IN-EAST School of Advanced Studies

Joint Collaboration


Exploring the Dynamics of Innovation
A Multidisciplinary Research Project with a Focus on East Asia

► IN-EAST School     ► Grant Applicants and Board      ► 1st Funding Period

The IN-EAST School of Advanced Studies on Innovation in East Asia brought together researchers from IN-EAST and other faculties and research networks at the University of Duisburg-Essen. It was founded in order to explore innovation in East Asia from a multidisciplinary perspective, facilitating the generation of new knowledge and the advancement of new methodological approaches.

Sponsored By A Research Grant Of The Bmbf

The IN-EAST School was a BMBF-funded Graduate School of the IN-EAST from April 2013 until March 2017 (1st funding period), prolonged until December 2020 (2nd funding period). The project is still ongoing during 2021 and 2022 with the series of Travelling Conferences (co-organized by the IN-EAST School) and still some publications.

Newest Publications of IN-EAST School Scholars

Löffler, Beate (2022, in review for print): Constructing Japan. Knowledge production and identity building in late nineteenth century western architectural discourses.

Löffler, Beate (in print): Dazwischen und darüber hinaus. Gedanken zu den disziplinären Referenzsystemen architekturwissenschaftlichen Erkenntnisinteresses. In: Forum Architekturwissenschaft 5, 2021.

Gurr, Jens Martin (2021): From the ‘Garden City’ to the ‘Smart City’: Literary Urban Studies, Policy Mobility Research and Travelling Urban Models. In: Gurr, Jens Martin: Charting Literary Urban Studies: Texts as Models of and for the City, Routledge.

Romano, Giulia (2021): Understanding the role of culture in policy transfers. In: Porto de Oliveira, Osmany (dir.): Handbook of policy transfer research, Edward Elgar.

Löffler, Beate (2021, in print): Die Logik der Wissenserzeugung. Muster und Zufälle der architekturhistorischen Japanforschung (Gesellschaft für Überseegeschichte, GÜSG), Universität Hamburg.

Dai, Shuanping, Jangho Yang and Torsten Heinrich (2021): Growth, Development, and Structural Change at the Firm-Level: The Example of the PR China. Working Papers on East Asian Studies, Duisburg.

Löffler, Beate (2021, in print): From teaching ‘progress’ to learning ‘tradition’? German glances at Japan’s built environment (1900–1940). In: Mori, Takahiro (Hg.): The Modern City in Japan and Europe from the Perspective of Urban Governance, 1905–1935.

Löffler, Beate (accepted as book chapter, withdrawn and in review for submission for Journal of Urban History (JUH)): Imperial Tokyo. Intertwined narratives of progress and tradition.

Löffler, Beate (2021, in print): Importierte Heiligkeit. Christliche Raumkonzepte in Japan. In: Wachutka, Michael (Hg.): Heilige Orte und sakraler Raum in den Religionen Japans. München: iudicium.

Löffler, Beate (2021, in print): Search, discovery, canonization and loss. The idea of ‘old Japan’ and Japan’s architectural heritage (1860–1920). In: Bogner, Simone u.a. (Hg.): Collecting loss, Weimar.

Löffler, Beate (2021, in print): Review on Neil Jackson: Japan and the West. An Architectural Dialogue, London 2019. In: Architectural History.

Guahk, Youngah (2021, forthcoming): Recovering the Stream: Contestation about River Access as a Catalyst for New Eco-City Development in Suwon City, South Korea. In: Rita Padawangi, Paul Rabé, and Adrian Perkasa: River Cities in Asia: Water Space in Urban Development and History, Amsterdam University Press.

Heinrich, Timo; Shachat, Jason (2021, forthcoming): The development of risk aversion and prudence in Chinese children and adolescents. In: Journal of Risk and Uncertainty. (Entstanden im Rahmen des Besuchs von Prof. Shachat in der School.)

Complete List of Publications since 2017 (Scholars in alphabetical order)

Travelling Conferences on Urban Transformations in Industrial Regions

Travelling Conferences (TCs) are a format designed to promote and foster international exchange about specific current issues. More specifically, given the significant interest in questions of current urban transformation and comparable challenges in many metropolitan regions around the world (e.g. post-industrial transformation, demographic change, urban strategies of climate change mitigation and adaptation, waterfront development) as well as an interest in the ways in which policies, strategies, blueprints for such transformations are exchanged globally (e.g. research on policy diffusion, policy mobility, travelling concepts), this series of TCs aims to combine a theoretical and conceptual approach along with an empirical section on selected current policies. To accomplish this goal, a number of presentations are given at each conference, supplemented by panel and round-table discussions.

The thematically and structurally similar events take place in Osaka, Ulsan, Dortmund and Cincinnati between October 2019 and sometime in 2022. Representatives of the Ruhr region and the University Alliance Ruhr in Germany, which organize the conference series, are travelling to all four locations accompanied by members from institutions in the partner regions.

Osaka: November 18–19, 2019
Ulsan: November 21–22, 2019
Dortmund: March 4–5, 2022
Cincinnati: September 19–20, 2022

Competence Field Metropolitan Research, University Alliance Ruhr (UDE / RUB / TUDO)
IN-EAST School of Advanced Studies on Innovation in East Asia, University of Duisburg-Essen

Osaka Bay

Osaka, November 18–19, 2019

Venue: Media Center, Osaka City University

Organized by:
Urban Research Plaza,
Osaka City University
Research Centre for Local Human Resources and Policy Development,
Ryukoku University, Kyoto

Download of the Program booklet

Ulsan Taehwa River

Ulsan, November 21–22, 2019

Venue: Lotte Hotel, Ulsan / University of Ulsan

Organized by:
Ulsan Development Institute
School of Social Sciences,

University of Ulsan
Hannam University, Daejeon

Download of the Program booklet

Zollverein Shaft Xii

Dortmund, March 4–5, 2022

Venue: TU Dortmund University, Campus South; and online via Zoom

Organized by:
Competence Field Metropolitan Research
University Alliance Ruhr (UDE / RUB / TUDO)
IN-EAST School of Advanced Studies on Innovation in East Asia
University of Duisburg-Essen
Emschergenossenschaft, Essen

Download of the Program booklet

​​Cincinnati Skyline

Cincinnati, September 19–20, 2022

Venue: Max Kade Center, University of Cincinnati

Organized by:
Competence Field Metropolitan Research
University Alliance Ruhr (UDE / RUB / TUDO)
IN-EAST School of Advanced Studies on Innovation in East Asia
University of Duisburg-Essen
Emschergenossenschaft, Essen

Download of the preliminary Program booklet

Research Agenda

The IN-EAST School of Advanced Studies’ research agenda takes the embeddedness of innovation processes in society as a whole as its general focus of interest, with particular emphasis on the interdependent topics of electro-mobility and urban systems. All research activities take East Asia (China, Japan, Korea) as the subject of their analysis, but provide interfaces for international comparisons and comparative research agendas.

Innovation is understood as a social phenomenon which not only encompasses the technological dimension but which must also be embedded in specific ‘social technologies’ that create innovation-inducing environments and promote the diffusion of new technological solutions in the socio-economic system in order to succeed.

The starting point for the research is therefore the transdisciplinary literature on the institutional foundations of national, regional, sectoral and technological innovation regimes. These specific institutions can be interpreted as ‘capital goods’ determining the productivity of individual and social innovation efforts. But as these embedding institutions exist in specific national cultures and follow different cultural, political and technological path dependencies, innovation in general must be understood as a process that is very much determined by national and cultural idiosyncrasies.

Based on this understanding, we believe that systematic collaboration between different disciplines and area studies can generate significant advances in our knowledge of innovation in general and the parameters of national, regional, sectoral and technological competitiveness in particular.

After undergoing successful evaluation process by peers the IN-EAST School of Advanced Studies was extended for a second funding period until December 2019 to continue its research. The interdisciplinary perspective on innovation was strengthened and the institutional transfers beyond national borders were scrutinized.

The research molecules (1st funding period) was transformed and the research work was continued in two closely interconnected postdocs groups.

Arbeitsgruppen Nachfolgestruktur

IN-EAST School of Advanced Studies
Final Conference 2019

Innovation in East Asia in Global Context: E-Mobility and Urban Systems

Further information

The Research Fellows, Individual and Joint Projects

Katharina Borgmann (until Dec 2019)
Contextual Plannung and Urban Design: The Impact of Global Agreements and Frameworks on Dynamics of the Chinese Urban Development

Jun.-Prof. Shuanping Dai (until Sep 2020)
– Research focus: Open Innovation- and Network Theories
Emergence of New Products and Agile Production Innovation Conjuncture: Evidence form Low-Speed Electric Vehicle Industry in Shandong Province, China

Momoyo Hüstebeck (until May 2018)
Innovating Representative Democracy – The Impact of Deliberative Innovations

Beate Löffler (until March 2019)
Asynchronies of the Japanese City: Innovation and Persistence

Giulia Romano (until March 2019)
The Appropriation and Adaptation of Citizen Participation in a Chinese City: A Step to “Democratic Deliberation”, an Instrument of Power Reassertion and/or Something Else?

Mira Schüller (until March 2019)
The Impact of Electrified Vehicles on Future Traffic in China and Germany

Mahmood Shubbak (Feb.–June 2019)
The Technological System of Innovation: The case of solar photovoltaics in China

Deirdre Sneep (until March 2019)
Building Tomorrow: The Construction of Olympic Venues and National Identity in the Prelude for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games

* * *

Mira Schüller, Katharina Borgmann
Digital Planning Tools & Future Mobility: Interdisciplinary Video Data Analysis for Sustainable Development in China

Giulia Romano, Katharina Borgmann
Sustainable Urban Development Diplomacy Strategies: Transfer Processes of Ideas, Concepts, Frameworks, and their Functions

Katharina Borgmann, Deirdre Sneep
Traditionally High Tech: The Urban Transformations of Beijing and Tokyo for the Olympic Games

Katharina Borgmann, Timo Heinrich
How Do Aesthetic Preferences Drive Decision-Making Processes?

Shuanping Dai, Lijia Tan
Trust in Open Innovation

Shuanping Dai, Timo Heinrich, Lijia Tan
Network Structure for the Emergence of Innovation

Link to detailed description of the individual projects

Hiroshi Kitamura Fellows

Dr. Peng LU 23.7.–11.8.2017
Lijia TAN 1.12.2017–31.3.2019
Prof. Dr. Barbara Buchenau 1.4.–30.9.2018
Prof. Dr. Jens Martin Gurr 1.4.–30.9.2018
Prof. Kenneth Paul Tan 9.6.–9.7.2018
Dr. Martin Hemmert 16.6.–15.7.2018
Shiqiao LI Oct. 2018
Prof. Miyo ARAMATA Feb. 2019
Dr. Keiichi SATOH March 2019

Brochure 2.0 · Broschüre 2.0 (2017–2019)

The IN-EAST School of Advanced Studies, 2nd funding period, at a glance (2017–2019).

Logo School

IN-EAST Calendar


Mai 2024



Area Ruhr Logo Klein Mit Rand






Window2asia Logo


Eastasia Ude Framed Code


Logo EastAsiaNet


Logo Merics


Logo Konfuzius-Institut Metropole Ruhr