In the long career of Maarten Verkerk, innovation has become a common thread. Based on his interest and expertise in philosophy, he knows how to apply abstract insights to practical problems. He prefers to use his knowledge and expertise in the field of innovation within the healthcare, education or business sectors.

Toolbox for care innovation

How should you develop an innovation in healthcare? What should you do to implement this innovation in a healthcare institution? The book “Iedereen beter”. A toolbox for care innovation gives an introduction to innovation in healthcare. It provides a step-by-step plan, tools and case studies. It gives managers and professionals something to go on to develop, implement and scale up innovations.

Social innovation in industry

How can you improve the factory’s customer focus, quality and efficiency? As a manufacturing manager at Philips, I have proven that this can only be achieved through a combination of social innovation (socio-technology, mini-company concept) and professional improvement techniques (world class manufacturing). In my second dissertation, I showed that the secret behind social innovation is trust and power in the workplace.

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Innovation at system level

Home technology is one of the prerequisites for allowing elderly people to live independently at home for as long as possible. At VitaValley I have been at the cradle of the Vitaal Thuis project (Vital at Home Project). To enable a large-scale implementation, innovation at system level was imperative. Through smart coalition formation we have realised all the preconditions for this innovation: from vision development to concrete elaboration, from specification to supported standardisation, and from implementation to wide scaling-up.

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Professionalisation of a professional area

Innovation requires professionalisation of a field. I led a coalition of VitaValley, the Dutch Society for Music Therapy and various health care institutions. The aim of this coalition was to improve the quality of life of people with dementia through music therapy. We have identified, described, implemented and rolled out successful interventions. This project has given the starting signal for a professionalisation of the field.

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Building for people with dementia

Good accommodation is necessary for people with dementia. For this purpose, insufficient design principles are still available. Together with an architect, a social geriatrician and a designer, I have developed a model that provides support in the design of a building and furnishing. This model was published in a professional journal. This project is a wonderful example of how I can unravel complex problems, rubbing shoulders with others and come up with innovative solutions.

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