Viipuri prize winner Henry Chesbrough
Created 27.4.2022
Updated 26.5.2023

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American organisational theorist Henry Chesbrough is the latest recipient of the Viipuri Prize, awarded by the LUT Business School and the Society for Viipuri School of Economics (VITAKO) and worth 10,000 euros.

The Viipuri Prize is usually awarded biennially to an internationally acclaimed top researcher whose work has had a significant impact on the research and teaching at the LUT Business School.

"Professor Chesbrough is widely known as the father of open innovation. He introduced the concept of open innovation in the early 2000s. Two decades later, the paradigm remains relevant," says Sami Saarenketo, Dean of the LUT Business School.

Open innovation means that companies should use both external and internal ideas and paths to market and advance their technology. According to Chesbrough, companies cannot afford to rely entirely on their own research but should instead buy or license processes and inventions from other companies.

In addition, business ideas that are not used internally should be taken outside the company through joint ventures or spin-offs.

"The open innovation paradigm has had a significant impact on modern business and strategic thinking," says Saarenketo.


Viipuri Prize first awarded nearly 20 years ago

Founded by the Society for Viipuri School of Economics and first given in 2003, the Viipuri Prize is awarded for significant achievements in the field of strategic research.

"It just happens that the first Viipuri Prize was also awarded to a professor at Berkeley, David Teece. The tenth Prize again goes to Berkeley with Professor Chesbrough," says Sami Saarenketo.

According to VITAKO's chair Tuomo Rönkkö, an international outlook and entrepreneurship are at the heart of the Society. Consequently, the Viipuri Prize has been a good investment for the Society.

"With relatively little prize money, we are attracting world-class names to LUT University. The biggest bonus of the Viipuri Prize is that LUT University researchers can have personal contacts and collaborate with the top names in science," says Rönkkö.

The Viipuri Prize was last awarded in 2019 to Professor Erik Brynjolfsson, known for his research on the implications of artificial intelligence for the workforce.

The Society for Viipuri School of Economics (VITAKO) is one of the major backers of the LUT Business School. It does not, however, influence educational content or propose who should be supported by the University.

"The foundations supporting LUT University decide independently on the recipients of support, based on proposals made by the University," says Rönkkö.

The open innovation paradigm has had a significant impact on modern business and strategic thinking.
Sami Saarenketo
Dean, LUT Business School

Henry Chesbrough

(Haas School of Business University of California, Berkeley, USA)

  • American professor and thought leader
  • Born in 1956
  • Long career at Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley
  • Taught at Harvard Business School and universities outside the US
  • Earned a PhD from Berkeley Haas, MBA from Stanford University, and BA from Yale University
  • Expertise in business models, industry evolution, innovation strategy and, in particular, open innovation
  • Introduced the concept of open innovation in 2003 in his book Open Innovation: The New Imperative for Creating and Profiting from Technology.

Chance to listen to the Chesbrough lecture live

Chesbrough will receive the Viipuri Prize on 3 June 2022 at LUT University's Lappeenranta campus. He will also deliver a lecture on "The promise and limits of open innovation after the pandemic". Entry to the event is free, but due to limited space, those wishing to attend need to register. The hall can accommodate 500 people.

Register via this link by May 25.

More information:


Sami Saarenketo, Dean, LUT Business School
tel. +358 50 308 6181,


Tuomo Rönkkö, Chair, Society for Viipuri School of Economics (VITAKO)
tel. +358 50 3876120,

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