Short CV/Education and training


  • 1995
    B.A./Vordiplom, Public Policy and Management, University of Konstanz, Germany

  • 2000
    Master of Urban Studies (MUS), Portland State University, Oregon, USA

  • 2003
    Ph.D. in Urban Studies, Portland State University, Oregon, USA

Academic positions:

  • 1998 – 2003
    Research Assistant, Institute of Portland Metropolitan Studies, Portland State University, Oregon

  • 2003 – 2008
    Assistant Professor, Urban Affairs and Planning Program, Virginia Tech, School of Public and International Affairs, College of Architecture and Urban Studies (from 2003 to 2005 in Blacksburg)

  • 2007 – 2008
    Acting Director and Associate Chair, Urban Affairs and Planning Program, Alexandria Center, National Capital Region, Virginia Tech

  • 2008 – 2008
    Visiting Professor, Economic Geography, University of Bayreuth, Germany (W3-Lehrstuhlvertretung für Prof. J. Maier)

  • 2008 – 2009
    Associate Professor, Urban Affairs and Planning, Virginia Tech & Co-Director, Metropolitan Institute, Virginia Tech

  • Since 2009
    Full Professor, Economic Geography, University of Berne, Switzerland

  • Since 2011
    Adjunct Professor, School of Public and International Affairs, Virginia Tech, USA

  • Since 2011
    Deputy Director, Center for Regional Economic Development, University of Bern

Selected publications

  • Knox, P. L., & Mayer, H. (2013). Small Town Sustainability: Economic, Social, and Environmental Innovation, second revised and enlarged edition. Basel: Birkhäuser.

  • Mayer, H. & Baumgartner, D. (2014). The role of entrepreneurship and innovation in peripheral regions. disP, 50(1), 16-23.

  • Mayer, H. (2013). The role of small and medium-sized centers for territorial development in Switzerland. Special issue on "Small and Medium-sized Cities: Approaches to Balanced Territorial Development in Europe" (Edited by Liu Jian, Bejing, China, and Klaus R. Kunzmann, Postdam, Germany) in Urban Planning International, 28(5), 36-44.

  • Mayer, H. (2013). Entrepreneurship in a hub-and-spoke industrial district: Firm survey evidence from Seattle's technology industry. Regional Studies, 47(10), 1715-1733. DOI: 10.1080/00343404.2013.806792

  • Mayer, H. (2013). Firm building and entrepreneurship in second-tier high-tech regions. European Planning Studies. 21(9), 1392-1417. DOI:10.1080/09654313.2012.755833

  • Mayer, H. (2011). Evolution, innovation and entrepreneurship in emerging industries: introduction to the special issue. Geographica Helvetica, 66(4), 230-232.

  • Mayer, H., & Cortright, J. (2011). The role of culture, consumption and community in cluster development: the case of Portland's athletic and outdoor industry, Oregon (USA). Geographica Helvetica, 66(4), 261-270.

  • Mayer, H. & Armstrong, S. (2011). Featured graphic: the visual genealogy of spinoff companies in the technology sector in Seattle, 2008. Environment and Planning A, 43(4), 763-764.

  • Knox, P.L. & Mayer, H. (2010). Small Town Sustainability: Prospects in the Second Modernity. European Planning Studies, 18(10), 1545-1565.

  • Mayer, H. (2010). Catching Up: The Role of State Science and Technology Policy in Open Innovation. Economic Development Quarterly, August 2010; 24 (3), 195-209.

Selected projects

  • AGORA Project InnoFutures (SNSF); co-applicant with Prof. Olivier Crevoisier and Dr. Hugues Jeannerat, 2014 – 2016

  • Entrepreneurship in peripheral regions: Understanding the role of entrepreneurial heritage and embeddedness in Swiss non-metropolitan areas (SNSF)

  • Capital City Dynamics: A Comparative Analysis of Innovation and Positioning of Secondary Capital City Regions, Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF)

  • Strategy for Mountain and Rural Areas in Switzerland, SECO

  • Visualizing technology entrepreneurship, Kansas City, Kauffman Foundation

Membership in scientific bodies/juries

  • Member ARL Baden Württemberg; Association of American Geographers (AAG); Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning (ACSP), Urban Affairs Association (UAA); American Planning Association, American Planning Association's Economic Development Division


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