4 Reasons to Attend IRI’s 2017 Annual Meeting in Person

Conferences offer an opportunity to learn many things you otherwise wouldn’t learn. They do this simply by exposing you to ideas and people you might not otherwise interact with but which may share things in common with your line of work. Most conferences focus on a particular industry or specific trade within an industry. The Industrial Research Institute (IRI) is different. Where most associations or societies address the issues of a particular industry, IRI addresses the complex variety of issues associated with a job function that spans all industries: how to manage the research and development (R&D) function.

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New Products: What Distinguishes the Winners?

(This article is a throwback that was originally published in 1990 by Robert G. Cooper in Research-Technology Management (RTM). This article was the winner of the 1991 Maurice Holland Award. For a more recent look at Dr. Cooper’s writings in RTM, check out Vol. 60, No. 1 #Happy60thRTM!)

By Robert G. Cooper

An accurate understanding of why new products succeed or fail is vital to improving new product performance:  Continue reading

Advancing the State of Practice

By Jim Euchner, VP, Global Innovation, Goodyear, and RTM Editor-in-Chief

This issue begins RTM’s 60th continuous year of publication. Originally called Research Management, it was founded as a journal by and for practitioners of research and development in order to share lessons learned and build best practices. The journal, renamed Research-Technology Management in the 1980s, has now served several generations of R&D and innovation leaders, and it will help executives and practitioners manage through many changes in the future.

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How Do You Reward Innovators?

By Greg Holden, Business Writer & Social Media Manager, IRI

In his keynote address at an IRI Annual Meeting, Bernie Meyerson, Chief Innovation Officer at IBM, said “the talented techies are the rock stars; these are the people that make it work. If you don’t value them, you lose them.” Highlighting the focus of organizations to favor non-technical employees, Meyerson was making the point that innovation comes from the technical people. And, without an effort to make the people that innovate happy, the entire organization suffers. IRI members talk about this. It’s one of the subjects discussed frequently in our Community Forum in myriad ways. Continue reading

Innovating for Effectiveness: Lessons from Design Firms

By Marc H. Meyer (MIT) & Tucker J. Marion (Northeastern University)

Creating true innovation—new types of products or services that can generate entirely new streams of revenue—is arguably the best way to transcend economic cycles and achieve sustainable growth. More and more, large corporations are turning to design firms to provide this fundamental innovation. These firms have a reputation for excelling in innovation both incremental (such as a new type of packaging design) and radical (such as a new business model that can disrupt an entire industry).

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How is Your Organization Training Innovators?

Tim Michaelis, PhD Candidate, NC State, Research Associate, CIMS
Tim Michaelis, PhD Candidate, NC State, Research Associate, CIMS

 

By Tim Michaelis, PhD Candidate, NC State University, Research Associate, Center for Innovation Management Studies (tlmichae@ncsu.edu)

According to 1,500 global innovation executives, interviewed by the Boston Consulting Group in 2014, innovation is considered a top 3 priority.(1) However, 70% of these executives rated their company’s innovation capabilities as only average. With such data in mind, data that indicates a significant gap between topic importance and the skills needed to address it, I decided to find out what the biggest companies are doing to train their innovators. Here’s what I’ve learned:

Innovation training simply does not happen.

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Here’s How to Keep Your Top Technical Talent from Leaving

Retaining top technical talent is a challenge for organizations everywhere. According to the Industrial Research Institute’s (IRI) annual R&D trends surveys, which ask R&D managers to identify what keeps them up at night, retention of R&D professionals is typically reported as a top five concern among R&D managers at firms of all sizes. While a one-size-fits-all approach to rewarding and retaining technical employees doesn’t exist, general patterns do emerge from the research IRI conducts into the topic. Here are the top four “best practices” in rewarding technical talent found by today’s leading practitioners of R&D and innovation management. Continue reading

Why IRI Members Struggle with Lean Startup in Their Companies

Guest Contributor: John Bacon, CEO, iP2Biz

John Bacon, CEO, iP2Biz
John Bacon, CEO, iP2Biz

I’m a lucky guy! I have worked for very large high-tech manufacturing companies, led software company public offerings both in the U.S and in Europe, and co-founded my own company. Plus, I am faculty for the National Science Foundation’s I-Corp program.

Some of you may know I-Corps as the result of an audacious initiative between your federal government and Steve Blank, serial-entrepreneur turned academic, and the thinker who launched the Lean Startup movement. Continue reading

Declining Barriers to Innovation

By Jim Euchner, VP, Global Innovation, Goodyear, and RTM Editor-in-Chief

Barriers to innovation are declining. It is easier today for an innovator to get into business than it has been at any time in history. There are many reasons for this, but most are driven by some aspect of the digital revolution. Today’s digital tools help the entrepreneur on every step of his or her journey, from funding to marketing to product delivery.

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Establishing University-Industry Joint Ventures

Richard Cyert, Sixth President of Carnegie-Mellon University (1977-1990)
Richard Cyert, Sixth President of Carnegie-Mellon University (1972-1990)

Agreements like that between Westinghouse and Carnegie-Mellon can help surmount the obstacles to significant research cooperation between corporations and universities.

Richard M. Cyert, President, Carnegie-Mellon University (#TBT article originally published in 1985)

In talking with corporate executives, I find that most of them see the importance of an environment in which corporations and universities are cooperating much more closely. This attitude has developed in part from an increased appreciation for basic research, stemming from the recognition that the United States no longer has a technological lead on the rest of the world.

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