Ms Aphrodite Korou

Former Head of EU Exit Negotiability at Department for Business and Trade (DBT)

Head of EU Exit Negotiability at Department for Business, Innovation and Skills
Policy Fellow Alum, Centre for Science and Policy

"The meetings that CSaP organised as part of my Fellowship provided and excellent platform for sharing knowledge and information as well as exploring views on areas of common interest. In-depth discussions with leading researchers helped identify new links, provide fresh insights in areas related to standardisation, and investigate different perceptions and perspectives. As a result, valuable thoughts and ideas emerged, new relationships were built and existing ones were strengthened, offering the opportunity for further examination and collaboration. An excellent learning journey, full of interesting interactions and food for thought to act upon!" (January 2011)

Aphrodite Korou Head of Standardisation Policy in the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills. Her role involves bringing overall coherence to the UK standardisation policy and infrastructure - whilst working with a wide range of stakeholders in the UK and internationally, and based on strong economic impact evidence - so that it supports innovation, facilitates fair competition, promotes European and international trade, and protects consumers, health, and sustainability.

Previous policy and legislation posts she held in Government, and in the European Commission, were in the policy areas of sustainable development, waste, sustainable consumption and production, gender equality, and integrated transport, all with a strong European and international dimension. Ms Korou also worked at ERM environmental management consultancy on research projects for national and international public and private bodies in environmental strategy, policy, regulation, science, R&D, and technology; and held posts at the European Sustainable Cities and Towns Campaign in Brussels, and at Soletanche engineering company in Paris.

Aphrodite holds an MSc and DIC in Environmental Technology from Imperial; a first class BSc (Hons) in French & European Studies (University of Surrey); and a Diploma on Higher French Studies (University of Sorbonne). She was awarded European scholarships (Socrates, DG ENV, and Erasmus) to undertake postgraduate (Lisbon) and undergraduate research (Barcelona, Louvain-La-Neuve). She is currently reading for a postgraduate Diploma in Systems Thinking in Practice at the OU.

Aphrodite’s policy and research interests lie in innovation and sustainability, systemic change and innovation, use of evidence-base in policy making, research and standardisation; socio-technical change, participatory technology development, European policy and decision-making, risk and regulation. Particular questions of interest include:

  • How is standardisation thinking perceived and adopted in emerging areas of science (such as nanotechnology, regenerative medicine and other key scientific areas of the future)? How can cutting-edge disciplines be encouraged to take a multi-disciplinary approach and be attractive to innovation and investment?
  • Is there sufficient knowledge transfer from R&D through to standardisation? How to best integrate research with standards making, and strengthen the evidence base behind standards decisions?
  • Are standards adequately used with the view of stimulating innovation and of optimising the environmental performance of products and services? Can a systems thinking approach be applied to the standardisation system to maximise its potential and who should be part of this?
  • Is there sufficient communication with standards bodies on innovation and standardisation through research and innovation programmes (i.e. R&D community framework programme)?
  • How can emerging technologies maximise the potential of the connection at a macroeconomic level between standardisation in the economy, productivity growth and overall economic growth? How can standards contribute to an innovation ecosystem that fulfils the societal needs and is economically attractive?
  • Is the case for standardisation providing an economic benefit well understood?
  • How well is the role of standardisation and interoperability understood by entrepreneurs and by those managing spin-outs from university research?