“It’s been great seeing Fraunhofer IMW partner with both public and private institutions to address technology policy, intellectual property and competitiveness issues, and I know that we will continue seeing the fruits of its work for many decades to come.”

Jakub Hlavka worked at Fraunhofer IMW in 2014-2015, where he developed the IP Industry Base together with the Competitive Intelligence Unit.  His research then took him to the United States, where he is a policy researcher and doctoral fellow working in the fields of innovation policy, security and health.

Jakub Hlavka

Where do you work now?

I work at the RAND Corporation in Santa Monica, California and am also a visiting researcher at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, California. I have also recently worked as a consultant for the Tufts Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts.

What is your current position title?

  • Assistant Policy Researcher, RAND Corporation.
  • Doctoral Fellow. Pardee RAND Graduate School.
  • Visiting Scholar, Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics, University of Southern California.

When did you work at Fraunhofer IMW?

I worked at Fraunhofer IMW (at the time, Fraunhofer MOEZ) in the summer of 2014 and remained affiliated as a Non-Resident Distinguished Fellow in Competitive Intelligence until mid-2015.

What unit did you work in?

Competitive Intelligence Unit.

Where did you study and what degrees did you achieve?

My undergraduate degree (BSc) is in international trade from the University of Economics in Prague, Czech Republic. My graduate (MA and MPhil) degrees are from Georgetown University (Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service) in Washington D.C. and from the Pardee RAND Graduate School in Santa Monica, California. I studied international affairs and technology policy at Georgetown and am currently finishing my PhD in Policy Analysis at Pardee RAND.

What did you find particularly interesting about your work at Fraunhofer IMW (formerly Fraunhofer MOEZ) and how did it prepare you for your current position?

I did not know exactly what to expect from Fraunhofer IMW but was excited about the opportunity to work with some of the top researchers in the field in Europe. I remember arriving as some of the team members were leaving for vacation so had some time to read up and explore the field, and soon thereafter was asked to help develop a new score for all entities in the IP Industry Base (IPIB) from scratch. It was my first such experience – I conducted comprehensive research and made several iterations of the index before developing its final version, which you can find online at https://ipib.ci.moez.fraunhofer.de. I learned that by collaborating with colleagues, being creative and not afraid of the unknown, one can achieve great results and also have fun!

What are you working on currently and what do you really enjoy about this job?

I am currently finishing a PhD in policy analysis (applied economics) and have been a policy researcher at both RAND and the University of Southern California. My work has covered many issues, including defense and technology policy, transportation, and innovation financing in health care, and I am currently evaluating new approaches to payment for high-cost therapies in oncology and cardiovascular care. I hope my findings can help expedite patient access to novel drugs while ensuring that spending on these therapies remains sustainable. I enjoy conducting applied research that has the potential to improve the lives of millions of people around the world.

Did you ever expect to end up in your current position while you were at Fraunhofer IMW?

By the time I came to Fraunhofer, I had an offer from RAND and another fellowship opportunity at Stanford (with Hoover IP2) which I was looking forward to. I decided to come to Fraunhofer because of its reputation and focus on applied research, and was glad I did!

What was your most memorable moment as a team member of Fraunhofer IMW?

One of the memorable moments was the first time I saw the index I developed in collaboration with Lutz Maicher, Liina Tonisson, Michael Prilop and others implemented in IPIB. There were also many other experiences I cherished while at Fraunhofer: long conversations with colleagues from all parts of Europe, evening runs in the Johannapark or concerts at the Gewandhaus. 

What is your lasting impression of Fraunhofer IMW?

I believe Fraunhofer IMW is a truly entrepreneurial research place with ambitious researchers working every day to improve the well-being of millions of people. I also remember how welcoming the institute was and am very grateful for the mentorship and support I received from Steffen Preissler, Lutz Maicher and others. Finally, it’s been great seeing Fraunhofer IMW partner with both public and private institutions to address technology policy, intellectual property and competitiveness issues, and I know that we will continue seeing the fruits of its work for many decades to come.

What future goals are you working towards?

My work in innovation policy, security and health all have a common pattern – finding ways for the public and private sectors to better work together and have a positive impact on people’s lives. In Europe and other parts of the world, there are many smart people solving individual problems in isolation, yet I believe that to truly make a lasting difference, we need multidisciplinary – and international – teams working together to find the best solutions. I hope to engage and promote such collaborations to ultimately make our world healthier, safer and more prosperous.

How do you see the field you are working in change in the future?

I hope that our societies and decision-makers become more familiar with evidence-based policy making. While short-term political gains can be achieved by pursuing short-sighted solutions, I am convinced that a lasting success depends on balancing the interests of different stakeholders, often in multiple regions or countries. In areas like climate change or national security, it is of utmost importance to make plans for the future but to also remain nimble and learn from our mistakes. I am especially grateful for having experienced this mindset at Fraunhofer IMW and other institutions I have worked at.

More broadly, I truly believe that Europe can remain at the forefront of innovation in the 21st century: from health to the environment, and from small businesses to large enterprises, I trust our continent will lead the way by combining creativity, risk-taking and lifelong learning with the protection of the most vulnerable and the strengthening of the freedoms we all enjoy.