Philips is one of the largest Global Electronic Companies with sales of around € 26 B, based in the Netherlands with the Head Quarter in Amsterdam and Research in Eindhoven, where Philips was founded 120 years ago. Philips is a key player in the global market for Healthcare, Consumer Lifestyle and Lighting. It has a history in R&D with many inventions which became world standard, like the Audio Cassette and CD (together with Sony). Technology changes had to be managed like in the 90th moving from „Hardware to Software‟, which was quite a challenge. Translating new technologies into commercially successful products needed a dedicated „Lifecycle Management‟ approach.
From the huge diversity of technologies which have been developed in Philips, many spinoff‟ Companies have been created. ASML (Advanced Semiconductor Material Lithography) is one of the most successful Philips‟ spinoff‟s being now the global market leader for IC Machines with a turnover of € 4.5 B and a € 1 B profit in 2010. ASML and many other Philips‟ Spinoff‟s are still located around Philips Research in Eindhoven. To stimulate Technology Transfer, Philips has initiated the so called „High Tech Campus Eindhoven‟ and invested € 500 M to create a unique knowledge centre: 90 Companies working together in sharing technical knowledge with an „Open Innovation‟ approach. Together with the nearby „High Tech Automotive Campus‟ and the international University triangle: Eindhoven- Aachen-Leuven, an Innovative Region has been created, named: „Brainport Eindhoven‟. This knowledge conglomerate, strongly supported by the Dutch Government, has become the innovative engine of the Dutch Knowledge Economy, generating one third of all Dutch R&D investments and over 50% of all patents granted in the Netherlands. „Brainport Eindhoven‟ has been rewarded as the „Intelligent Community of the year 2011‟ competing with 400 of the „World Most Smartest Regions‟.
The WEF (World Economic Forum) Global Competitiveness Report 2011/2012 shows for The Netherlands an increase in competitiveness from the 8th up to the 7th position (coming from 10th position in 2009), strongly supported by the growing importance of Innovation and Technology Transfer for the „Dutch Knowledge Economy‟.
I have been a Vice President of Quality Management & Business Excellence within Philips Consumer Electronics. In this position I was leading the global Business Excellence Program within my Division. Since retirement in 2006 I still support implementation of Business Excellence in other organisations and recently I started to cooperate with the company Unikatum, to support building an „Excellence Culture‟ within Slovenia.
Léon Tossaint (The Book Of Abstracts of the 4th Technology Transfer Conference 24th – 25th October 2011)