Kerstin J. Schaefer is an assistant professor in Economic Geography at Utrecht University (UU); a research fellow at the Institute of Economic and Cultural Geography at Leibniz University Hanover (LUH) and a visting scholar at the Department of Geography & Environment of the London School of Economics (LSE). After finishing her PhD at LUH in 2020, she received a Marie Sklodowska-Curie Postdoctoral Fellowship for a project at LSE in 2021 and started her position at UU in 2023. Her active engagement in the Economic Geography scholar community includes supporting the organization of the annual meetings of the Young Economic Geographers Network and organizing online presentations in the Seminars in Economic Geography.
She is working on topics related to innovation, standardization and new mobility technologies. Her research has been spanning boundaries between Economic Geography and International Business Studies as well as Transport Studies. During her PhD, she analyzed the role of experienced inventors at offshore labs for building innovation capability in latecomer firms. Her findings emphasize the importance of participation in global industry standards for emerging region firms’ competitiveness. This motivated her to further investigate the participation of emerging region firms, in particular from China, in the standardization of new technologies created to enable automated driving. She is further interested in the future of mobility and transport, and the social implications of new technologies in this sector. In her research on the digitalization of mobility access via apps, she investigates the risk of transport related social exclusion by the increasing digitalisation of access to public transport.