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Research profile

Alex Alblas is an Associate Professor of Accelerating Innovation and Organizational Learning Processes in the Innovation, Technology Entrepreneurship & Marketing (ITEM) group of the School of Industrial Engineering at Eindhoven University of Technology. Alex’s research focuses specifically on understanding and optimizing organizational learning and knowledge flows between people, departments, and organizations to accelerate innovation. Accelerating innovation refers to speeding up the improvements in product and process innovation performance (e.g., project cycle time, product quality, cost) by gaining experience during the launch of new products.

Alex strongly believes it is vital to study how organizations can learn, adapt, and respond to changing market and technological conditions, and global challenges, by innovating as quickly as possible because the time to address these challenges is limited. He is interested in operational innovation and organizational learning practices that lead to enhanced performance. In one research project, he investigates the learning mechanisms in which agile operations and iterative product development can lead to performance improvement. In another big industry-funded research project, of which Alex is the principal investigator, he investigates together with a team of researchers the practices in which product development, manufacturing, and customer service processes enable improvements in project cycle time and machine availability. 

Academic background

Alex Alblas received his PhD in Innovation Management from the University of Groningen, and an MSc in Industrial Engineering and a BSc in Technology Management from the same University. He has previously worked as a Process Improvement Specialist with ASML, where he was involved in a challenging project about learning curve improvement in the new product introduction phase. At the University of Groningen, he worked as a researcher and advisor in the ‘Deployment of Sustainability Metrics (DoSyM)’ project. This project aimed to respond to the challenges companies face in selecting and then embedding sustainability metrics in new product development projects. He is currently the principal investigator in the "Managing Knowledge Flows" project that aims (1) to understand better the productivity of current knowledge flows between departments, (2) to optimize the creation, coordination, and utilization of knowledge flows, and (3) to develop policy recommendations on how to improve the management of cross-departmental knowledge flows. He is also involved in the “Transitioning to a Circular Business Ecosystem” (LINCIT) project that focuses on developing knowledge, insights, and tools for guiding companies' transition from linear supply chains to circular business ecosystems. Alex has a lot of experience advising and collaborating with companies in the deep-tech sector, such as ASML, NXP, TomTom, and Vanderlande.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production


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