Research group at imec & Vrije Universiteit Brussel

Olivier Braet

Senior Researcher

Personal Description

The most important bottlenecks for the adoption of new technologies are never only technological. Just as often, they depend on the industrial forces on the supply side, and shifting consumer preferences on the demand side. One of my main concerns is understanding how various industrial forces such as strategic behaviour or business model choices can enable or obstruct the introduction of innovations in ICT and media markets. These new technologies do not only have an impact on the future texture of the local economy, through employment or relative competitive position of these companies. They also have (un)intended consequences on the fabric of society, including the viability of the local media and ICT ecosystems, and the agility of our knowledge society.

I am senior researcher within the Market and Policy unit. In this position, I take part in various national and international research projects with a focus on the economic and industrial dimensions of new media and ICT. I was a member of the EU Commission & DG Connect initiated ‘Expert Committee on the China-EU Digital Economy and Cybersecurity Expert Working Group’, and lead the effort to create a ‘MediaHub’ in Brussels. Before joining SMIT, I worked six years at the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration (Ghent University) as research-assistant in the management of information systems. Before that I worked on the automation of the elections as an advisor at the Ministry of Interior Affairs, an advisor at the Flemish Administration for Planning and Statistics, and a researcher at the Flemish Parliament. I hold a degree of Master in Sociology (Ghent University 1997), with a research focus on economic sociology and industrial organisation.