Brief Bio

Maryann P. Feldman is the Heninger Distinguished Professor in the Department of Public Policy at the University of North Carolina. Her research and teaching interests focus on the areas of innovation, the commercialization of academic research and the factors that promote technological change and economic growth. Dr. Feldman was the winner of the 2013 Global Award for Entrepreneurship Research, awarded by the Swedish Entrepreneurship Forum and the Research Institute of Industrial Economics, for her contributions to the study of the geography of innovation and the role of entrepreneurial activity in the formation of regional industry clusters. Her dissertation, which was subsequently published as a book, was entitled the Geography of Innovation. The work examined the spatial distribution of industrial innovation and provided an empirical model of the factors and resources that affected the production of new product innovation and was published in the American Economic Review, the Review of Economics and Statistics and the Annuals of the Association of American Geographers. This work is noted to be the first time that the term geography was used to describe spatial phenomenon and is now an accepted lexicon. Currently, the geography of innovation is a subject area under the strategy division of the academy of management.

Feldman’s early work revealed that universities were necessary but not sufficient for technology-based economic development, which launched a new area of investigation into university technology transfer.  She has written extensively on the process and mechanics of the commercialization of academic research, publishing in Management Science, Organization Science, Research Policy, and The Journal of Technology Transfer. 

Her most recent work is exploring emerging industries, entrepreneurship and the process of regional transformation.  This was the topic of the edited book, Cluster Genesis: the origins of technology-based economic development.  She has written extensively on the early development and growth of biotechnology, as an example of a transformative technology.  She has recently completed a study of the industrial applications of optical science, which will be published in Economic Geography.  This work demonstrated typologies of places that were able to sustain industrial optics through a variety of  economic development strategies.

While at the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto, Feldman worked with Roger Martin, a former director of Monitor Company on a series of papers that examine Jurisdictional Advantage.  This work, which examines how places construct unique, not easily replicated economic advantage, has been published in The Brookings Papers on Economic Policy and Research Policy.  Maryann Feldman was Principal Investigator on a National Science Foundation Project ( SciSIP 0947814) that examined state economic development policies.  This work aims to understand what policies are most appropriate in different ecosystems and under different economic conditions.

Currently Feldman is actively engaged in researching the industrial genesis of the Research Triangle region, in a joint project with Nichola Lowe.  The project follows the development of the regional economy over a 50 year time period using a unique database of 3200 entrepreneurial ventures and attempts to understand the institutional dynamics that created a vibrant regional economy. This work provides a replicable template for integrating large datasets to use in the study of regional economies.


Phone: 919 962 0674

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