Migration and Innovation


Migration and innovation have always been intertwined, primarily as both encompass the human search for ameliorating their livelihoods and advancing societies as a whole. Further, migration and innovation have both continuously brought about societal change. The rapid development of technologies and infrastructure has fostered unprecedented patters of migration. Conversely, migration has fostered unprecedented patterns of innovation. Thus far, the academic discourses have predominantly revolved around ‘systems of migration’, as well as ‘systems of innovation’. However, less attention has been paid to the complex and evolving interrelationship between the two and how they transform societies. For instance, the increased mobility of knowledge and ideas themselves alter the fabric of societal structures and thus, have reinforced the importance of exploring the link between migration and innovation.

Additionally, the recent problematization of migration related issues, especially regarding the systemic exploitation and trafficking of migrants, as well as the increased number of people fleeing from conflict and seeking asylum elsewhere, has significantly challenged conventional migration policy. Seeking for new solutions to long-standing challenges has rendered innovation evermore important to migration as a whole.  Thus, the very purpose of this working group is to foster a better theoretical and empirical understanding of the multifaceted relationship between migration and innovation and the impact it has on societies. As migration policy has been confronted with increasingly complex challenges, there is a growing need to find better and more sustainable socio-technical solutions to those challenges. The intellectual capacities within the institute regarding both disciplines enable us to stimulate a progressive and transient discourse between migration and innovation specialisation tracks, as to generate the scientific knowledge upon which better policy solutions can be established, implemented and the livelihoods of people improved.


Highly skilled migrants, Integration through innovation, digital humanitarianism, humanitarian entrepreneurs, civic tech, tech for refugees, digital social innovation, refugee hackatons, systems of migration, migrants and connectivity


Conference Report – Understanding and Tackling the Migration Challenge: The Role of Research: The conference was organised by DG RTD and held in Brussels on the 4-5 February 2016. The report summarises the main discussions and conclusions of the conference, identifies immediate and long-term research needs and provides recommendations for policy making.

SDGs related to Migration Sustainable Development Goals seen through the lens of MIGRATION, IOM.

Download:  Readings Migration and Innovation (M&I) Work Group


Dr. Serdar Turkeli attended Maastricht Center for Entrepreneurship / Refugee Entrepreneurship Bootcamp as mentor.

Read more on: http://www.mysbe.nl/2018/02/getting-down-to-business-mc4e-hosts-refugee-entrepreneurship-bootcamp/

Prof. Dr. Shyama Ramani and Dr. Serdar Turkeli received acknowledgement in “Policy Guide for Entrepreneurship for Migrant and Refugees” UN, 2018, Policy Report UNCTAD, UN Migration, UNHCR, UN.

Master Thesis Library

Dröll, L. (2017). Integration through Innovation – Social Perspectives on Refugee Apps in Europe,  master’s thesis, UNU-MERIT/MGSoG Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands, 74 pages, 2017

Schweiger, L. (2015). Integration or Innovation? A new role for Non-Government Organisations in light of the Refugees Crisis, master’s thesis, UNU-MERIT/MGSoG Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands, 71 pages, 2015