Collaboration with INSEAD elevates Danish innovation

Under the heading ”Making Innovation Happen” selected IFD projects have the opportunity to work with innovation leadership and strategy at the very highest level.    

In collaboration with INSEAD – one of the leading Business Schools in the world – IFD have developed a programme that aims to give the IFD projects the right tools and inspiration to create results for the benefit of Denmark. INSEAD is top 3 within executive education worldwide and has one of the most selective and most international PhD programme in the world. INSEAD faculty is among the best in the world and offers professors with specific research and teaching expertise in innovation management and leadership.

The programme "Making Innovation Happen" also offers a unique opportunity to apply new learning and concepts to own R&D projects.

Objective of the programme

IFD wants to support its investments and believes that impact can be leveraged by better project leader skills and a genuine business understanding.

Get an introduction to "Making Innovation Happen":


  • Reach higher leadership capacity and develop improved personal leadership skills
  • Increase ability to identify, analyse and handle core challenges in projects and reach better project results
  • Get a better understanding of the strategic and business perspective of research and projects

A part from acces to world class education, "Making innovation happen" is an exclusive opportunity for some of the most important stakeholders in IFD to create a central network and exchange knowledge, ideas and experience.

Working with INSEAD
Programme Structure and academic content

The programme is structured around two core blocks, Innovation and Leadership, with inter-modular learning projects, which allow participants to directly apply concepts to their own R&D projects.

The total duration is approximately 8 months and consists of several modules.

Kickoff – The face-to-face kick-off in Copenhagen is essential to set the context for the entire programme, clarifying “why we are here” and establishing a rapport with the faculty and their business coach.

Faculty will introduce participants to strategy fundamentals: what are the value drivers in an organisation, and how does this relate to their R&D projects?

Online module The online module and corresponding activities take the value creation principles further, to understand the numbers behind the principles, and apply them to participants’ R&D Projects.

Module 1   The first Residential Module focuses on the crucial aspects of how to make innovation happen, and allow technical projects the best opportunities for success. Through interactive class discussion and case study, participants learn that there are other crucial elements they must pay attention to beyond the technical.

Module 2    During the second Residential Module, participants are pushed to think not only as technical problem solvers but also as leaders, in both the academic research setting and corporate business context. In particular, a focus is placed on leading when lacking formal authority, as this is highly pertinent in technical research. The learning methods for this module include 360 degree feedback survey, group coaching, business simulation, and lecture.

Graduation  The last day in Copenhagen is dedicated to project presentations, lecture and graduation! Participants will receive their official INSEAD-IFD certificate of completion. Participants are now part of a growing alumni network of the IFD-INSEAD Making Innovation Happen Programme.

IFD runs two programmes a year

First programme in 2019 is running from February to October

Kick-off - Copenhagen - February 8

Online module - Copenhagen - February 4 - 15

Webinar - Copenhagen -  February 19

Module 1 - Fontainebleu - March 11-15

Module 2 - Fontainebleu - June 11-14

Closing - Copenhagen - October 4

Second programme in 2019 is running from April to December

Kick-off - Copenhagen, April 8

Online module - Copenhagen - April 22 - May 3

Webinar - Copenhagen - May 9

Module 1 - Fontainebleu - June 17-21

Module 2 - Fontainebleu - October 7-10

Closing - Copenhagen - December 11


At INSEAD the faculty makes the difference.  INSEAD is unmatched by other schools of business in terms of its global perspective. That diversity of background and experience is critical to the effective delivery of the program targeted the diverse group of participants coming from the broad palet of IFD projects. This high experienced faculty is highly qualified to help participants relate to a diverse and global business environment.

Jürgen Mihm, Programme Director (Germany), Professor of Technology and Operations Management
Jürgen Mihm has also served as the Chair of the Technology and Operations Management area. He has published ten A-journal articles on diverse in R&D management. Jürgen has been the director of the Strategic R&D Management Program at INSEAD for nearly 10 years. Jürgen holds a Doctorate degree from WHU’s Otto Beisheim School of Management, Vallendar, Germany, and a joint degree in Business and Electrical Engineering (Dipl. Wirtsch. Ing.) from Technische Universität Darmstadt. Prior to his position at INSEAD, Jürgen was a long-standing consultant with McKinsey & Company in Frankfurt, Germany. There he primarily served clients in the semiconductor and automotive sectors. His specializations were technology and operations management.

Nana Von Bernuth (Germany), Business Coach
Nana von Bernuth is a specialised and experienced Business Coach and Project Manager with a focus on Leadership, Innovation and Strategy. Since 2003, she combines  coaching and in-depth research activity which allows her to convey to the participants the latest insights and developments enriching discussions and results. She has been very successful at managing and following up on project teams virtually as well as face-to-face for companies like Johnson & Johnson, LG Electronics, Starwood Hotels, TEVA, and EdF.

Enrico Diecidue (Italy), Professor of Decision Sciences
Enrico Diecidue is also directing the International Directors Programme. In 1996 he obtained his degree in Economics, with a specialisation in Mathematical Economics, from Bocconi University, Italy. He then joined the CentER (Center for Economic Research), Tilburg University, the Netherlands, where he received his PhD in 2001. He teaches  uncertainty, Data & Judgment (MBA and Global Executive MBA programmes), Management Decision Making (MBA programme), Modules in Decision Making (Executive education programme) and Decision Sciences (PhD programme). He has won teaching awards at INSEAD and Wharton.

Manuel Sosa (Venezuela), Professor of Technology and Operations Management
Manuel E. Sosa is also the Director of the Heinrich and Esther Baumann–Steiner Fund for Creativity and Business at INSEAD. He received a BS degree in Mechanical Engineering from Universidad Simón Bolívar (Caracas, Venezuela) and an SM and a PhD degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He directs the Innovation by Design Programme. Professor Sosa’s research efforts are applied to improving product development systems. His professional experience includes systems engineering in the petrochemical industry and development and deployment of computer-aided engineering software applications.

Gavin Cassar (Malta, Australia), Professor of Accounting and Control
Gavin Cassar is a also Research Director of the INSEAD-Wharton Alliance. Gavin received his PhD in Business Administration from the University of California at Berkeley and his Bachelor of Commerce (with First Class Honours) from the University of Newcastle, Australia. His research has been published in top-tier accounting, finance, management, and entrepreneurship academic journals. Gavin Cassar is the recipient of several teaching awards.

Mark Mortensen (USA), Professor of Organisational Behaviour
Mark Mortensen is also Chair of the Organisational Behaviour Area and is co-directing Emerging Leaders in a Digital Age. His area of expertise is organisational collaboration, with an emphasis on two increasingly prevalent ways of organizing that do not fit traditional models of team dynamics: globally distributed (virtual) and project-based work. Prior to  joining INSEAD, Mark was on the faculty at the MIT-Sloan School of Management and before that the Desautels School of Management at McGill University. Mark holds a PhD in Management Science and Engineering from Stanford University, as well as an M.S. from Stanford University and a B.A. from Colby College, both in Computer Science.

Thomas Hellwig (Germany), Professor of Leadership
Professor Dr Thomas Hellwig works as a researcher, teacher and programme director for INSEAD in the field of Organisational Behaviour. He is a trained psyician with a doctorate in psychotherapy and an MBA from INSEAD. He is also a graduate of the Tavistock Institute for group relations (London). He has been working with senior executives individually and in groups for 10 years, both as a private consultant and in executive education. His international clients include senior executives from the following industries: pharmacological, automotive, banking, consulting and service industry, telecommunication and electronic, airlines, IT and NGOs.

Ludo Van der Heyden (Belguim), Professor of Technology and Operations Management
Ludo Van der Heyden also holds the INSEAD Chair in Corporate Governance. He is actively teaching the MBA, Executive, and PhD Programmes, and is the Academic Director of
INSEAD’s Corporate Governance Centre and co-Director of the International Directors Programme, and the Value Creation for Owners & Directors. Ludo Van der Heyden was the first holder of the Solvay Chair of Technological Innovation. He also was the first holder of the Wendel Chair in the Large Family Firm at INSEAD. Family Business represents the second facet of his INSEAD academic contribution.

Three indepth questions about INSEAD

In connection with the startup of the collaboration we have spoken with the two INSEAD professors heading the collaboration with Innnovation Fund Denmark (IFD). Programme director Jürgen Mihm and Professor of strategy, Daniel Simonivich. 

We asked the two professors these three indepth questions:

Do you come with a final recipe for creating successful innovation?

- Not quite. Each technical problem or opportunities need different solutions. We will talk about the important principles and equip the participants with potential big answers – but then we will have to work together with people to tailor the right questions and answers for each individual project, says Jürgen Mihm.

What should the participants in the programme expect?

- You should expect some state of the art input informed by research as well as inspiration on the topics we cover; strategy, leadership, bringing innovations to markets, and financial skills, says Daniel Simonivich.

 - A large percentage of what participants get out of the program is actually from their selected peers who always have very interesting things to bring to the table. The direct exchange of experience from people at their level working on real innovation missions will make a big difference to this unique program, says Daniel Simonivich.

-This program will allow participants to step back and reflect on what is going on in their organizations, and to make sure that they are not only running fast but that they are actually running in the right direction, says Jürgen Mihm.

What is your ambition in regard to the new cooperation with IFD?

- What I find interesting here dealing with a foundation is that we get exposed to people from much smaller organizations and startups – with people who do innovation not just in a commercial setting but also for societal benefit, says Jürgen Mihm

-Value creation happens here at multiple dimensions; the individual and organizational levels, and then you have the societal dimension. It is quite unique to have this group of people who bring all three things together bouncing back and forth. Being part of that is quite fantastic - and hopefully we will bring more value out of that than usual, says Daniel Simonivich.


Who can participate?

Project leaders form following investments can be invited to apply for participation by IFD.

  • Grand Solution projects
  • Large scale InnoBoosters
  • Selected International projects

Participants are in particular selected on basis of value to the IFD project. They are required to allocate an adequate amount of time for preparation travelling and project work.


Julie Krener, IFD programme officer
Mail:, Tlf. 61905026

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