Dietmar Harhoff is Director at the Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition, where he heads the Economic Research Department (Innovation and Entrepreneurship Research). He is also an honorary professor of business administration at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich. From 1998 to 2013 he headed the Institute for Innovation Research, Technology Management and Entrepreneurship.
After graduating in mechanical engineering at the University of Dortmund, he initially worked as a research engineer in the UK and Germany. He then completed a master's degree at Havard University as a McCloy Scholar and doctoral studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. From 1991 to 1998, he worked at the Mannheim Centre for European Economic Research, first as a research group leader and from 1995 as deputy institute director. He habilitated in economics at the University of Mannheim in 1996.
As a consultant, Harhoff works for a number of public and private organisations, including as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Volkswagen Foundation and the Scientific Advisory Board at the Federal Ministry of Economics, as Chairman of the Economic and Scientific Advisory Board of the European Patent Office (ESAB) and as Chairman of the Expert Commission on Research and Innovation (EFI) of the German Federal Government. He is also Associate Editor of the journals Research Policy and European Management Review. He is a member of the German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina and the Academy of Engineering Sciences acatech.