Maria Savona


Maria Savona is Professor of Applied Economics at the Department of Economics at LUISS University, Rome and Professor of Economics of innovation at SPRU, Science Policy Research Unit at the University of Sussex, UK.

Economist, with main interests in the economics of innovation, employment and wage inequality; economics of data value; the structural change, and particularly the deindustrialisation and emergence of global value chains in services; the economics and policy of innovation in services; barriers to innovation. She has published and advised widely in these areas. Former Director of SPRU MSc in Sustainable Development

She was previously at the University of Cambridge, UK, Universities of Strasbourg and Lille 1, France. She has led and co-led several grants funded by the EC, ESRC, Joseph Rowntree Foundation, Greater London Authority, IDRC. She has advised the IADB; ECLAC; UN ESCAP; OECD; NESTA; BEIS, DETI.

She is an Editor for Research Policy, Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Economia Politica, and a former member of the High Level Expert Group on the Impact of Digital Transformation on EU Labour Markets for the European Commission


  • Since 2021- Part Time Professor of Applied Economics, Dep. Economics and Finance, Luiss University Rome
  • Since 2015- Professor of Economics of Innovation, SPRU, University of Sussex, UK 
  • 2009-2015 – Senior Lecturer, SPRU, University of Sussex
  • 2006-2009 – Associate Professor of Economics, Faculty of Economics and Social Science, University of Lille 1, France
  • 2007 –2012- Honorary Research Fellow, Judge Business School, University of Cambridge, UK
  • 2006 – Research Fellow, Cambridge-MIT Institute (CMI), University of Cambridge (UK) and MIT (US) 
  • 2005 – CNRS Post-Doctoral Fellow, BETA, University of Strasbourg, France


  • DPhil, SPRU, University of Sussex, Thesis “Structural Change, Technology and the Growth of Services”
  • Laurea (BA) in Economics, Full Marks and Honours, Faculty of Economics, University of Rome “La Sapienza”, IT.


  • 2021-2024    PI – H2020 on Pathways to Inclusive Labour Markets (PILLARS) – funded about £800K (Sussex)
  • 2019-2020    PI – Greater London Authority on Fixing the broken link between productivity and wages in London
  • 2017-2018    PI – Joseph Rowntree Foundation on LODGE: The Local Distribution of Productivity Gains: Heterogenous effects 
  • 2016-2017    PI – ESRC SDAI III TEMPIS: Technical change, EMPloyment & Inequality. A Spatial analysis of households & plant data – funded £200K. 
  • 2016-2017    Co-I – IDRC funded project: Pathways of Structural Change and Inclusive Development –£100K. 
  • 2015-2018    PI - HORIZON 2020 Bid on ISIGrowth: Innovation-fuelled, Sustainable, Inclusive Growth (H2020-EURO-SOCIETY-2, Pisa Lead) – £413,868 
  • 2012-2014     Co-I - Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) bid on ‘Characteristics of highly innovative firms in the UK’ (funded, 150K£) 


She has advised and delivered reports for the IADB, Inter-American Development Bank; ECLAC, United Nation Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean; UN ESCAP, United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific; OECD; NESTA, UK National Endowment for Science, Technology and Arts; BEIS, UK Department for Business, Energy, Innovation and Skills; DETI, Irish Department of Trade and Industry. She has delivered keynotes on structural change and the economics of innovation in services at the UCL School of Slavonic Studies, London; Universities of Berlin, Bremen, Jena, Strasbourg; Accademia dei Lincei, Rome; Inter-American Development Bank, Bogota, Colombia; the Economic Commission Latin American Countries (ECLAC), Santiago del Chile; Max Planck Institute of Economics; Seville (Institute Prospective Technology Studies). Invited in round tables ESRC Understanding Society; All Party Parliamentary Group on Women and Work; Festival of Ideas at Bristol. 

Editor for Research Policy; AE for Journal of Evolutionary Economics; Economia Politica; The Eurasian Business Review. She is an Academic Member of the ESRC Peer Review College and member of evaluation panels for the EC, National Research Councils of Canada, Finland, Luxembourg, Italy, Norway, UK, US. Former member of the High Level Expert Group on the Impact of Digital Transformation on EU Labour Markets for the European Commission. Invited in ‘Thought Leadership’ expert panels by the EC, the UK Department of Industry and Trade, the UKRI, ECLAC, UNDESA, EY, EC JRC, NESTA, Microsoft and Aspen Institute, OECD and Wolskwagen Foundation, Bruegel, The German Marshall Fund of the US. She is part of the engagement and impact steering committee of the recently funded Productivity Institute.