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Celebrating 20 Years of Front End of Innovation

FEI is the annual meeting place for innovation and R&D executives from Fortune 1,000 organizations responsible for making innovation happen. The conference has a proud history of diverse formats, first-look content, and some of the brightest minds including Steve Wozniak, Malcolm Gladwell, A.G. Lafley and many others, providing its audience with a wide variety of perspectives and unrivaled volume of content and event experience.

For more than two decades, FEI: Front End of Innovation has been the premier event where trends are presented before they become commonplace; becoming the annual, trusted meeting place for innovators to train their teams, upskill themselves, and meet the people they need to know to advance their businesses. To identify just a few core topics, from innovation strategy to creativity and culture, to innovation disruption, human centered design, and open innovation, all were foundations of the first conferences and building blocks that remain to this day. Other pillars include leadership principles and business innovation to lean startups and corporate venturing. Looking forward, how to succeed with transformational innovation is also a key topic.

Welcome from FEI Founder

FEI Founder Peter Koen, who has never missed a single FEI to date. At this year’s FEI conference, Koen, Associate Professor and Researcher, Stevens Institute of Technology and FEI Founder, will share a few of his highlights and some of the innovation lessons learnt over the years.

Register for FEI 2023 (Front End of Innovation) May 16-18, in Boston.

Through the lens of his role as Advisory Board Chair, Koen offers a candid look back over the past two decades of FEI, where countless innovation trends have been introduced. As the country’s premiere innovation knowledge and networking event for corporate innovators and R&D executives, FEI: Front End of Innovation has grown to become the premiere platform for how best to engage transformational innovation.

“It’s been an amazing 20-year journey,” says Koen.

Engagement With Koen

Peter Koen is engaged in research directed at optimizing the Front End of Innovation and determining the most effective practices in the Front End. The New Concept Development model, developed with 13 other companies, is being adopted by the industry as a theoretical construct for understanding the front end. Koen is also actively working with Cabot, Dow Corning, Ethicon, ExxonMobil, International Flavors and Fragrances, Rohm and Haas, Valvoline and WelchAllyn under a project funded through the National Science Foundation under the auspices of the Industrial Research Institute to determine the most effective practices in the front end utilized by best in class companies. This work is also determining approaches and organizational structures (i.e. processes, people, strategies, sponsorship, knowledge management, etc.) on how companies manage breakthrough opportunities.

Koen is a tenured Associate Professor in the School of Business. He is currently the director of the Consortium for Corporate Entrepreneurship (CCE), which he founded in 1998, and whose mission is to significantly increase the number, speed and success probability of highly profitable products and services at the “Front End of Innovation,” which is the discovery portion of the innovation process. Current consortium members include 3M, P&G, WL Gore, ExxonMobil and Mondelez.

Click here for more on the commemoration of 20 years of FEI, plus a special interview series with Seth Adler.

Register for FEI 2023 (Front End of Innovation) May 16-18, in Boston.


  • Matt Kramer

    Matthew Kramer is the Digital Editor for All Things Insights & All Things Innovation. He has over 20 years of experience working in publishing and media companies, on a variety of business-to-business publications, websites and trade shows.


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