SOURCE: InnoCentive

November 14, 2008 14:04 ET

Preeminent MIT and Harvard Academics Eric von Hippel and Karim Lakhani Join InnoCentive's Strategic Advisory Board

Professors' World-Renowned Expertise in Open Innovation to Help InnoCentive Drive Adoption Across Industries and Expand Its Global Network of Solvers

WALTHAM, MA--(Marketwire - November 14, 2008) - InnoCentive, Inc., the global innovation marketplace, today announced the appointment of two new members to its Strategic Advisory Board: Professor Eric von Hippel, head of the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Group at the MIT Sloan School of Management, and Karim R. Lakhani, an assistant professor in the Technology and Operations Management Unit at the Harvard Business School.

The addition of Professors von Hippel and Lakhani to the board will support InnoCentive's growing business and provide insight into the challenges businesses face that open innovation can address. Their guidance is expected to help InnoCentive raise awareness of the intellectual resources that can be tapped within the larger global community to drive innovation across industries.

News Highlights:

-- At MIT, Eric von Hippel specializes in research related to the nature and economics of distributed and open innovation. He also develops and teaches practical methods that firms can use to improve their product and service development processes. Two of his major published works include "The Sources of Innovation" and "Democratizing Innovation." More information on von Hippel can be found at

-- von Hippel is best known for his work developing the concept of user innovation, and in 1986 he introduced the lead user method that can be used to contribute to new product development.

-- At Harvard, Karim Lakhani specializes in the management of technological innovation and product development in firms and communities. Lakhani's research is on distributed innovation systems and the movement of innovative activity to the edges of organizations and into communities. More information on Lakhani can be found at

-- Lakhani wrote a case study on InnoCentive that is integrated into Harvard Business School's regular course study. The report led to significant findings about InnoCentive that the company is using to recruit new Solvers from the global community. This report is available for purchase and can be found at

Executive Quotes

Dwayne Spradlin, CEO of InnoCentive, Inc.

"Eric and Karim's influential research has played an important role in fostering the growth of open innovation among industry leaders as a strategic business tool for technology advancement. Their thought leadership will support our efforts in driving the market potential for this business paradigm, making it available to a broader community of Seekers and Solvers."

Alpheus Bingham, Ph.D, founder and member, InnoCentive Board of Directors

"Eric and Karim are well-respected, published experts in their fields who will be valued members of our board. As experts in R&D and open innovation, they will provide the expertise we need to further support our customers in solving some of the toughest research, business and social challenges."

Eric von Hippel, professor and head of the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Group at the MIT Sloan School of Management

"Innovation is becoming increasingly open and collaborative. To flourish under these new conditions, firms must learn to efficiently search for the best new ideas wherever they may be, and to foster effective collaboration among innovators. InnoCentive has both the flexibility and expertise needed to help shape leading-edge practice in this arena. I look forward to serving on the InnoCentive Advisory Board to help support this important work."

Karim R. Lakhani, an assistant professor in the Technology and Operations Management Unit at the Harvard Business School

"Many organizations are now realizing that they can achieve a competitive and performance edge by embracing open and distributed innovation practices. These practices provide access to distributed knowledge and talent from around the world and help solve some of the most difficult innovation problems. A successful 21st Century R&D strategy will not be complete without an open innovation component."

About InnoCentive

Founded in 2001, InnoCentive built the first global web community for open innovation, enabling scientists, engineers, professionals and entrepreneurs to collaborate to deliver breakthrough solutions for R&D-driven organizations. InnoCentive Seekers, who collectively spend billions of dollars on R&D, submit complex problems to the InnoCentive Marketplace where more than 160,000 engineers, scientists, inventors, business people, and research organizations in more than 175 countries are invited to solve them. Solvers who deliver the most innovative solutions receive financial awards ranging up to US$1,000,000. InnoCentive's Seekers include commercial, government and non-profit organizations such as Avery Dennison, Procter & Gamble, Pendulum, Eli Lilly and Company, Janssen, Solvay, GlobalGiving and The Rockefeller Foundation.

For more information on InnoCentive, go to:

InnoCentive and InnoCentive Challenge are registered trademarks of InnoCentive, Inc. Other product or service names mentioned herein are the trademarks of their respective owners.

Contact Information

  • For more information contact:
    Connie French
    InnoCentive Marketing Manager
    Email Contact