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I grew up in a small village called Eys in the south of the Netherlands, which is uniquely located within the only hilly part of the country very near to the German and Belgium border. Besides its lovely and close-nitted community, Eys is known for one of the steepest hill within the Netherlands. In 1997 I started a MSc in Technology & Society at Eindhoven University of Technology, which combined an engineering degree with courses in philosophy, history, economics, sociology and psychology of technology and innovation. Eventually, I choose a major in technology and innovation policies in advanced economies. Throughout my studies, I spent a semester following a MSc in Energy Economics and Policy at the University of Surrey in the UK and I graduated with a thesis on energy efficiency opportunities within chemical supply chains for the chemical companies Sabic EPC and DSM NV in 2003. After my graduation, I continued working at these companies developing performance-based allocation schemes for the EU Emissions Trading Scheme.
I started my academic career at the end of 2003 as a Research Fellow working with Prof. Geert Verbong at the subdepartment of Technology and Sustainability Studies within the Department of Technology Management at Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands. We worked on two projects; a study for the Dutch energy council on commercial possibilities of an energy transition to a low carbon economy and a historical analysis of energy research in the Netherlands.
In 2004, I moved to Australia to start my PhD with Prof. Jim Petrie within the Complex Systems and Sustainability group of the School of Biomolecular and Chemical Engineering at the University of Sydney. Here, I developed a novel method based on agent-based modelling which uses the agents' different strategic decision responses towards future uncertainty as the basis for scenario analysis. This model has been applied to develop and design policy instruments to stimulate the sustainable development of bioenergy networks in South Africa. Based on these models, I also developed a comprehensive method to assess the sustainable development of different evolutionary pathwas in terms of both functional and structural performance. The functional performance is determined by the systems' economic, social and environmental contributions, while the structural performance depends on the efficiency, effectivenss, resilience and adaptiveness of these pathways.
In 2007, I started as a research fellow at Science and Technology Policy Research (SPRU) at the University of Sussex in the United Kingdom. Together with Peter Kaufmann, Prof. Sigrid Stagl and Prof. Andy Stirling,  we worked on a European FP6 project involving 12 other European institutions. I used the methodology developed in my PhD to develop an agent-based model to explore the consequences of different agricultural and regional development policies on rural sustainable development. In this project, we developed new methods to explore the role diversity in creating resilient agricultural systems. This required the development of a method to evaluate the effects of diversity in behaviours, functions and different supply chain structures on the resilience of these systems.
In 2009, I started with a research project on international collaborations for energy technology innovation at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. The study is part of the Energy Research, Development, Demonstration and Deployment project, which was started by Prof. John Holdren and Prof. Kelly Gallagher and is currently led by Prof. Venky Narayanamurti and Prof. Matthew Bunn. Together with Melissa Chan, Skuk Jones, Audrey Lee, Nat Logar and Laura Diaz Anadon we are developing a comprehensive study supporting U.S. energy innovation policy. My project used both quantitative and qualitative tools to understand and analyze how the U.S. government can use international collaboration to accelerate energy technology innovation, and address both national and international challenges. The results showed that there is no single set of criteria that the U.S. government can use to choose or engage international cooperation partners. Instead, they need to develop a two separate, but complementary approaches. First, the U.S. government need to develop a bottom-up approach that systematically collect information about existing initiatives, and uses this information to shape new initiatives in such a way that they are complementary to existing activities. Second, a top-down approach is required that identifies gaps between international cooperation activities and national priorities. The results of this project, including a set of heuristics to guide both bottom-up and top-down approaches are published in chapter 5 of "Transforming U.S. energy innovation". This report was published in November 2011.
In that same month, I started my new job as a technology roadmap analyst in the Innovation and Technology Center (IITC) at the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). Our center is located in Bonn, and assists our member states in evaluating and designing policy support tools for renewable energy technologies. For the first two years, I worked on the development and launch of IRENA's renewable energy roadmap REmap 2030 and its associated products.  In 2013, we started to develop a new programme to exampine the role of grids and storage for renewables deployment in some more detail. 
Ruud Kempener
Technology Roadmap Analyst,
International Renewable Energy Agency