Leading Innovation Excellence Programme – The essentials

For whom

Corporate innovation professionals who wish to strengthen their capability to improve and sustain innovation within their organisations.

> Find out if your current role fits the programme

Next 3-day programme

“Leading Innovation Excellence Programme – The Essentials” takes place on 7-9 October, 2019 at the entrepreneurial learning environment of Erasmus University Rotterdam.

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The fee for this programme is € 3,500 (excl. VAT) for a 3-day in-class module, course book, Entrepeneurship Scan, access to online learning management system, course materials, lunches, dinners and social activities.

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Other programmes

Developing Innovation Processes and Governance Systems: 9-11 December, 2019.

Developing Entrepreneurial People and Culture: 22-24 May, 2019.

> Learn more

Key benefits

Drive sustainable innovation excellence in your organisation

This programme helps participants to elevate innovation to a higher level within their organisation fitting with its structure and culture. By teaching personal leadership and development skills, participants are able to understand the impact of innovation on the organisation. This is done in an interactive way, as this programme has a strong focus on learning from and with colleagues from different organisations/sectors/countries.


Increase your ability to support others to innovate


Challenge and support top management to lead innovation


Master your own innovation career

“The acknowledgement of innovation as a capability strengthens me to be successful in my role within the organisation. And understanding that my role is the one of an innovation driver helps me to be more effective.”

Linda Nieuwenhuizen

Manager Digital Change & New Business at Centraal Beheer Achmea

Programme overview

“Leading Innovation Excellence – The Essentials” programme at a glance

The next 3-day programme of “Leading Innovation Excellence Programme – The Essentials” takes place on:

14-16 January 2019

Application deadline:

6-8 May 2019

Application deadline:
15 April 2019 (full)

Waiting list

7-9 October 2019

Application deadline:
16 September 2019

Register now

Programme agenda:

Day 1: (Human) Resources

An organisation’s most important resource for innovation are its people, thus we will go in depth about Human Resources. After this day you will;

  • Come to understand the roles and traits of successful Innovation Drivers;
  • Develop the capability to assess and build effective entrepreneurial teams;
  • Develop the capability to assess and build effective social networks for
  • Draw upon the results from the ECE Entrepreneurship Scan to understand what it takes to build an ambidextrous leadership style.

Day 2: Processes

Excellent innovation requires systematic processes and governance systems to
guide (portfolios of) individual projects and to move beyond ad hoc projects:

  • Draw upon the results from the ECE Entrepreneurship Scan to understand the characteristics of ambidextrous innovation governance systems to explore and build innovations;
  • Develop the capability to set innovation goals and fitting processes, and to get the most out of techniques such as lean startup and design thinking;
  • Work in a small team to analyze and evaluate an innovation leader’s real-life case.

Day 3: Values

A sustainable innovation competence requires organisational cultures based
on innovation and entrepreneurship values. To stimulate and integrate desired
behavioral change in your organisation, you will:

  • (Real-life case continued) Learn from the innovation leader (in person) about the difficulties to develop the broader innovation capability and culture of the organisation;
  • Develop the understanding and the capability to create urgency and a social movement for innovation, i.e. to involve, engage and excite others;
  • Develop the understanding and the capability to facilitate cultural change and influence senior leadership behavior.

For whom

Are you an innovation driver?

Building on the programme of “Leading Innovation Excellence”, this programme aims to develop and empower innovation professionals, “Innovation Drivers”, in their roles to build and maintain a sustainable corporate innovation and entrepreneurship capability.  In their quest to drive innovation excellence and transform their organisations, these (informal) innovation professionals come to fulfill many different roles, such as the ones described in the infographic. Do you recognize yourself in any of these roles? Would you like to develop yourself in any of these areas? Are these important challenges in your organisation?

Our team

Top academics and industry-leading practitioners as facilitators

In this programme Erasmus Centre for Entrepreneurship brings “Innovation Drivers” from different organisations together to get the most out of learning with and from each other. This learning is fueled by the latest hands-on insights from the world-class innovation and entrepreneurship research performed by professors from Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University and international partner universities. This programme is developed in collaboration with industry-leading innovation professionals from organisations such as DSM and ING.


Prof.dr. Justin Jansen

Academic Director

Dr. Ferdinand Jaspers

Programme Director

Prof. dr. Tom Mom

Professor Strategic Growth & Implementation

Prof.dr.ir. Vareska v.d. Vrande

Professor Collaborative Innovation & Business Venturing


“I found a surprising number of people with brilliant ideas and a very high level of coaches, investors and entrepreneurs: that made a huge difference. ”

Arjan Rensma, Innovation Excellence Manager at DSM

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“The Leading Innovation Excellene Programme gives participants the opportunity and tools to reflect on the innovation context of their organisations.”

Angelique Plugge, Innovation Driver at ING

Read more

“What makes the programme unique is that it is not only made by academics, but there is also a great deal of involvement between the coaches and the participants - We make this programme together!”

Ad van Dongen, Innovation Driver at ING

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About Erasmus Centre for Entrepreneurship

The leading centre for entrepreneurship in Europe

Part of the Erasmus University Rotterdam

We leverage the knowledge and network of Erasmus University Rotterdam, a university founded by entrepreneurs more than 100 years ago. With 25+ researchers and 4 full professors in entrepreneurship, it is in the DNA of our university. We provide participants with a diploma.

Academic excellence & practical experience 

We apply hands-on insights from world-class innovation and entrepreneurship research and practices from industry-leading innovation professionals. This combination results in the ability of participants to make impact in the organisation. 

Learning through reflection on doing

Experiential learning is at the core of all our programmes. Participants learn through working on their own and other participants’ cases from different organisations/sectors/countries in an interactive way.

The Erasmus Centre for Entrepreneurship

Erasmus Centre for Entrepreneurship is the leading entrepreneurship centre in Europe.

We provide a unique platform that ranges from scholarly insights about (corporate) entrepreneurship and new opportunities, startup campuses for ambitious entrepreneurs, to exciting executive programmes for leading innovation excellence within established organisations.

We developed a 10.000 m2 entrepreneurship campus, housing over 100 startups and scale-ups, creating the learning environment to teach, train and develop people to excel in innovation.

Erasmus University Rotterdam has the largest academic research group in Europe with over 25 researchers and 4 professors in the field of entrepreneurship.

Alumni cases

What former participants say

As part of the programme deliverables, participants of the programme publish an opinion piece about an innovation topic. Click on their photo or name to read their personal story inspired by driving innovation in their organisation and the Leading Innovation Excellence Programme.

Erik Wirsing

DB Schenker

Cecile Veerman


Adam Ayers


Paul van der Hoeven


Reinout d’Engelbronner


Raimond Neuteboom

Koninklijke Marechaussee

Linda Nieuwenhuizen

Centraal Beheer Achmea

Wolfgang Hoepfl

Other Programmes

An overview of our innovation programmes

Leading Innovation Excellence Programme - The Essentials for Public Organisations

11-12 June, 16 September 2019

Drive innovation excellence within your public organisation


Read more

Developing Innovation Processes & Governance Systems

9-11 December, 2019

Develop and institutionalize a high-performing innovation system.

Read more

Developing Entrepreneurial People and Culture

22-24 May, 2019

Develop and nurture the human resources and culture required for innovation excellence


Read more
Frequently asked questions

Want to know more?

Who can participate in this programme?

This programme is for (innovation) professionals who wish to improve and sustain the capacity of their organisations to innovate and grow; through its people, its processes and its values

How much time will I need to spend on this programme?

All the Programmes consist of 3 days in class. Next to these, there will be some preparatory work for each Programme, and optional Webinars. Furthermore, the participants may opt to develop and execute their own Real-life Impact Project during the programme with coaching from top academics and industry-leading practitioners.

What is the maximum number of participants that can join the programme?

The limit amount of participants is 15 as we seek for a highly interactive learning environment. 

Where will the programme take place?

All in-class modules take place at environments that spark your innovation. The first module will take place at our home base: the ECE Campus in the Rotterdam Science Tower, the Netherlands. 

Address: Marconistraat 16, 3029 AK Rotterdam, the Netherlands

What is the fee for participating in this programme?

Full programme:
€ 18,500 (excl. VAT) including three 3-day in-class modules, a dedicated academic and practitioner coach throughout your personal Real-life Impact Project, ECE Corporate Entrepreneurship Scan, prepatory webinars & quizzes, access to online learning management system, graduation conference, course book & materials, lunches, dinners, social activities.

Compose your own programme:

    Per Programme*:

€ 3,500 (excl. VAT) for a 3-day in-class module, course book, ECE Corporate Entrepeneurship Scan, prepatory webinar & quiz, access to online learning management system, course materials, lunches, dinners and social activities.

    Real-life Impact Project**:

€5,000 (excl. VAT) including a dedicated academic and practitioner coach throughout the duration of your project, final presentation day.

* Programme 1″Leading Innovation Excellence Programme – The Essentials” is the only mandatory programme and must be completed before following any of the other programmes. 
** It is only possible to take on a Real-life Impact Project if you follow at least two Programmes.

The General Terms and Conditions ECE Study Programmes are applicable to this programme.

What kind of certification will I receive when I graduate from this programme?

After completion of a separate Programme you will receive a proof of participation for that Programme.

Participants will receive a certificate from the Erasmus Centre for Entrepreneurship, Erasmus University Rotterdam, and will be welcomed into the ECE alumni community if they comply with the Certification Requirements;

A participant must – within two years – successfully complete:

  • All three Programmes;
  • ECE (Corporate) Entrepreneurship Scan;
  • Personal Real-life Impact Project;
  • Case Exam;
  • A Personal Learning Plan;
  • A published Opinion Piece.

In what language will the Programmes be held?

All the Programmes will be facilitated in English. 

The only exception is the first Programme for Public Organisations, which will be facilitated in Dutch.

Get in touch

Interested to know more?

Curious to learn more about the Innovation Driver Certification Programme and how we might be able to support your organisation in the area of innovation and entrepreneurship?

Get in touch with Annique de Greef.

Email: degreef@ece.nl

Phone: +31 10 302 1331

Annique de Greef

Director Education & Research