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Personal profile

Research profile

Mila Davids is an Assistant Professor in the History of Technology research group that is part of the section Technology Innovation and Society in the TU/e School of Innovation Sciences. Her areas of expertise include modern and contemporary history, history of technology and business history, social history and transitions, knowledge infrastructure and circulation and innovation.   

The central focus of her research is the development and spread of knowledge, which explains the rise of our global knowledge society. Knowledge is crucial for companies to innovate. A large number of her research projects focus on knowledge acquisition strategies in various companies. Her current research investigates two important features of technological change; innovative companies and the development and circulation of knowledge. She focuses on international knowledge transfer and the interplay between global knowledge circulation and societal and technological transitions. Further topics include the role of Research R&D within multinational companies, the role of knowledge transfer and circulation in economic, technical and social transformation in less developed countries and how within Dutch small and medium sized enterprises (SME’s) innovations come into being.  

Academic background

Mila Davids wrote her PhD on the Denationalization of the Dutch Post and Telecom Office. She has written a number of articles and books on the development and dissemination of knowledge in a range of journals, including Technology Analysis and Strategic Management (TASM), Regional Studies, Journal of Modern European History, History of Technology and Business History Review. She has been an editor of a volume in the series ‘History of Technology in the 20thcentury (TiN20)’ on Industrial Production and a volume on Innovation in the series ‘Dutch Business in The Netherlands’.  

Davids has initiated and managed various research projects, funded by the Dutch research foundation (NWO) as well as research funded by amongst others the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs, Unilever, and Philips. She participates in the research program Globalization, technological change and economic development of the Dutch-Flemish N.W. Posthumus Institute for economic and social history and is also board member of the N.W. Posthumus Institute. She also participates in The Cultural Politics of Sustainable Urban Mobility program, where she is responsible for the International Circulation of Knowledge project. 

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Research Output 1999 2018

19 Citations (Scopus)

Proximity, knowledge base and the innovation process: towards an integrated framework

Davids, M. & Frenken, K., 2018, In : Regional Studies. 52, 1, p. 23-34

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Open Access
product development
research and development
Drawing (graphics)

Gesmeerde Kennis: een halve eeuw geschiedenis van Unilevers Becel

van Helvoort, T., Berkers, E. A. M. & Davids, M., 2017, Eindhoven: Foundation for the History of Technology.

Research output: Book/ReportBookAcademic

Vernieuwend wassen: R&D in Vlaardingen en de detergents-business van Unilever

van Helvoort, T., Davids, M. & Lintsen, H., 2017, Eindhoven: Foundation for the History of Technology. 147 p.

Research output: Book/ReportBookAcademic

Activities 2007 2018

  • 2 Contributed talk
  • 1 Workshop, seminar, course or exhibition

Evolution of Green Business in Historical Perspective

Frank C.A. Veraart (Organiser), Mila Davids (Organiser)
21 Jun 2018

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesWorkshop, seminar, course or exhibitionScientific

Presentation CONTEC Seminar, Technische Universiteit Eindhoven

Mila Davids (Speaker)
15 Nov 2007

Activity: Talk or presentation typesContributed talkScientific

Workshop "Comparing Dutch and German business systems in the 20th century", May 10-12, 2007, Utrecht

Mila Davids (Speaker)
10 May 2007

Activity: Talk or presentation typesContributed talkScientific


Global Connections

1/09/15 → …


Modern Societies in Transition

1/09/15 → …


Student theses

Energieopslag in de bodem: optimalisatie van het bronnensysteem

Author: van de Loo, J., 31 Aug 2004

Supervisor: Davids, M. (Supervisor 1)

Student thesis: Master


Improving knowledge management at a CRO: a case study at NIZO food research

Author: Geleyns, A., 31 Oct 2014

Supervisor: Davids, M. (Supervisor 1) & Peeters, T. (Supervisor 2)

Student thesis: Master


Location, location, location: on the role of geographical proximity in a startup's access to local knowledge

Author: Kengen, L., 30 Nov 2015

Supervisor: Davids, M. (Supervisor 1) & Peeters, T. (Supervisor 2)

Student thesis: Master