The unexpected sources of innovation

Persoon in kamer met gereedschap aan de muur

'If nobody else is going to invent a dishwashing machine, I'll do it myself' said Josephine Cochrane who invented the dishwasher because she wanted to protect her china from rough dishwashers. It was exactly this kind of 'unexpected sources of innovation' that Max Mulhuijzen researched. Whereas innovation was often attributed to companies' Research & Development departments, recent examples show how important the role of citizens is as a source of innovation. According to Mulhuijzen, this needs more attention and support. His research focuses, amongst others, on the motivation and resources permitting the development and diffusion of innovations by citizens, and in his dissertation, Max sketches the implications for policy and innovation management.

Max Mulhuijzen received his PhD from Utrecht University on 7 July 2023.

With his research, he hopes to contribute to a society in which we develop a broader perspective on progress. 'With more knowledge about the innovation process of individual citizens, we can design innovation policy to support initiatives both within and beyond corporate boundaries, and inform companies about the potential of opening up their R&D processes to citizens’ perspectives.'