Professor de Bont has solid experience and track records in the management and leadership of a sizable and leading design schools in the world. He took up the deanship in the Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering of the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands in 2005 and carries responsibility for the School of Design of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University since February 2012.
Professor de Bont has a good mix of academic and industrial experience. He started his academic career in 1993 as Assistant Professor of Economic Psychology at the University of Tilburg. During his appointment in the University of Tilburg, Professor de Bont also acted as a consultant to the Philips Design in Eindhoven of the Netherlands. In 1995, he joined Philips Design to become responsible for the Human Behaviour Research Centre. He was subsequently Head of Marketing Research and Strategy at Philips Domestic Appliances and Personal Care from 1997 to 2005 when he was responsible for generating and utilizing market information for the formulation of the strategy, R&D and marketing plans of the company.
Professor de Bont’s research interests are in the areas of early concept testing of consumer acceptance, consumer behaviour, innovation adoption, and networked innovation.
From 2009 till 2012 January, Professor de Bont chaired the Dutch Innovation Centre for Electric Road Transport which is a nationwide platform for electric mobility in the Netherlands; meanwhile, he was chairman of the largest research program for the creative industries in the Netherlands (CRISP). He is the Chairman of the Steering Committee of the Design Institute for Social Innovation at PolyU and a member of the Board of Directors of the Hong Kong Design Centre and PMQ.