50 Years of Change in Industrial Research and Technology Management

By Charles F. Larson

(This throwback article originally appeared in the 2007 January-February issue of RTM as part of the journal’s 50th anniversary.)

Leaving Purdue in the spring of 1958, I had no idea that an organization called the Industrial Research Institute (IRI) had just launched the first issue of a new journal called Research Management (RM). The chair of the Editorial Advisory Board explained that this new publication was initiated because “we need one place to turn for the latest ideas regarding research management.” RM was, of course, sent to all Representatives of IRI, but it was also intended for use by research leaders in university and government labs, with an annual subscription price of $7.50. At that time, industrial R&D investment was $3.6 billion, total R&D investment in the United States was $10 billion, and the average salary of an R&D professional was $9,000. Continue reading

The Management of Research When Research-Technology Management Was Born

By Michael F. Wolff, Executive Editor, RTM (1983-2010)

(This throwback article appeared in RTM twice, first in 1983 and again in 2007 as part of the journal’s 50th anniversary. This year marks the 60th year that RTM has been in continuous publication. #Happy60thRTM!)

In 1958, the industrial boom fueled by the technical advances of the World War II period was only temporarily interrupted by a recession year. The earlier dramatic research advances in computers, chemistry and electronics continued to contribute strongly to the growth of R&D management as a profession—one that brought with it concerns that resonate with those that confront the profession today.

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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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Exploring Service Innovation and the Servitization of the Manufacturing Firm

Tim Baines, Professor, Aston Business School, Burmingham, UK
Tim Baines, Professor, Aston Business School, Burmingham, UK

By Tim Baines, Professor, Aston Business School; Director, Aston Centre for Servitization Research and Practice; and, guest editor of RTM special issue on Service Innovation

Manufacturing and service industries are often seen as largely independent. Whether in national economies, business classifications, education, training, or employment, they tend to be thought of as separate. Indeed, the growing role of services in developed economies has been the topic of much discussion over the past decade or so. Yet manufacturers can offer services; in fact, they can, and increasingly do, base entire competitive strategies on service innovation—finding ways to rethink their offerings and replace one-time product sales with ongoing, value-creating relationships. This is the process of servitization; icons in this mode are companies such as Rolls-Royce Aerospace, with its Power-by-the-Hour model; Xerox, with its document management solutions; and Alstom, with its Train-Life services.

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IRI2038: A Blueprint for Developing Africa?

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

By planning for a possible future, do we inevitably allow for that future to come true? Take one of the foresight scenarios from the IRI2038 Futures Project. It’s called “Africa Leapfrogs Developed Markets” and it anticipates a time, 25 years from now, when the African economy will accelerate in growth and dynamism beyond the developed world at present. How could this happen given what we see from the African continent today?

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Final #innovate2038 game roundup

By Jason Tester, IFTF, Innovate2038 Game-Master

Amazing #Innovate2038 community:

Three words: youallrock! The game ended at 9pm PT / midnight ET last night, with a final tally of 9,958 ideas from 543 players representing 53 countries. And this wasn’t just about quantity—we’re totally floored by the quality of the ideas and innovations, discussions and collaborations that you co-created over the past 36 hours to make the future.

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Innovate2038: Envisioning the future of R&D with global crowd-sourcing

By Greg Holden, IRI Business Writer

Over the past two days, people the world over brainstormed about the future of research and innovation on a game called Innovate2038. Developed by IRI and hosted on the Institute for the Future’s (IFTF) foresight game engine, the event flew out of the gates at 12:00 pm EST and didn’t let up for the full 36 hours of gameplay. Participants could play “cards”—short, 140-character ideas—in response to two questions: “How can new research and innovation practices lead the way in 2038?” and, “What obstacles and roadblocks will hold research and innovation back?” From there, participants could respond to each idea or play their own.

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Seventy-five years ago today…

By Ed Bernstein, President, Industrial Research Institute

SevCelebrate Impact Envision, IRIenty-five years ago today, the National Research Council (NRC) steering committee, led by Maurice Holland, Director, NRC’s Division of Engineering and Industrial Research, formed an association of companies to be called the Industrial Research Institute (IRI). It was the start of something great. Something that would change the industry – and the world that we live in – forever.

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Disruptive innovation a fatal illness for top-down innovators?

By Ed Bernstein, President, Industrial Research Institute

Top-down innovation is dead. This is a recent Forbes headline which speaks volumes to industry insiders, but what does it really mean? Are businesses recognizing that ideas no longer come from corporate offices? Does it speak to the emerging trend to innovate for the bottom end of the market with less expensive products? Is it highlighting the movement to decentralize R&D through open innovation practices? Or is it hyperbole aimed at capturing your attention as a reader of relevant tech news?

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