T. Wilson (1953) Professor in Management
Professor of Management of Innovation and Engineering Systems
Eric A. von Hippel is a founder of the Entrepreneurship Program at MIT. His academic research examines the sources and economics of innovation.
Von Hippel is known for pioneering research that has shown how product lead users are often the developers of successful new products, rather than the manufacturers, as has been commonly assumed. This research, along with that of collaborators and others, is now triggering a major rethinking of how the innovation process works. The emerging view that users are at the center of the innovation process promises to bring about major changes in company business models and also in government policymaking on innovation-related matters. Denmark recently became the first country to adopt support of user-centered innovation as national policy. Von Hippel also has developed practical tools that are used worldwide to enable product manufacturers to more efficiently participate in user-centered innovation processes. In addition, he has founded and participated in several startup firms.
Von Hippel serves on numerous editorial advisory boards for academic journals and is an active researcher with a number of international collaborators. His most recent book is Democratizing Innovation (MIT Press, 2005). Copies can be downloaded free of charge from his MIT Website at http://mit.edu/evhippel/www/books.htm.
Von Hippel is the recipient of an honorary doctorate from Ludwig-Maximilians University in Munich, was a fellow at the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, and served as Sir Walter Scott Distinguished Professor at the University of New South Wales in Australia.