Georges Haour

Professor Emeritus of Technology and Innovation Management

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Georges Haour is Professor Emeritus of Technology and Innovation Management. He specializes in management of innovation and technology commercialization. In the UK, he was associated with the Cambridge-based incubator-innovator Generics (now Sagentia) and helped launch the Ipswich-based BT incubator Brightstar. He frequently acts as an adviser to firms/organizations on effective R&D and innovation management as well as technology commercialization for growth and job creation and innovation in China. An in-demand public speaker, he frequently delivers keynotes at conferences.

He regularly travels to China, Japan, and Singapore, and has a special interest in 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.

Innovation is an all-pervasive notion in our times. What we need is effective and responsible innovations. Furthermore, although technical innovation is indeed a powerful enabler in creating value, we desperately need non-technical, conceptual innovations in order to implement systemic change in dealing with the substantial issues faced by the world.

Born and raised in Lyon, France, Haour graduated from Paris’ higher engineering school ENSCP-Paristech. He has a Master of Sciences (New York) and a PhD in chemistry and materials science from the University of Toronto, Canada.

Prior to joining IMD, he spent nine years leading a business unit in Battelle, Geneva, carrying out innovation projects funded by multinational companies, many of which were in Asia. He hired professionals from six countries and significantly grew his unit’s sales above €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 – known for phrases such as “the Gutenberg galaxy”, “understanding media”, and “the global village” – at his Centre for Culture and Technology.

Author of more than 100 publications, Haour has written several books on creating new activities and jobs through effective innovation, including Resolving the Innovation Paradox: Enhancing Growth in Technology Companies (2004), and From Science to Business: How Firms Create Value by Partnering with Universities (2011) which focuses on the difficult process of effectively transferring knowledge and technology to firms.

His book Created in China: How China is Becoming a Global Innovator (2016) 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 10 years or so, particularly in the area of the digital internet, where it is already a leader. The Chinese version of the book was published in 2017.

In 1989, Haour founded the annual International Forum for Technology Management (IFRM), which is 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 BĂĽhler, formerly with Roche, he founded the ECLE executive course for managers from the healthcare sector. He is on the board of several organizations, including three startups and an investment fund.

Academic publications
Article
Israel, a powerhouse for networked entrepreneurship
The Middle-East seems to exist only when crises or acts of violence occur in the region. This takes away from thinking of Israel as the world's most vital place for entrepreneurship. In fact, as a ...
Published 1 January 2005
Insight for Executives
Article
A personal perspective on China’s relations with the “West”
For years, relations between the two “enemy-brothers”, China and the USA, have been on a collision course. Troubled to have such a powerful and fast rising challenger, the USA are exaggeratedly cru...
Published 26 November 2021
Article
Les nouvelles routes de la soie sont-elles une aubaine pour l'Europe ?
L’ambitieuse initiative des nouvelles routes la soie, « Belt & Road – BRI », lancée par la Chine en 2013, bénéficie certes d’abord aux firmes d’Etat chinoises. Elle offre aussi aux entreprises euro...
Published 14 June 2019
Article
La révolution digitale: un cheval emballé?
The digital surf transforms all sectors of activity and our lifestyles. For this global industry, we need robust and efficient regulation, with the example of what Europe is doing.
Published 10 October 2018
Eurasia in the new global disorder: How should businesses navigate the changing geopolitical landscape?
Article
Eurasia in the new global disorder: How should businesses navigate the changing geopolitical landscape?
The New Silk Road and Maritime Route (which the Chinese have labeled One Belt-One Road) is the most ambitious and exciting business and economic project of the 21st Century. It stretches across the...
Published 18 February 2018
Why China’s new cybersecurity law is a threat to international businesses and innovation
Article
Why China’s new cybersecurity law is a threat to international businesses and innovation
China has the world’s largest market for digital shopping, mobile payments, and Internet-enabled financial services. Close to 400 million people in China do most of their payments using their smart...
Published 24 November 2016
An innovation hotbed
Article
An innovation hotbed
We’ve seen many foreign investments in the digital scene of China. Perhaps the largest recent example is with Uber’s Chinese competitor, Didi Chuxing (Didi for short). This privately-held company, ...
Published 23 June 2016
Why China is on the way to being a global innovator
Article
Why China is on the way to being a global innovator
As part of the transformation of the Chinese economy, attested by many elements of the recent news, China is fast transitioning from low cost manufacturing to a higher value innovation-led economy....
Published 16 February 2016
Article
La Chine nous promet un rythme d'innovation haletant
Les particularités de l'innovation en Chine fournissent des repères sur le cheminement de ce pays pour devenir un innovateur global.
Published 9 February 2016
Article
China: The next innovation hot spot for the world
Never before has the world witnessed such fast development of a market as large as China. China’s economy is climbing up the value curve, transitioning from the low-cost manufacturing of basic prod...
Published 1 January 2014
Article
Helvétie, de grâce, garde ton bon sens!
Les manifestations pro-UE en Ukraine me renforcent un peu dans ma conviction que l'Europe a tous les atouts pour être la région du monde la plus attirante, bien kieux que l'Amériquedu Nord. Pourquo...
Published 10 December 2013
Article
Innovation: Le transfert de puissance vers l'Asie
La crise économique la plus brutale et la plus universelle de l’histoire a été déclenchée par le scandale des «subprime» de Wall Street à l’automne 2008. Alors que les bonus des «greed merchants» r...
Published 21 January 2011
Article
Neue Finanzierungsquelle fĂĽr KMU dank Web 2.0
Das Internet begünstigt Finanzierungsvorhaben von Projekten durch die breite Masse. Das sogenannte Crowd Financing fordert durch eine höhere Rendite und Effizienz die Banken in ihrer klassischen Ro...
Published 21 January 2011
Article
Tapping creative powers of colleges, labs
We seem to have a lot of crises on our hands at the moment: the economy, food, energy, health and, in OECD countries, an aging population. ¦On the whole, the world is muddling through the transform...
Published 23 November 2010
Article
Le défi de la Chine est celui de l'innovation
L'ubuesque tsunami déclanché par Wall Street constitue un événement aussi historique que la chute du mur de Berlin, il y a presque vingt ans. Devant ce délirant spectacle, un pays sourit: la Chine,...
Published 21 October 2008
Article
Infosys: La foudroyante croissance profitable d'une entreprise globale
Published 13 June 2007
Article
RĂ©formes des pays et innovation: L'Empire du Soleil-Levant met le turbo!
L'ampleur de ses investissements en recherche et développement (R & D) met le Japon en tête des pays industrialisés: chaque année, le Japon investit 3,2% de son PIB - produit intérieur brut - dans ...
Published 15 November 2006
Article
Perdons-nous pied aussi dans l'Ă©conomie de la connaissance?
Dans l'innovation technologique, étant donné la désaffection de nos jeunes pour les sciences, le fait que les prochaines "trente glorieuses" seront en Asie, les investissements en R&D des multinati...
Published 25 September 2006
Article
Comment créer de la valeur par la recherche-développement
Les entreprises technologiques ont compris la nécessité de mener des projects multifonctionnels impliquant ingénieurs, spécialistes du marketing, des achats ou de la production. Elles doivent aussi...
Published 1 June 2006
Article
L'esprit d'entreprise a cruellement besoin d'un leadership politique en Suisse
Published 5 October 2005
Article
Donnons un coup de jeune Ă  l'industrie suisse par l'innovation
Published 22 June 2005
Article
La recherche publique doit gagner en nervosité et en soutien financier
Published 15 April 2005
Article
China auf dem Weg zum globalen Innovationslabor
Published 1 March 2004
Article
Esprit d'entreprise, innovation et création de richesses: Monopole de la Silicon Valley?
Published 25 June 2001
Article
Environmental concerns: Are they a threat or an opportunity?
The environment is now firmly on the agenda as a business issue. The author takes the retail business as an example and looks at how industry is responding. Retailers face a number of environmental...
Published 15 March 1996
Created in China
Book
Created in China
Indisputably, China has become the world's manufacturing powerhouse, accounting for around half of all personal computers, digital cameras and kitchen appliances. However, the country is fast trans...
Published 1 January 0001