Dr Vareska van de Vrande has been appointed professor of collaborative innovation and business venturing at Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM). This new academic chair, endowed by the Erasmus Trustfonds (Erasmus Trust Fund), aims to actively contribute to the development and dissemination of knowledge in this field of new business development.

Collaborative innovation refers to new business development efforts in which external partners play an important role. Also referred to as open innovation, this type of innovation takes on a crucial role in the corporate innovation process and the development of new business. Business ventures refer to start-up enterprises formed with the expectation of both strategic and financial gain, but involving potential risk.

Staying competitive

“In today’s frequently changing and turbulent environments, companies need to continuously invest in the development of new business, in order to remain competitive,” says the newly appointed Professor Van de Vrande. “Traditionally, firms have invested in the creation of new business internally. However, as product cycles are shortening, the internal development of new products and services is often not enough and collaborative innovation is becoming more important.”

Navigating between the strategic management view on managing a large and diversified business and the strategic entrepreneurship perspective on small but fast-growing start-ups, collaborative innovation focuses on the intersection of those two, uniting corporate diversification with the development of new ventures, both internally and externally. Van de Vrande: “The field of collaborative innovation therefore has not only clear theoretical ambitions but also offers important practical implications.”

Start-up ecosystems

Professor Van de Vrande is one of the academic project leaders for COSTA, a network launched in May 2016 to improve co-operation between start-ups and corporates within the scope of StartupDELTA, an initiative formed with a multidisciplinary team from government officials from all layers of the Dutch government. StartupDelta aims to position the Netherlands as one of the top three most attractive start-ups ecosystems in Europe in 2016 with help from partners in the government, corporate world, academic world, financial world, and many others.

About Vareska van de Vrande

Vareska van de Vrande is professor of collaborative innovation and business venturing at Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM). She joined RSM in 2007 after completing a PhD in industrial engineering and management science at the Eindhoven University of Technology.

Van de Vrande’s expertise focuses on the areas of corporate venturing and collaborative innovation, including external technology sourcing, corporate venture capital investments, strategic alliances, joint ventures, and mergers and acquisitions. Other research interests include corporate entrepreneurship, patents, and venture capital. She has published articles in leading academic journals, including the Strategic Management Journal, the Journal of Product Innovation Management, IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management, and the Journal of Business Venturing. At RSM, Vareska teaches courses and modules in strategic management and corporate venturing at different levels.

Prof. Van de Vrande is also the director of the Part-time PhD Programme in Management at RSM, a visiting professor at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in Switzerland, the founder of two web-portals on open innovation (www.openinnovatie.nl and www.openinnovation.eu), and a certified LEGO SERIOUS PLAY facilitator.


More information

Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) is one of Europe’s top-ranked business schools. RSM provides ground-breaking research and education furthering excellence in all aspects of management and is based in the international port city of Rotterdam – a vital nexus of business, logistics and trade. RSM’s primary focus is on developing business leaders with international careers who can become a force for positive change by carrying their innovative mindset into a sustainable future. Our first-class range of bachelor, master, MBA, PhD and executive programmes encourage them to become critical, creative, caring and collaborative thinkers and doers. www.rsm.nl

For more information about RSM or this release, please contact Erika Harriford-McLaren, Media & Public Relations Manager for RSM, on +31 10 408 2877 or by email at harriford@rsm.nl.

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