Governing Transformative Technologies

Recent years have been marked by a growing interest in transformative technologies (TT). These technologies reshape socio-economic orders in fundamental and lasting ways. Although TT are frequently seen as the key to tackling today's grand societal challenges, including climate change, energy security, health, mobility, and education, they can create problems on their own, just like previous technologies have contributed to today’s grand challenges, such as inequality, technological dependence, the decline of local and national industries, or challenges to democracy, privacy, and ethical norms. Moreover, new technologies like AI, autonomous driving, or gene editing have prompted considerable public controversy, buoyed by what could be described as growing innovation skepticism at large.

These ambivalences of TT – their positive and negative impacts, and the need to balance disruptiveness and competition against democratic deliberation and social cohesion – have triggered a major rethinking in the social sciences studying innovation and entrepreneurship about their core assumptions, empirical scope, as well as the tools and metrics needed to assess and shape novel technologies.

The GoTransTech TUM Innovation Network consisting of scholars from different disciplines around the topic innovation - economics, management, science and technology studies, sociology, psychology and political science is committed to the transdisciplinary study of the ambivalence of TT with the ambition of developing a more sustainable way of understanding and steering innovation for societal benefit. The Network aims to address these changing demands on innovation theory, empirical research, and practice head-on. Using an integrative, interdisciplinary social science approach in conjunction with strong ties to engineering expertise, the researchers rethink the foundations for studying and evaluating TT. Finally, they advance new theories, methods and empirical evidence to capture the complexity and ambivalence of the transformative dynamics ensuing from, and shaping, novel technologies across scales, markets and societies.

Our Team

Doctoral theses

  • Governance and Responsibility in Emerging Quantum Computing Technologies (Cecilia Ayres Peres)
  • Exploring cultural differences in consumers' cognitive fexibility (Nadine Benninger)
  • Mission Orientation and Innovation Cluster in the European Union (Felix Kurz)


  1. Begum S., Chen, H., Leutenegger, S., and Dörfler, K. 2024. “Mobile robotic brickwork disassembly for material reuse.” Robotic Fabrication in Architecture (ROB|ARCH) 2024 (under review)
  2. Jeannette Kuo. 2024. “Expressions of Assembly.” Heterogeneous Construction. Ed. Yasmin Vobis et al.
  3. Lazlo Bleker, Kam-Ming Mark Tam, Pierluigi D’Acunto. 2024. “Logic-Informed Graph Neural Networks for Structural Form-Finding", Advanced Engineering Informatics. (under review)
  4. X. Du, S. Zhou and A. P. Schoellig, "Hierarchical Task Model Predictive Control for Sequential Mobile Manipulation Tasks," in IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters, vol. 9, no. 2, pp. 1270-1277, Feb. 2024, doi: 10.1109/LRA.2023.3342671.
  5. M.R. Kolani, S. Nousias, A. Borrmann (2024): Coordinating robotized construction using advanced robotic simulation: The case of collaborative brick wall assembly, International Workshop on Intelligent Computing in Engineering, under review
  6. M. A. Vega-Torres, A. Braun, A. Borrmann (2024): BIM-based Camera Pose Refinement, International Workshop on Intelligent Computing in Engineering, under review
  7. S. Zhou, S. Papatheodorou, S. Leutenegger, A. P. Schoellig (2024): Control-Barrier-Aided Teleoperation with Visual-Inertial SLAM for Safe MAV Navigation in Complex Environments, IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA) (under review)
  8. Cuevas-Garcia C., Pepponi F., and Pfotenhauer S. (2023) Maintaining innovation: How to make sewer robots and innovation policy work in Barcelona. Social Studies of Science.
  9. Lipp B., Baudrin M., Cuevas-Garcia C., Pepponi F. and Tsui S. (2023) Co-creating end-user roles. Understanding the new variety of user involvement in public sector innovation. Science and Public Policy, 50(1): 146-159.
  10. Dayi Gao, Dávid Rozenberszki, Stefan Leutenegger, Angela Dai. 2023. “DiffCAD: Weakly-Supervised Probabilistic CAD Model Retrieval and Alignment from an RGB Image”. (under review)
  11. A. Heins and A. P. Schoellig, "Keep It Upright: Model Predictive Control for Nonprehensile Object Transportation with Obstacle Avoidance on a Mobile Manipulator," in IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters, vol. 8, no. 12, pp. 7986-7993, Dec. 2023, doi: 10.1109/LRA.2023.3324520.
  12. Vega Torres, M.A.; Pfitzner, F., Borrmann, A.: Investigating Robot Dogs for Construction Monitoring: A Comparative Analysis of Specifications and On-site Requirements. Proceedings of the 34th Forum Bauinformatik 2023, 2023.
  13. Vega-Torres, M.A.; Braun, A.; Borrmann, A.: BIM-SLAM: Integrating BIM Models in Multi-session SLAM for Lifelong Mapping using 3D LiDAR. Proc. of the 40th International Symposium on Automation and Robotics in Construction (ISARC 2023), 2023.
  14. Mohiuddin, R.; Cruz Policroniades, M.; Slepicka, M.; Borrmann, A.: Optical Process Control for extrusion-based Additive Manufacturing methods in construction. Proceedings of the 40th ISARC, 2023.
  15. Slepicka, M.; Helou, J.; Borrmann, A.: Real-time data exchange (RTDE) robot control integration for Fabrication Information Modeling. Proceedings of the 40th ISARC, 2023.
  16. Pfitzner, F.; Schlenger, J.; Borrmann, A.: Automated Productivity Evaluation of Concreting Works: The Example of Concrete Pillar Production. Proc. of Construction Logistics, Equipment, and Robotics, 2023.
  17. Pfitzner, F.; Braun, A.; Borrmann, A.: Object Detection Based Knowledge Graph Creation: Enabling Insight into Construction Processes. Proc. of the ASCE International Conference on Computing in Civil Engineering 2023, 2023.
  18. Lazlo Bleker, Rafael Pastrana, Patrick Ole Ohlbrock, Pierluigi D’Acunto. 2022. “Structural Form-Finding Enhanced by Graph Neural Networks”, Design Modelling Symposium Berlin, pp. 24-35,
  19. Mitterberger, D., Atanasova, L., Dörfler, K., Gramazio, F., Kohler, M. 2022 “Tie a knot: human–robot cooperative workflow for assembling wooden structures using rope joints.” Construction Robotics Springer Journals.
  20. Atanasova, L., Saral, B., Krakovska, E., Schmuck, J., Dietrich, S., Furrer, F., Sandy, T., D’Acunto, P., and Dörfler, K. 2022. “Collective AR-Assisted Assembly of Interlocking Structures” Design Modeling Symposium Berlin 2022.
  21. Pfitzner F., Braun A., Borrmann A.: Towards data mining on construction sites: Heterogeneous data acquisition and fusion. Proc. of European Conference on Product and Process Modeling 2022, 2022.
  22. Cuevas-Garcia C. and O’Donovan C. (2022) Programming engagement: Shaping human-robot-public interaction in a smart city robot competition. Preprint: