UM-MERIT is a research and training centre of United Nations University (UNU) and Maastricht University (UM), based in southeast Netherlands. UNU is an international community of scholars engaged in research, postgraduate training and the dissemination of knowledge aimed at resolving the pressing global problems of human survival, development and welfare. UM-MERIT was formally established on 1 January 2006 following the integration of the former UNU-Institute for New Technologies (INTECH) in Maastricht and the Maastricht Economic Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT). Following the integration of the Maastricht Graduate School of Governance in December 2010, the centre now covers all aspects of governance in domestic and global organizations, from risk assessment to policy analysis, design and evaluation.
UM-MERIT focuses on the particular role of science, technology and innovation, in the broadest sense, in bringing about development and the improvement of social welfare at the national and international level. Within this broad global context, UM-MERIT's research mission is to provide more insights into the social, political and economic international and local context within which innovation and technological change is created, adapted, selected, diffused, and improved upon. The Institute's research and training programmes address a broad range of relevant policy questions dealing with the national and international governance of innovation and intellectual property protection, and the creation and diffusion of knowledge.
In its enlarged form UM-MERIT functions as a unique research centre and graduate school for over 80 PhD fellows and 100 Master’s students, and as a UN think tank addressing a broad range of policy questions on science, technology, innovation and democratic governance.