Jul 9, 2008

Mktg - IIM A ropes in MIT hand to promote innovation

An innovation expert from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) will be visiting the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIM-A), in November to promote the importance of user-based innovations in creating successful companies.
"India and Indians residing worldwide have a wonderful record as innovators and entrepreneurs. I believe users tend to be the real developers of many important products. Recently, research by my colleagues has shown that many new companies are started by users who become entrepreneurs. Learning about how user innovations foster the creation of successful new companies will be very useful information for IIM students and others in India," says Eric von Hippel, professor and head of Innovation and Entrepreneurship Group at the MIT Sloan School of Management and professor of Engineering Systems at MIT.
It will be his first trip to India, which he also intends to use "to forge closer contacts with my colleagues at IIM-A, who have very similar research interests".
The lecture is part of a two-week long 'Inventors of India' workshop by the Centre for Innovation, Incubation and Entrepreneurship (CIIE) at IIM-A. About 70 inventors and innovators of all ages and technical background are expected to be present at the event. Premier institutes could also be called to participate at the workshop.
"Eric will participate and may give the inaugural address at the workshop. In addition, he will interact with the faculty and students and explore possibilities of collaborative research. Apart from visiting some grassroot innovators, he will interact with our incubatee companies as well. Several things are being planned and we are quite excited about his visit. Also, we may ask institutes like National Institute of Design (NID) and Mudra Institute of Communications, Ahmedabad (MICA), to pitch in," says Rakesh Basant, chairman of CIIE and a professor at IIM-A.
An expert in Principle of Developing Economics, Eric has made two of his books available openly on his website at no cost to the reader: Democratising Innovation, published in 2005 by the MIT Press, and Sources of Innovation, published in 1988 by Oxford University Press. Leading companies in the world have used practical methods based on his research. Hippel is also expected to meet grassroot innovators at SRISTI, an NGO founded by Anil Gupta, a professor at IIM-A. Incidentally, Gupta too would be lecturing at MIT as part of the Amy Smith's International design and development course on July 16-17

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