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The focus of this PhD project is gaining a fine-grained understanding of the role of influence relations in determining the likelihood of producing (successful) innovations. Not only understanding the features of successful innovations but also the complex flows of information, ideas, and practices surrounding such innovations is paramount to developing proactive approaches for intelligent solutions.

We embrace this grand challenge by taking a two-tiered approach to investigating innovations vis-à-vis patterns of influence among individuals and within and across categories to (1) study the effects on competitive dynamics and socio-economic performance over time and (2) identify universal ‘secret ingredients’ successful innovations share. Our goal is to analyse and map the so-called innovation genome in the cultural industries (visual arts) and science by extracting, modelling, and interactively visualizing complex traits (e.g., inventions) and patterns of influence.