About us

Erasmus Centre for Business Innovation

The Erasmus Centre for Business Innovation (ECBI) is an independent academic partner for strengthening the innovation-driven competitiveness of organizations, sectors and regions based on validated insights with respect to business innovation. Being a leading knowledge centre of the Erasmus University, we focus on the development and dissemination of these insights for firms, governments, associations and other types of organizations. By valorising academic knowledge and our academic skillset, thereby bridging the academic and business worlds, we serve both the business community and society. ECBI is partner institute of the World Economic Forum and a flagship centre of the Rotterdam School of Management (RSM), the business faculty of the Erasmus University. ECBI collaborates with other faculties within the university as well as with external knowledge institutes, thereby enlarging our knowledge base and possibilities. ECBI has evolved out of INSCOPE Research and Consulting, the Erasmus Strategic Renewal Centre (ESRC) and NCSI, the Dutch Centre for Social Innovation, building on the knowledge that has been developed at these centres.

ECBI combines solid research experience and state-of-the-art academic insights with validated methods and instruments to offer tailor-made service offerings to a variety of clients in different sectors. These offerings include both commissioned research and education and consultancy, for which we often build to a large extent on rigorously conducted fundamental research. We monitor the competitive and innovation strength of organizations and the innovation climate in which they operate, we conduct specific impact measurements, we offer ‘quick scan’ to gather quick insights into an organization, branch or division, and we analyse enablers, inhibitors and levers of organizational renewal and business model innovation. We disseminate knowledge through reports, theoretic courses, in-house presentations and seminars, workshops and inspiration sessions. In addition, we are well-positioned as a leading European academic research centre on business innovation with a growing number of publications.

New insights that we gather originate from both practice-oriented and fundamental academic research, and are presented to managers and policy in an accessible manner. We offer education and advice services to facilitate and foster the implementation of these insights within organizations, networks and regions. In order to maintain our independent position, we are not directly involved in the implementation process.

Focus & Expertise

Organizations and regions are increasingly facing important challenges to remain competitive and relevant in a complex, strongly changing environment. Innovation plays a key role in tackling these challenges. After all, the competitiveness of advanced economies is innovation-driven. Discussions on innovation tend to focus exclusively on technological aspects of renewal, such as R&D, patents and ICT-related process innovations. Research consistently indicates, however, that in order to enable and truly benefit from innovation, the non-technological side of innovation is of crucial importance. The development and implementation of new ways of managing, organization, leadership, working and collaborating leads to better overall business and innovation performance. These human aspects of innovation are labelled as social innovation.

The technological and social innovations that are developed by an organizations can be of such a radical nature that it changes the core activities, value proposition, stakeholder relations or organizational identity. In these cases, we often speak about business model innovation, in which the introduction of fundamentally new products, service or (product or distribution) processes is prominent. Our focus on business innovation implies a focus on all these business-related types of renewal, and particularly the various non-technological aspects, determinants and implications. For instance, we investigate the development, implementation and role of new management practices, transformational leadership, principles of flexible forms of organizing, smart ways of working and co-creation with external stakeholders.

Our team

Our core team has a strong academic background and is able to continuously leverage its accumulated knowledge to the needs and issues of managers and policy makers. The core team is complemented by well-trained research assistants and supporting staff, operating as one team.

Advisory board

Partnerships

The Erasmus Centre for Business Innovation collaborates with various knowledge partners both within and outside the Erasmus University. Our partners include, for instance, the Rotterdam School of Management (and in particular the Department of Strategic Management & Entrepreneurship), the Erasmus School of Economics (ESE), SEOR, the Erasmus Centre for Urban, Port and Transport Economics (Erasmus UPT) and the World Economic Forum (WEF).