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Matjaz Vidmar

BSc (Hon) Physics, MSc SaTiS, MSc (Res) STS


Postgraduate Research Student (PhD),
Science Technology and Innovation Studies,
School of Social and Political Science,
The University of Edinburgh

UK/Scottish Space Sector and Innovation

Research Project(s)  Curriculum Vitae   Extra  Contact 


      Tickets are out for my next Cabaret of Dangereous Ideas (CoDI) show at Edinburgh Fringe: Outer Space - The Next Empire?

      Find out more and get your tickets NOW!
      See you in the New Town Theatre on 5th August; doors open at 1.45pm!


I am a postgraduate research student in The Institute for the Study of Science, Technology and Innovation; part of Science, Technology and Innovation Studies Subject Group in the School of Social and Political Science and Entrepreneurship and Innovation Group of Business School; at The University of Edinburgh. I am also a member of the Centre for Knowledge, Science and Policy - SKAPE and of the Social Informatics Cluster; and I co-convene Social Network Analysis in Scotland (SNAS) group.

I am based at The Royal Observatory Edinburgh as my work is closely linked to projects run by The Institute for Astronomy and STFC - Science and Technology Facilities Council's UK Astronomy Technology Centre (ATC), in particular ATC Innovations and STFC Impact Evaluations teams.

My main area of research is acceleration of business incubation and development of Space Sector in the UK and specifically in Scotland (see bellow).
I am currently in my third year of a 1+3 (MSC by Research + PhD) project funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) through the Scottish Graduate School in Social Science   Pathway studentship.

Previously, I completed a (BSc) Physics degree (2.1 class) and a (taught) MSc in Science and Technology in Society (SaTiS), both at the University of Edinburgh.
As a Physics student I specilaised in Astronomy and Astronomical Technology, whereas my main research project for SaTiS was related to the impact of European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN) and its innovation on the UK.

In my professional roles, I am a member of the UK Association for Studies in Innovation Science and Technology (AsSIST-UK) and of European Assoaciation for Study of Science andt Technoogy (EASST). I am also a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society (RAS), an Associated Member of the Institute of Physics (IoP) and a Member of the British Interplanetary Society (BIS).

Any preprints and a complete list of publications are available from
You can also follw a (hopefully!) more comprehensive version my research through my research blog.
For more general news, images and comments, feel free to find me on Twitter or Instagram.


Social and Political Science

Business School



ATC Innovations

ESRC     Scottish Graduate School in Social Science

UK/Scottish Space Sector and Innovation

Supervisors: Dr Alessandro Rosiello, Dr Julian Dines, Claire Dougan-McCallie, Dr Niki Vermeulen, Prof Robin Williams, Prof Wayne Holland

My primary research interests are in innovation and the crucial part it plays in advanced research programmes in natural sciences and engineering. I particularly focus on developments connected to Astronomy, Astrophysics and Space Exploration.

In this project I am focusing on the innovation and technology transfer in the Space sector in the UK, and in poarticular in Scotland. My thesis is that to conceptualise the innovation in this high-tech sector we need to better understand the links between actual product development and the knowledge co-creation and acquisition through innovation networks.Hence, insights from the literature as well as an in-depth study of successful innovation management in companies accross the sector and other technology transfer and R&D support porgrammes can play a vital role in delivering the current objectives for UK Space sector's expansion.

This expansion is a key UK economic policy goal and public funding institutions working in this field are very keen forming an integrated approach to achieving the desired impact outcomes. One of the main public funding bodies in the Space sector is this project's collaborating partner, Science and Technologies Facilities Council (STFC), who are involved in launching a series of new projects in and around Edinburgh, Scotland, UK, in order to stimulate growth and capitalise on excellent basic and applied research undertaken in the area by public and private research programmes.

One of these new projects is the Higgs Centre for Innovation (HCI), which will be at the centre of my work, as I will be able to access and participate in the strategic development of its programme.

Studies of Astronomy

I also have a broad interest in the Sociological, Philosophical, Historical and Pedagogical studies of Astronomy and Astrophysics, and I am planning to work on several several (smaller) research projects about these topics, drawing on the resources at the Univeristy of Edinbugrh and at the Royal Observatory Edinburgh, in particular the Crawford Library.

  • Anthropology of Names and Naming

    Collaborator: Dr Jacob Copeman (

    I am involved in Dr Copeman's project on names and naming, specifically looking at naming in the context of political and scientific critique. Currently, we are looking at personal names in context of aesthetic practices, but I am also interested to address names and numbers as identifiers; the "embodyment" of research projects in acronyms; and the glorification of the scientist in the object of study - in particular in the context of Astronomy.

  • Public Understanding of Astronomy and Astronomical Technology

    I am part of the public engagement team at the Royal Observatory Edinburgh Visitor Centre and have developed several educational resources on Astronomy and related topics (do get in touch if this is potentially of interest!). I am particularly focusing on questions of impact generation and evaluation in "Big Science" and the use of multimedia technologies in presenting research and research findings. Related to this later interest, I am currently working on Student Research Films series, a series of 60sec videos about research undertaken by students at the University of Edinburgh.(If interested to take part, have a look at the resources webpage.)


Even More Stuff?

Me and baby comet

Me and my baby comet at Glasgow Science Centre, August 2014


Get In Touch

via e-mail: mvidmar[at]  //  m.vidmar[at]
by phone: +44 (0)131 6688 461
through social media:       Academia Reserach Gate Mendeley Google Scholar Wordpress Twitter Instagram Linked.In Pinterest Facebook Youtube
by post: Matjaz Vidmar, Royal Observatory Edinburgh, Blackford Hill, Edinburgh, EH9 3HJ, Scotland, UK

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