Dr Athina Piterou PGCE, MSc, PhD

Lecturer in sustainability

Athena Piterou joined the University of Greenwich Business School in 2011 after completing a PhD, linked to the ESRC-funded project ‘Dematerialising the printed paper text’, at Brunel University. The PhD examined electronic books might alleviate the environmental implications of print. At the Policy Studies Institute, Athena’s role involved mapping the interactions among the organisations participating in the Sustainable Development Research Network (funded by Defra).


  • Visiting research fellow, Policy Studies Institute, University of Westminster
  • Member, EASST (European Association for the Study of Science and Technology)

Research / Scholarly interests

Since completing her MSc in technology management at the University of Manchester, Athena's research has focused on the interaction between socio-technical innovation and sustainability, specifically the use of SNA analysis in the study of hybrid innovation networks. On the basis of a relational approach to innovation, Athena has applied social network methods to the study of socio-technical transitions, examining the emergence of the electronic book in relation to the incumbent print-on-paper system. She further developed this method to map the diffusion of sustainable energy technologies in the London area.

Her work on the New Deal for Innovation project concerns small business innovation focusing on support tools and techniques.

She is also analysing the emergence and evolution of Science and Technology Studies (STS) in Europe using data from conference proceedings.

Key funded projects

Adoption and Diffusion of Sustainable Energy Technologies in London (ADSET): RAE funded.

With Anne-Marie Coles and Audley Genus at Kingston University

Urban sustainability will depend on the widespread use of renewable energy technologies, although these are currently at an early stage of diffusion in London. Early adoption is often characterised by a plethora of technologies which fulfil similar functions. This project has identified a range of micro-generation and energy demand reduction initiatives currently being undertaken across the capital and it examines whether there are indications of sustainable energy trajectories.

NDI – New Deal for Innovation

With Chris Birch

NDI is funded by the INTERREG IV A France (Channel)-England programme and involves seven partner organisations. The aim of the project is to develop an innovation toolkit for small businesses. Evidence from secondary research and a cross-channel survey is used to identify the support needs of small firms.

Recent publications


Coles, Anne-Marie , Clarke, Ian, Piterou, Athena (2023), A “poor man’s carriage”: system building and social interactivity in UK urban tramway development, 1860–1890. Oxford University Press. In: , , , . Oxford University Press, Industrial and Corporate Change: dtac063 . pp. 1-17 ISSN: 0960-6491 (Print), 1464-3650 (Online) (doi: https://doi.org/10.1093/icc/dtac063) NB Item availability restricted.

Chan, Jin , Chen, Shih-Yu, Piterou, Athena, Lean, Hooi Hooi , Khoo, Suet Leng , Hashim, Intan H.M. , Lane, Bernard (2021), An innovative social enterprise: roles of and challenges faced by an arts hub in a World Heritage Site in Malaysia. Elsevier Ltd.. In: , , , . Elsevier Ltd., City, Culture and Society, 25: 100396 ISSN: 1877-9166 (Print), (doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ccs.2021.100396).

Han, Chunjia , Yang, Mu, Piterou, Athena (2021), Do news media and citizens have the same agenda on COVID-19? An empirical comparison of Twitter posts. Elsevier. In: , , , . Elsevier, Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 169: 120849 ISSN: 0040-1625 (Print), (doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.techfore.2021.120849).

Piterou, Athena and , Coles, Anne-Marie (2020), A review of business models for decentralised renewable energy projects. Wiley. In: , , , . Wiley, Business Strategy and the Environment, 30 (3) . pp. 1468-1480 ISSN: 0964-4733 (Print), 1099-0836 (Online) (doi: https://doi.org/10.1002/bse.2709).

Chan, Jin Hooi , Mohamad Hashim, Intan H. M., Khoo, Suet Leng, Lean, Hooi Hooi , Piterou, Athina (2020), Entrepreneurial orientation of traditional and modern cultural organisations: cases in George Town UNESCO World Heritage Site. Cogent OA. In: , , , . Cogent OA, Cogent Social Sciences, 6: 1810889 2331-1886 (Online) (doi: https://doi.org/10.1080/23311886.2020.1810889).

Clarke, Ian and , Piterou, Athena (2019), Range extenders: An innovative approach to range anxiety in electric vehicles. Inderscience. In: , , , . Inderscience, International Journal Automotive Technology and Management, 19 (1-2) . pp. 104-124 ISSN: 1470-9511 (Print), 1741-5012 (Online) (doi: https://doi.org/10.1504/IJATM.2019.10019852).

Coles, Anne-Marie , Piterou, Athena, Sentić, Anton (2017), Is small really beautiful? A review of the concept of niches in innovation. Taylor & Francis. In: , , , . Taylor & Francis, Technology Analysis and Strategic Management, 30 (8) . pp. 895-908 ISSN: 0953-7325 (Print), 1465-3990 (Online) (doi: https://doi.org/10.1080/09537325.2017.1408907) NB Item availability restricted.

Book section

Piterou, Athena and , Steward, Fred (2016), From print to digital: textual technologies and reading as a sociotechnical practice. Springer International Publishing. In: , , In: Audley Genus (ed.), Sustainable Consumption : Design, Innovation and Practice. Springer International Publishing, (3) (1st) . pp. 51-64 . ISBN: 9783319296654; 9783319296630 (doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-29665-4_4) NB Item availability restricted.

Conference item

Khoo, Suet Leng , Lean, Hooi Hooi, Mohd. Hashim, Intan Hashimah, Chan, Jin , Piterou, Athena (2018), Creativity and Innovation in Creative Cities: Case of an Innovation Hub in George Town, Penang. In: ICSSI2018/ICServ2018, 13 - 15 November 2018, Taichung, Taiwan , . , (doi: ).

Chan, Jin , Mohd Hashim, Intan Hashima, Khoo, Suet Leng, Lean, Hooi Hooi , Piterou, Athena (2018), Is innovation happening in George Towns's creative and cultural sectors? A comparative analysis between traditional and modern organisations. In: Asia Forum for Business Education, 15-16 January 2018, Phuket, Thailand , . , . pp. 1-11 (doi: ).

Conference proceedings

Hashim, Intan , Lean, Hooi Hooi, Khoo, Suet Leng, Chan, Jin , Piterou, Athena , Ooi, Shok Hong (2019), Positive collaborations: understanding positive relationships among key actors in creative and cultural cluster in Georgetown, Penang, Malaysia. Universiti Malaysia Sabah. In: Asian Association of Indigenous and Cultural Psychology (AAICP) International Conference, 25 July 2018 - 27 July 2018, Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia , AAICP2018 Proceedings. Universiti Malaysia Sabah, . pp. 730-737 . ISBN: 9789670582894 (doi: ) NB Item availability restricted.

Chen, Shih-Yu , Piterou, Athena, Khoo, Suet Leng, Chan, Jin H. (2018), The art hub in the World Heritage Site, Georgetown: a case study of creative sector entrepreneurship in the context of gentrification. KIE Publications. In: International Conference on Knowledge, Innovation and Enterprise, 18 - 20 July 2018, Prague, Czech Republic , Research Papers on Knowledge, Innovation and Enterprise. KIE Publications, London , VI . pp. 7-22 . ISBN: 9781859242322 (doi: https://kiecon.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/KIE-Journal-Conference-Vol-VI-2018_v2.pdf).

Jack, Molly , Coles, Anne-Marie, Piterou, Athena (2017), Urban development projects: A case study of the Greater Port Harcourt city development project in Rivers State, Nigeria. Wessex Institute. In: , , In: C. A. Brebbia, S. S. Zubir, A. S. Hassan (eds.), Sustainable Development and Planning VIII. Wessex Institute, Southampton , 210 . pp. 209-217 . ISBN: 9781784661533 978-1784661540 (Online) (doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.2495/SDP160181).


Trelka, Malgorzata , Piterou, Athena, Chan, Jin (2023), Innovation Ecosystem of Rural-Urban Nexus (INNERUN): a social network analysis and international comparative study of UNESCO World Heritage sites (SRG21/211286). BA/Leverhulme. In: , , , . BA/Leverhulme, London (1st) (doi: ) NB Item availability restricted.

Chan, Jin , Sciacca, Angelo, Coles, Anne-Marie, Roskam, Helen , Brutyn, Eline , Piterou, Athena , van Maldegem, Ageeth , Métreau, Eliane , Zavala, Jacqueline , Debruyne, Dries (2022), Circular tourism and support from local authorities: How local authorities can support small-medium size tourism enterprises in coastal destinations in six strategic steps. Interreg 2 Seas project FACET. In: , , , . Interreg 2 Seas project FACET, (doi: ).