Emeritus Professor Georges Haour

Emeritus Professor Georges Haour

Professor Emeritus at IMD, Switzerland, in the area of management of innovation and technology commercialisation, Georges has also been associated with the incubator-innovator Generics (now Sagentia), in Cambridge, UK. He helped launch the BT incubator “Brightstar”, in Ipswich, UK. He frequently acts as adviser to firms/organisations on effective R&D/innovation management and technology commercialisation for growth & job-creation, as well as on innovation in China. He frequently delivers keynotes at conferences.


He regularly travels to China, Japan and Singapore, with a special interest for China’s vibrant innovation scene, where the activity on mobile internet compelled him to engage in projects on the digital revolution. One project, 5G Pagoda, includes Japanese companies, such as Hitachi, NEC and KDDI, alongside European ones. Another project, “Digital Agora”, deals with e-health, bridging Switzerland and Shanghai.


Born and raised in Lyon, France, Georges graduated from Paris’ higher engineering school ENSCP-Paristech. He has a Master of Sciences (New York) and a Ph.D in Chemistry & Materials Science, from the University of Toronto, Canada. Prior to joining IMD, at Battelle, in Geneva, for nine years, he led a business unit carrying out innovation projects funded by multinational companies, many in Asia. He hired professionals from six countries and significantly grew his unit’s sales above Euros 4 million per year. Several of his eight patents, licensed to firms, resulted in new business for the client companies.

Earlier, he was a researcher at ATT's Bell Laboratories, in Murray Hill, New Jersey. In Toronto, he worked with Marshall McLuhan at his Centre for Culture and Technology. Marshall crafted phrases, such as: “The Gutenberg galaxy”, “Understanding media” and “the global village”.

Author of more than 100 publications, he has written five books on his theme “creating new activities and jobs through effective innovation”. After Resolving the innovation paradox (Palgrave, London, 2004), he published From science to business: how firms create value by partnering with universities (also with Palgrave, 2011; www.sciencetobusiness.ch) on the difficult process of effectively transferring knowledge and technology to firms.

His latest book, on innovation in China, is titled Created in China-how China is becoming a global innovator (Bloomsbury, London, 2016). It argues that China, the world’s manufacturing powerhouse, is diligently shifting to higher value activities. Documenting this momentous transition, the book concludes that, barring major mishaps, China will be one of the world’s major sources of innovations, within ten years or so, particularly in the area of the digital internet, where it is already a leader.

http://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/created-in-china-9781472925138/ . The Chinese version of the book has been published by CITIC Publishing (Beijing, 2017) https://item.jd.com/11281032306.html

In 1989, Georges founded the annual IFTM - International Forum for Technology Management, held in cities, such as Paris, Istanbul, Kyoto and Shanghai (at Tongji University). For years, he was on the jury of the Innovation Award of The Economist. In Basel, in 2006, with Dr. Fritz Bühler, formerly with Roche, he founded the executive course ECLE for managers from the healthcare sector. He is on the board of six organizations, including three start ups and an investment fund.

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Georges Haour's Publications
A personal perspective on China’s relations with the “West”
The digital tsunami: How it impacts your business
Eurasia in the new global disorder: How should businesses navigate the changing geopolitical landscape?
Why China’s new cybersecurity law is a threat to international businesses and innovation