Archive for September, 2014

Podcast: Is ‘Open Innovation’ Just Another Word For Outsourcing?

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014

In this ten minute podcast, Brad Goldense discusses the progress that organizations are making in the area of ‘Open Innovation.’ Lee Teschler, Executive Editor at Design World, leads the conversation.

Discussion Questions:

1.  What is Open Innovation [OI]?

2.  What are the biggest differences between OI and ordinary R&D efforts?

3.  Why should design engineers in the trenches care about OI?

4.  Does it cost more to do OI than ordinary R&D?

The Is ‘Open Innovation’ Just Another Word For Outsourcing? podcast focuses on questions that designers, engineers, and managers may have as open innovation initiatives are introduced to their organization and to their projects.

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A Note About The Publisher and Discussion Leader:  Design World is a relatively new trade publication in the field of design and engineering. It is published by WTWH Media, LLC, 6555 Carnegie Avenue, Suite 300, Cleveland, Ohio, USA. Lee Teschler’s experience includes twenty-three years at Machine Design where he was Executive Editor.

What’s The Difference Between Research and Development?

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014

With many more companies allocating a small part of their R&D budget to take on riskier projects, and the growth in corporate infrastructure to manage these riskier activities [Machine Design – July 17, 2014], the lines are starting to blur between two terms that historically were well differentiated. New products are now being launched out of “innovation organizations” and “advanced development organizations,” and not just product development organizations. As of now, research organizations are not yet launching products to market.

Due to a combination of the changing corporate approaches described above, the desires of developers to bring solution to markets and not just a piece of a solution, the globalization of R&D that has decentralized R&D, and naming conventions for product organizations that differ by country, one can no longer just pay attention to product development pipelines to stay abreast of what might be coming to market. The jury is still out as to whether today’s approaches will prove more productive than historical approaches that restricted the scope of projects to reduce uncertainty and improve forecastability of key enabling features and technologies – and then turned these enablers over to product development.

Research and development is a continuum, and highly analog rather than digital in construct (Figure 1). Historically, R&D could generally be segmented into four categories: Basic Research, Applied Research, Advanced Development, and Product Development. “Skunk Works” is perhaps a fifth category, a discussion for another day.

 Figure 1

The Continuum™ of Research and Development

The Continuum of Research and Development

What’s The Difference Between Research and Development? [Machine Design – October 9, 2014] discusses historical approaches and the evolving corporate practices taking place today.

Note:  The URL for the October 9 Machine Design issue will not be active for a few more weeks, but the article is posted.