Postdoc or PhD student 'Innovation ecosystems for Industry 4.0'

Postdoc or PhD student 'Innovation ecosystems for Industry 4.0'

Published Deadline Location
18 Jul 31 Aug Amsterdam
Are you our future Postdoctoral researcher or PhD student to study the development of innovation ecosystems for the transition to Industry 4.0? Please apply at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.

Job description

The KIN Center for Digital Innovation received an EFRO grant to conduct research on the development of business models for predictive maintenance, in collaboration with the Faculty of FEW (Mathematics and Computing), Techport, Tata Steel, and various SMEs in analytics and sensor development. The position can be filled by either a postdoctoral research or a PhD student. The premise of this project is that the transformation to Industry 4.0 requires collaborations between heterogeneous partners from different disciplines (i.e., engineering, mathematics, business) in innovation ecosystems. Data-driven innovations needed for Industry 4.0 require the input of such diverse actors and business model innovation. The postdoctoral researchers or PhD student will conduct qualitative and possibly quantitative research on the development and implementation of data-driven business model innovation for the Industry 4.0 transition. 

Your duties The postdoctoral researcher/ PhD student will conduct qualitative, and possibly quantitative research and interventions, on the following themes: 
  • the changing development processes of data-driven value propositions and business models;
  • value creation and appropriation processes in ecosystems consisting in heterogeneous actors;
  • organizing innovation in ecosystems from a business model innovation perspective
By tracing the developments of new data-driven business models for Industry 4.0 solutions at Techport, Tata steel, and various SMEs, this project will identify best practices for other organizations to learn from as well as result in novel research findings that can be published in top international journals on innovation and management. 

The Post-doctoral researcher/ PhD student can rely on the intensive collaboration and training offered by the KIN Research Group’s leading researchers. We offer opportunities to attend conferences, to meet other international researchers, and to participate in high-quality discussion groups in support of writing papers for publication. 


Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU)


Potential Postdoctoral researchers/ PhD candidates who would like to apply should meet the following requirements:
  • excellent track record in doing high quality scientific research
  • ability to combine creative and analytical thinking
  • ability to collaborate in groups as well as carry out work individually
  • demonstrable flexibility and strong communication skills required to collaborate with industrial partner(s) and perform research as an embedded researcher in a field setting
  • affinity with (digital) innovation and technology management
  • proficient in written and spoken Dutch and English. N.B. Candidates without Dutch professional proficiency cannot be considered for this position
  • academic writing skills
  • completed PhD (for the Postdoc position) or MSc (for the PhD position) in Economics, Business Administration, Innovation Management, Technology & Management, Operations Research, Sociology, Industrial Design, or a related discipline; or a regular master in one of these disciplines with excellent research skills
  • expertise in and affinity with qualitative and quantitative research methods

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: 1 year.

A challenging position in a socially involved organization. The salary will be in accordance with university regulations for academic personnel and amounts €2,325 (PhD) per month during the first year and increases to €2,972 (PhD) per month during the fourth year, based on a full-time employment. For Postdoctoral researchers the salary will be between €3,389 - €4,247. The job profile: is based on the university job ranking system and is vacant for at least 0.8 FTE.

The appointment will initially be for 1 year. After a satisfactory evaluation of the initial appointment, the contract will be extended for a duration of 3 years for the PhD position or 2 years for the Postdoc position. Additionally, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam offers excellent fringe benefits and various schemes and regulations to promote a good work/life balance, such as:
  • a maximum of 41 days of annual leave based on full-time employment,
  • 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus,
  • solid pension scheme (ABP), contribution to commuting expenses,
  • optional model for designing a personalized benefits package


The ambition of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is clear: to contribute to a better world through outstanding education and ground-breaking research. And to be a university where personal education and societal involvement play a leading role. Where people from different disciplines and backgrounds work together on innovations and on generating new knowledge. Our teaching and research embrace the whole spectrum of science – from the humanities, the social sciences and the pure sciences through to the life sciences and the medical sciences.

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is home to more than 24,500 students. We employ more than 4,600 individuals. The VU campus is easily accessible, located in the heart of Amsterdam’s Zuidas district, a truly inspiring environment for teaching and research.

Diversity is one of our university’s core values. We are an inclusive community, and we believe that diversity and international activities enhance the quality of education and research. We are always looking for people who can enhance diversity on our campus thanks to their background and experience.

School of Business and Economics
The School of Business and Economics (SBE) provides high-quality education and excellent research in business administration and economics with a focus on contributing to the social, economic and ecological challenges of our time. Whether it is the use of robots in society or big data, labour market participation or flexibility in the labour market, traffic jams or the housing market, flash crashes in the stock market or choice behaviour in gambling, leadership or change management: we believe in goal-oriented scientific research and understand that progress in academics, the business community and society is achieved through cooperation, openness and social responsibility.

At SBE, all of our highly-motivated colleagues work together closely in a stimulating, dynamic and international environment to achieve our collective goal of encouraging society to make informed choices. Approximately 4,200 Bachelor’s and Master’s students and 1,700 executive students are enrolled at the School, and employs roughly 500 people.
About the KIN Center for Digital Innovation
The PhD student or Postdoc can rely on intensive supervision and training offered by the leading researchers in the KIN Center for Digital Innovation and will follow the 3-4 year PhD program of the Amsterdam Business Research Institute (ABRI). The Faculty offers opportunities to attend conferences, to meet other international researchers, and to participate in high-quality discussion groups in support of writing papers for publication. Many of KIN’s PhD students spend some time abroad during their trajectory. The prospects for the Faculty's doctoral graduates on the labor market are excellent, both inside and outside the academic world.

Additional information

Are you interested in this position? Please apply via the application button and upload your curriculum vitae and cover letter until 31 August 2019.

Applications received by e-mail will not be processed.

Vacancy questions
If you have any questions regarding this vacancy, you may contact:

Name: Fleur Deken
Telephone: 0616326313

No agencies


  • HRM
  • Economics
  • 32—40 hours per week
  • €2325—€4247 per month
  • University Graduate
  • 1187


Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU)

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De Boelelaan 1105, 1081 HV, Amsterdam

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Application procedure

Application procedure

Make sure to apply no later than 31 Aug 2019 23:59 (Europe/Amsterdam).