Professor of Innovation and Digital Business
Nicolas van Zeebroeck is a full-time professor at the Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management (SBS-EM) at Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB). His research and teaching focus on the economics and strategy of innovation and digitization. After several years of research on innovation and intellectual property, he now investigates how digital technology affects the performance and organisation of firms and industries. He has authored or co-authored 15 publications in international scientific journals such as Management Science, Research Policy, Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Stanford Technology Law Review, European Journal of Law and Economics, or Information Economics and Policy, which were presented at over 30 international conferences. Next to his research and teaching activities, Nicolas serves as an occasional speaker and advisor on digital strategy and transformation in the industry. He has overseen the Master in Business Engineering at Solvay from 2011 to 2016 and the Advanced Master in Innovation and Strategic Management from 2014 to 2016, and has successfully led the EQUIS re-accreditation process at Solvay in 2013 and 2016. Nicolas obtained a Master in Business Engineering (2001) and a PhD in Economics and Management (2008), both from SBS-EM, and has been a postdoctoral research fellow at FNRS (from 2009 to 2011) and at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta (in 2009). Prior to joining Solvay for his PhD, Nicolas had started his career as an e-business consultant at Capgemini.
Selected publications and working papers
 Graham, S., & van Zeebroeck, N. (2014). Comparing Patent Litigation Across Europe: A First Look. Stanford technology law review, 17, 655-708. Working Paper
 Ceccagnoli, M. M., van Zeebroeck, N., & Venturini, R. (2013). Cross-Functional Knowledge Integration, Patenting and Firm Performance. (SSRN Working Paper No 2286693). Working Paper
 Forman, C. C., & van Zeebroeck, N. (2012). From wires to partners: How the Internet has fostered R&D collaborations within firms. Management science, 58(8), 1549-1568. Working Paper
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 van Zeebroeck, N., & Van Pottelsberghe, B. (2011). Filing strategies and patent value. Economics of innovation and new technology, 20(6), 539-562. Working Paper
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 van Zeebroeck, N., Van Pottelsberghe, B., & Guellec, D. (2009). Claiming more: the increased voluminosity of patent applications and its determinants. Research policy, 38(6), 1006-1020. Working Paper
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Operations and Digital Business (GEST-S482)
This course is a core course in the first year of the Master in Business Engineering. Its first part, taught by Nicolas van Zeebroeck, introduces the main building blocks of Enterprise Information Systems and discusses key topics on Business Process Analysis and Design, IT Implementation, IT Management, and Strategic Alignment, including IT-enabled industry transformation, Enterprise Architecture, electronic and mobile commerce. The second part of the course, taught by Alassane Ballé Ndiaye, is devoted to operations, logistics and supply-chain management with a particular emphasis on digital value chains, quality management, and logistics optimization.
Digital Innovation (Advanced Master in Innovation & Strategic Management)
The main objective of the course is to introduce the concept of Digital Innovation, that is the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) to transform business processes or business models and as an input into the innovation function. The course will present the main building blocks of modern information systems and e-business as well as the foundations of business intelligence and big data analysis and will then use case studies, hands-on assignments and interactive sessions to show how and when ICT can be used to innovate and gain competitive advantage. The notions of business process management as well as e-business will receive special emphasis. At the end of the course, students should be able to develop a helicopter view on an information system and its architecture, to understand its main building blocks, to analyse and model business processes, and to foresee areas in which technology can be used to transform business processes and create a competitive advantage.
Multidisciplinary Seminar of Science & Technology (GEST-S3002)
The seminar is compulsory in the Engineering track of the Bachelor in Business Engineering (3rd year). Its objective is on the one hand to complement the students' education in natural sciences and technology provided in the first 2 years of the Bachelor, and on the other hand it is to apply this background to case studies in a multidisciplinary approach. The aim of the seminar is to put science and technology into perspective by bridging the gap between natural sciences and the industry as well as markets. In practice, the seminar is built around 9 academic sessions on different technologies in a historical and scientific contexts and a case study performed in groups, in which students are expected to analyze a given technology from its scientific premises to its market applications and social or environmental impact. I share this course with Michel Allé.
Management Information Systems (GEST-S711)
An elective course on management information systems, taught in the second year of the Postgraduate Master Programme (MCC). The objective of this course is to introduce the main components of information systems and their organisational and strategic impact. At the end of the course, students should be able to understand the building blocks of enteprise information systems and applications, to understand their organizational complements, and to have a sense of the main challenges to manage IT within organisations.
Foundations of Computing and Information Systems (INFO-S302)
A core course on the foundations of computing and information systems, taught in the second year of the Bachelor's programme in Economics. This course has two objectives: (1) to introduce the basics of and some recent development in information and communication technologies (ICT), mainly those aspects that matter to economists, and (2) to develop the ability of students to structure algorithms and develop small programs in a procedural or web language.