The team

The research project is based at the Technology, Innovation and Society (TIS) department of the School of Innovation Sciences at the TU/e. TIS is internationally renowned for its research into energy transitions. Furthermore, TIS is home to the Technology for Development research specialization which researches the effect of technology development for and implementation in developing countries. TIS is a member of the Dutch Research School WTMC and thus embedded in a prestigious research collective investigating the role of science, technology in modern cultures.

The School of Innovation Sciences also contains the department of Philosophy & Ethics (P&E). P&E is part of the 3TU. Centre for Ethics and Technology that is internationally leading in research on ethics of technology; and part of the Dutch Research School in Philosophy.

In addition to TU/e, the research team consists of two companies, PRE and Rural Spark, and another research institution, TERI University in India. PRE is a company specializing in innovative power electronics, while Rural Spark works to facilitate smart and sustainable energy grids in rural India. It is remarkable that these two small- and medium enterprises are willing to invest in cash and in-kind contributions into this project, which underlines the perceived importance and relevance of the proposed research. However, one can see this as being in line with the general observation that energy (system) innovations seem to be increasingly driven by small, distributed actors, working bottom-up, instead of top-down.

Team members:

  1. Prof. Dr. ir. Geert Verbong (Project Leader) – TU/e
  2. Dr. Johanna I. Höffken (Project Leader) – TU/e
  3. Dr. Auke Pols – TU/e
  4. Dr. Ankit Kumar – TU/e
  5. Menno Kardolus, Chief Executive Officer, PRE
  6. Evan Mertens, Director of Technical Innovation, Rural Spark
  7. Marcel van Heist, Director Design, Rural Spark
  8. Prof. Amit Kumar, Department of Energy and Environment, TERI University
  9. Dr. Naqui Anwer, Department of Energy and Environment, TERI University
  10. Mr. V.S.K.V. Harish, Department of Energy and Environment, TERI University




In addition to this, DISGI is supported by a valorisation panel. The panel members are stakeholders from diverse backgrounds who assist and complement the core team. They work with the project as advisors, sympathetic critics, knowledge exchange actors, research gatekeepers and business facilitators. The valorisation panel members for DISGI are (alphabetically):

  1. Ashis Kumar Sahu, CLEAN
  2. Jelle Nijdam, Dutch embassy in New Delhi
  3. Priya Dagar, Dutch embassy in New Delhi
  4. Shantanu Dixit, Prayas
  5. Smita Rakesh, Ashden India Renewable Energy Initiative
  6. Suman Lahiri, EBTC