Technology Governance from TalTech (Estonia). Dr. Penna acts as Expert Advisor on technology intelligence and innovation policy for the Rio de Janeiro science and technology funding agency FAPERJ and as Associate Fellow at Utrecht University’s Centre for Global Challenges.


Dr. Penna’s broad area of research is industry, technology and innovation economics and policy. Within this area, he is interested in the design and evaluation of mission-oriented and transformative innovation policies; the mobilization of private and public finance for sustainability and innovation; the development of technology to address societal challenges; and the geopolitical aspects of technological development.

  • Penna, C. C. R. (2021). “Geopolitics and the economics of innovation”. CEBRI Policy Paper, 2/5.
  • Mazzucato, M., & Penna, C. C. (2020). The Age of Missions: Addressing Societal Challenges Through Mission-Oriented Innovation Policies in Latin America and the Caribbean. Washington, D.C.: IADB.
  • Labrunie, M. L.; C. C. R. Penna; D. Kupfer (2020). “The resurgence of industrial policies in the age of advanced manufacturing”. Revista Brasileira de Inovação, 19(December): 1-39.
  • Mazzucato, M.; C. C. R. Penna (2016a). “Beyond market failures: the market creating and shaping roles of state investment banks”. Economic Policy Reform, 19(4): 305-326.
  • Mazzucato, M.; C. C. R. Penna (2016b). The Brazilian Innovation System: A Mission-Oriented Policy Proposal. Report to the Brazilian Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MCTI). Brasília: CGEE.
  • Penna, C. C. R.; F. W. Geels (2015). “Climate change and the slow reorientation of the American car industry (1979-2012): An application and extension of the Dialectic Issue LifeCycle (DILC) model”. Research Policy, 44(5): 1029-1048.
  • Geels, F. W.; C. C. R. Penna (2015). “Societal problems and industry reorientation: Elaborating the Dialectic Issue LifeCycle (DILC) model and a case study of car safety in the USA (1900–1995)”. Research Policy, 44(1): 67-82.
  • Penna, C. C. R.; F. W. Geels (2012). “Multi-dimensional struggles in the greening of industry: A dialectic issue lifecycle model and case study”. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 79(6): 999-1020.

Deep Transitions (until June 2022):

Deep Transitions is an innovative interdisciplinary research project that strives to understand how the unsustainable systems our societies are built on emerged, and how they can be unmade. The project consists of two phases: Deep Transitions History and Deep Transitions Futures. Deep Transitions History has explored the mechanisms that have brought about the First Deep Transition – the transition that led to industrial modernity and informs all of today’s socio-techno systems (i.e. transport, energy, food). Deep Transitions Futures uses the findings of Deep Transitions History to explore a set of future scenarios that illustrate the transformations needed to combat the great challenges of our time. These scenarios are created and debated by the Deep Transitions Futures Project Team, made up of members of the sustainability transitions research community, and a Global Investors Panel, made up of thought-leaders from the private and public investment sector. Together, they strive to develop a new signature investment strategy for transformation, termed ‘Transformative Investment’, which places sustainability and socio-technical system change at its core.


Caetano Penna

Assistant Professor

Values, Technology and Innovation

Economics of Technology and Innovation

Suzanne Kamp-van Rijnsoever

Research interests:
Design for values
Management of responsible innovation
Mission-oriented innovation policy
Economics of industry, technology and innovation 
Innovation finance

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