SERC's Mission

Support the region’s efforts in driving sustainability through investment in education & research

Promote Dubai and the UAE as a center of excellence for sustainability and education

Establish a regional hub for collaboration between industry, policy makers and NGOs

The Austrian School of Economics

Guided by the ideals of a The Humboldtian Model of Higher Education where study should be guided by humanistic ideals and freedom of thought.

Influenced by the economic theories that have become centerpieces of modern economic and business analysis.

Strategic Themes

SERC focuses its efforts and resources on three areas that are critical to the future development of the region.


SERC is fully dedicated to sustainability via four key pillars to focus its efforts.



Forums &


Academic President
MODUL University Dubai

Austrian Ambassador
United Arab Emirates

Prof. Jörg Finsinger

Academic Head | Full Professor | Programme Area Director for International Management

Researcher, academician, CEO

14 books, 160 articles and essays

Author of Wirtschaftswoche Ratings, Rating of EU Insurance companies.

Prof. Dr. Jörg Finsinger has been active in the world of academia since 1982 and prior to joining MODUL University Dubai has held the Chair of Financial Services Research as well as the Chair of Public Economics at the University of Vienna.

Previously, Prof. Dr. Jörg Finsinger held professorial positions at the University of Bern, University of Lüneburg, University of California, Tongij University in Shanghai, University of Miami, and University of Hohenheim- Stuttgart. He is also a member of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, member of the Academy of Insurance, cofounder of the Finance and Ethics Academy in Austria, holds board memberships in public and private institutions - and has been a consultant for Government organizations in Brussels, Bonn, New York, Bern and Vienna.

Prof. Dr. Jörg Finsinger has obtained research grants from DFG, Anglo-German Foundation, The German Marshall Fund, Thyssen Foundation and is a licensed financial advisor as well as evaluation expert for Accreditation Councils for MBA and other curricula. He has been publishing his annual Life Insurance Rating in the German Business Weekly “Wirtschaftswoche” for 20 years. As an expert on financial software, automated trading systems, and Islamic finance, he has developed an impressive track record of projects in the United Arab Emirates. His contributions to the theory of Incentive Regulation can be regarded to be a corner stone of the Theory of Incentives. Prof. Dr. Jörg Finsinger holds degrees in Physics, Mathematics, Economics and Business from US, German and Swiss universities.

Awards and Recognition
  • Editor and Member of the editorial Board of several Journals in Economics, Business and Law
  • Expert for Governments and Public Bodies on Regulatory Issues, Antitrust Law, Investment and Finance as well as Insurance, Comparative Law, Ethical Investment as well as Islamic Finance
  • Member of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, Cofounder of the Finance and Ethics Academy in Austria
  • Licensed financial advisor in Austria
  • Consultant for Government organizations in Brussels, Bonn, New York, Bern and Vienna
  • Research Grants from DFG, Anglo-German Foundation, German Marshall Fund, Thyssen Foundation
Professional Background
  • Board of Directors on several companies including IT Warehouse AG, Sigma Investment AG, Hamburg, Smart Trader AG, Zollikon, Global FX United
  • Senior management positions in several financial and advisory firms in Europe
Educational Background
  • Venia Docendi in Business Administration, University of Vienna, Austria
  • Habilitation in Economics, University of Bern, Switzerland
  • PhD, University of Bonn, Germany
  • MSs in Mathematics, Ohio State University, USA
  • BSs in Physics, Technical University Berlin, Germany
Research Areas
  • Economic theory and policy
  • Comparative Law
  • Business studies
  • Finance
  • Insurance (especially their performance based on accounting data)
  • Algorithmic Trading
List of Publications
  • Jörg Finsinger, J. Ospald. (2013). ασφάλιση στην Ευρώπη είναι ο “νικητής”της οικονομικής κρίσης, in: Asfalistiki Agora, 1. p 46-47.
  • Jörg Finsinger, J. Ospald. (2013) Seguros online en Europa, los ganadores de la crisis económica, in: Actualidad Aseguradora, 28. p. 62 - 64.
  • Jörg Finsinger, T.SEDLIAČIK. (2011) How Much Social Responsibility Do Socially Responsible Investments Actually Deliver?, in: Lernbass R. (Hrsg.), Wirtschaften mit Hilfe nachhaltiger Regelsysteme: Finance & Ethics Academy, Shaker Verlag, Band 4, p. 100-127.
  • Jörg Borrmann, Jörg Finsinger. (1999) Market and Regulation, Vahlen Munich. ISBN 978-3-8006-2471-3
  • Jörg Finsinger. (1997) Insurance Markets, Campus Verlag Frankfurt. ISBN 978-3-593-33227-7
  • Finsinger, J., & Schmid, F. A. (1992). Prix, circuits de distribution et la variabilité des parts de marché en fonction de l'intensité de la réglementation: une analyse économétrique des marchés d'assurances d'Europe. Revue d'économie industrielle, 60(1), 29-41.
  • Finsinger, J., & Simon, J. (1992). The Harmonisation of Product Liability Laws in Britain and Germany: An Applied Legal-economic Analysis. Anglo-German Foundation for the Study of Industrial Society. ISBN 978-0-905492-77-3
  • Finsinger, J. (1991). The choice of risky technologies and liability. International Review of Law and Economics, 11(1), 11-22.
  • Finsinger, J., Hoehn, T., & Potoschnig, A. (1991). The enforcement of product liability rules: A two-country analysis of court cases. International Review of Law and Economics, 11(2), 133-148.
  • Finsinger, J., & Vogelsang, I. (1985). Strategic management behavior under reward structures in a planned economy. The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 100(1), 263-269.

Dr. Oliver Loisel

Assistant Professor | Department of Business Administration

With extensive experience in corporate management as well as management consultancy, Oliver Loisel balances strategy, business models and processes with E-Business and IT. His work covered the process industry, energy supply and infrastructure, governmental and education, banking, insurance and IT. As co-founder of the ATLAS group, he built up several companies in the service and IT industry and actively manages them. Dr. Loisel´s focus is on strategy and business models in the internet of things.

Dr. Loisel has more than 15 years of experience in top management consulting and adult education. He trained companies, managers, undergraduate and postgraduate students regarding General Management, Strategic Management, Entrepreneurship and Innovation. For over a decade he held several hundreds of speeches during Europe´s largest E-Business Roadshow.

Oliver Loisel is an Austrian national based in Switzerland and has been active in the Middle East since 2011.

Awards and Recognition
  • Member of the Austrian United Arab Emirates Association
  • Contributor to several industry magazines
Research Areas
  • Strategies, Business Models and Ecosystems in the Internet of Things
Professional Background
  • Managing Partner and CEO, ATLAS group
  • Project Manager, Malik Management Zentrum St. Gallen
  • Interim Manager, ÖBB Holding
  • Executive Partner, Loisel.Consulting
  • Project Manager, IDC
  • Project Manager, Braintrust
Educational Background
  • Doctor of Laws, University of Vienna, Austria, 2008
  • Master of Science Human Resource Management and Organizational Development, PEF Private University for Management, Vienna, Austria, 2004
  • Master of Business Administration, University of Economics and Business Administration, Vienna, Austria, 2004
  • Master of Advanced Studies Information Technology Consulting, Danube University, Krems, Austria, 2002
  • Master of Laws, University of Vienna, Austria, 2001
Publications and Insights
  • 2016: Loisel: Internet of Things strategy and roadmap, Computerwelt 14
  • 2016: Loisel: What Netflix has got to do with socks, Computerwelt 6
  • 2015: Keuschnigg/ Loisel: 5 assumptions on digitization in the industrial sector, Industry Magazine, 12
  • 2007: IPTV´s contribution to the challenges of rural regions, Malik, Vienna
  • 2006 Loisel: Innovation in the knowledge economy: Protecting Intellectual Property as a fundamental driver of economic growth and location attractiveness, Malik, Vienna
  • 2005 Loisel/ Heimerl: Learning with case studies in organisational and personnel development, Linde, Vienna

Dr. Edith M Szivas

Full Professor | Programme Department Director for Tourism and Hospitality

18 years of academic experience in Tourism Marketing and Management

20 years of research in Tourism, Hospitality and Management

32 publications, 30 conferences and workshop

Dr. Edith M Szivas, a British national, is a leading international expert in the area of Tourism and Hospitality with the track record in strategy and development of over 25 years. Her involvement into a number of Governmental projects aimed at strategic development of the hospitality industry across several countries in Europe and Middle East. She is an author of numerous publications and also she is actively engaged into public speaking.

Dr. Szivas has a vast academic experience in the Universities of London, Surrey, Greenwich, Macau, and others. Her ongoing consultancy activity with the leading global organizations like UNWTO and USAID has made her contribution into development of the industry truly invaluable.

Awards and Recognition
  • Member of the Tourism Society Tourism Consultants Network, UK
  • Member of AIEST International Association of Scientific Experts in Tourism
  • Expert and Auditor at UNWTO Ted.Qual (UNWTO Tourism Education Quality Certification Programme)
  • UNWTO Consultant for tourism policy and strategy, national level tourism human resources development and tourism education projects since 1998
Professional Background
  • Director, SeaStar Consultancy, UAE
  • Senior Management positions at various financial, educational and hospitality institutions (Budapest Bank, University of Surrey, Jumeirah Group)
Educational Background
  • PhD in Tourism Employment and Labour Market, University of Surrey, UK, 1997
  • MSc in Tourism Planning and Development, University of Surrey, UK, 1994
  • BSc in International Trade, Kulkereskedelmi Foiskola, Hungary, 1990
Areas of Research
  • Tourism and Hospitality (specifically covering the Middle East region)
  • Crisis Management
List of Publications
  • Riley, M and Szivas, E. (2015) Luxury and Innovation: Towards an Evaluative Framework. Research in Hospitality Management. 147-152.
  • Ladkin, A and Szivas, E. (2015) Green Jobs and Employment in Tourism. In: Veddy, M. V. and Wilkes K. (editors) Tourism in the Green Economy. Routledge.
  • Stylidis D, Biran A, Sit J, Szivas E. (2014) Residents' Support for Tourism Development: The Role of Residents' Place Image and Perceived Tourism Impacts. Tourism Management. 45(2014) 260-274.
  • Bartalos, S and Szivas E (2013) Green tourism certification in the UAE – Why to Implement? Published by Arab Forum for Environment and Development (AFED).
  • Farsari, Y, Butler, R and Szivas E, (2011) Complexity in Tourism Policies: A Cognitive Mapping Approach. Annals of Tourism Research. 38(3). 1100-1134.
  • Aziz, H and Szivas E. (2011) Report on Tourism for Arab Environment for Green Economy, Sustainable Transition in a Changing Arab World. Arab Forum for Environment and Development (AFED) Annual Report. 2011.
  • Kim, Aise KyoungJin, Airey, D and Szivas, E (2011) The multiple assessment of interpretation effectiveness: Promoting visitors' environmental attitudes and behaviour. Journal of Travel Research. 50(3). 321-334
  • Lei, Z, Papatheodorou A and Szivas, E (2010) The Effect of Low-Cost Carriers on Regional Airports’ Revenue: Evidence from the UK. In: Forsyth, P, Gillen, D, Muller, J and Niemeier HM (Eds) Airport Competition. The European Experience. Ashgate. 311-321.
  • Farsari, Y, Butler R and Szivas, E (2010) The use of Cognitive Mapping in Analyzing Sustainable Tourism Policy: Methodological Implications Tourism Recreation Research. 35(2). 145-160.
  • Seppala, R, Airey D and Szivas E (2009) The Dependence of Tourism SMEs on NTOs: the Case of Finland. Journal of Travel Research. 48(2). 177-190.

Dr. Declan McCrohan

Assistant Professor | Department of Economics

18 years of academic experience in Economics, Finance and International Trade

15 years of research

19 Academic and Government publications

Dr. Declan McCrohan, an Australian national, has over a decade of experience working in the field of Academia throughout Asia and the Middle East. His academic experience and unparalleled leadership skills have enabled him to develop and deliver a number of unique undergraduate and postgraduate courses at a number of universities including Alfaisal University in the KSA, Zayed University and Heriot Watt University in the UAE and Victoria University in Australia. Dr. McCrohan’s research interests cover a wide range of areas including financial modelling of Middle Eastern stock markets, entrepreneurship drivers in the Middle East and the development of international education offshore programmes, with particular focus on Australian Tertiary Institutions’ expansion into Asia and the MENA Region. Dr McCrohan was also the team leader of the 2009 UAE GEM Study into Entrepreneurship in the UAE.

Awards and Recognition
  • 2014 Best paper award at the 29th International Business Research Conference, Sydney Australia, paper titled “The 2011 US Debt Ceiling Debacle – Multivariate GARCH in-Mean Analysis authored by Dr Bruce Budd and Dr Declan McCrohan
  • 2014 MBA Teacher of the Year award – College of Business, Alfaisal University
  • 2014 Supervised the winning three research projects at the Alfaisal University Student Research Awards
  • 2012 MBA Teacher of the Year, College of Business, Alfaisal University
  • 2010 Best Reviewer Award at the 2010 AIB-MENA Conference –Finance, Economics and Accounting Track
  • 2009 Designated the Team Leader of the UAE GEM Study into Entrepreneurship in the UAE
  • 2000 Awarded a full scholarship to undertake PhD studies by the Faculty of Business and Law, Victoria University
  • 1997 National Australia Bank Business Student of the Year Prize for Best Post Graduate Student at Victoria University
Professional Background
  • Austock Group, Melbourne, Australia
  • Australian Trade Commission, Sydney, Australia
Educational Background
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Applied Economics, Victoria University, Australia, 2004
  • Master of Business in International Trade and Finance, Victoria University, Australia, 1997
  • Bachelor of Business in International Business, Victoria University, Australia, 1996
Research Areas:
  • Entrepreneurship and Economic Development in the MENA region
  • Market Efficiency Testing of GCC and Asia Pacific Markets
  • Financial Markets Focus on Volatility
  • The Downfall of Long-term Fundamental Investment Principles
  • The link between International Student Flows and International Trade patterns
  • The relationship between economic growth, fiscal budget balances and oil price volatility within GCC markets
List of Publications
  • Budd, B. & McCrohan, D. (2015). US Spillover Effects of Asset Returns Between Four Asia- Pacific Equity Markets using VECH-GARCH Methodology. Asia-Pacific Financial Markets Journal.
  • McCrohan D. (2014). Examining the market efficiency of the Saudi Arabian stock market. Middle Eastern Finance and Economics, Issue 19, 106-116. 2014
  • Budd, B. Q., & McCrohan, D. (2012). Sensitivity of Sector risk-return relationships in the Saudi Arabian Stock Market. International Research Journal of Finance and Economics, 85(12), 101-111.
  • Tong, Q., McCrohan, D., & Erogul, M. S. (2012). An analysis of entrepreneurship across five major nationality groups in the United Arab Emirates. Journal of Developmental Entrepreneurship, 17(02), 1250007.
  • McCrohan, D., Erogul, M. S., Vellinga, N., & Tong, Q. (2009). Global Entrepreneurship Report on Entrepreneurship in the United Arab Emirates. Dubai: Zayed University.
  • Erogul, M., McCrohan, D. & Tong, Q. (2010) 2009 GEM Special Report on Entrepreneurship in the United Arab Emirates – The Emirati Perspective. Zayed University. 2010
  • Erogul, M. S., & McCrohan, D. (2008). Preliminary investigation of Emirati women entrepreneurs in the UAE. African Journal of Business Management, 2(10), 177.
  • McCrohan, D., Bergami, R., & Mapstone, R. (2008). The Impact of International Study Tours on Students' Intercultural Competencies. In Iris Guske & Bruce C. Swaffield (Ed.) Education Landscapes in the 21st Century: Cross-cultural Challenges and Multi-disciplinary Perspectives, (pp. 206-218). 15 Angerton Gardens, Newcastle, NE5 2JA, UK: Cambridge Scholars. 2008
  • McCrohan, D. & Erogul, M (2007). Socio-Cultural Factors Inhibiting Female Entrepreneurship in the United Arab Emirates. Paper presented at the Perspectives on Entrepreneurship: Cultures and Contexts Conference, September 13-15, Aberdeen Business School, Scotland. 2007

Dr. Philip Boigner

Assistant Professor | Department of Business Administration

Dr. Boigner, an Austrian national, has a vast industrial experience in the areas of investment banking, asset management, private equity, M&A, venture capital, software engineering and consulting in Europe, Australia and the Middle East. In 2011, Dr. Philip Boigner moved to the UAE, the country with one of the most developed and fastest growing economies in the world, to contribute his knowledge and expertise and was engaged as Vice President for Investments in a multi-billion dollar Dubai government entity. His mandate encompassed the development of modern technologies in the Emirate of Dubai and the greater MENA region. More recently, he was appointed as the CEO of the largest Innovation and Venture Capital fund in the region with its offices in Muscat, Oman.

Furthermore, Dr. Boigner is involved into investment-related research, including quantitative hedge funds and emerging markets technology funds.

Awards and Recognition
  • Certified Islamic Finance Executive
  • Chairman of the VC Chapter of the MENA Private Equity Association
  • Co-Chairman of the Dubai-AHK Technology Committee
  • Publications in peer-reviewed journals
  • Contributor to several regional and international industry magazines
Professional Background
  • Ibtikar Innovation Oman, Oman
  • Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority, UAE
  • PBI Group SA, Monaco
  • Moravia Capital AG, Switzerland
  • LRP Capital GmbH, Germany
  • Flinders Consulting Ltd., Australia
  • IBM Central Europe Ltd., Austria
Educational Background
  • Doctor of Business Administration, International University of Monaco, 2013
  • Doctor of Business in Finance, Sophia Antipolis University of Nice, France, 2012
  • Master in Law & Economics, Sophia Antipolis University of Nice, France, 2009
  • Master of Business Administration, University of Southern California, USA, 2006
  • Master in Science in Information Systems, Hawaii Pacific University, USA, 2001
  • Bachelor in Science in Business Administration, Hawaii Pacific University, USA, 2000
Research Areas
  • Hedge Fund Replication
  • Cyber Currencies, Mobile Payments and Future Banking Systems
  • Emerging Market Venture Capital Financing
List of Publications
  • Boigner, P., & Gadzinski, G. (2013). Are investable hedge fund indices holding their promise? Journal of Derivatives & Hedge Funds, 19(1), 31-49.
  • Boigner, P. (2013). The SME of the SMEs. MENA Private Equity Association. October 22
  • Boigner, P., & Gadzinski, G. (2015). Diversification with risk factors and investable hedge fund indices. Journal of Asset Management, 16(2), 101-116.
  • Boigner, P., & Gadzinski, G. Seeking Fully Investable and Optimized Exposure to Alternative Assets.
  • Boigner, P. (2015) Is California's Venture Investing Industry Losing Its Edge? The Entrepreneur Magazine. July 13
  • Boigner, P. (2015) The Top Corporate Venture Capital Programs in the GCC. Arabnet Magazine. August 7
  • Boigner, P. (2015). On-Demand UAE Startups And SMEs Are In The Right Place At The Right Time. The Entrepreneur Magazine. December 29

Prof. Jürgen Simon

Professor | Department of Science

Prof. Jürgen Simon is a Guest scholar at the Law University Hanoi in Vietnam, Head of the Institute of Law at the University of Lüneburg, Chair of the European Technology Platform for Nanomedicine and former Head of the innovation and cooperation department at Siemens Healthcare. He has also held positions at CERN and the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory. His research focuses on themes relating to Law and Biotechnology, Environmental Law, Economics and New Information Technologies. He is the author of many books and articles in these areas.

Research Consultants

Academic President
MODUL University Dubai

Assistant Professor
Department of Economics

Full Professor
Programme Director for Tourism and Hospitality

Assistant Professor
Department of Business Administration

Department of Science

Assistant Professor
Department of Business Administration

Strategic Partners & Stakeholders

Travel, Tourism and Hospitality Industry

Local and international hospitality investors and operators, airlines and responsible tourism supporters

Government Bodies and NGOs

Concerned authorities. Education advocacy groups and social philanthropic foundations

Youth Development Supporters and Private Sector

Organisations promoting youth development and participation in the private sectors

Sustainability and Social Investors

Local and global organisations advocating for and driving sustainability practices in the Middle East

MODUL University Track Record in Organising and Building Human Capacity

Industry Partners