Archive for the ‘Research’ Category

The 53rd Annual R&D 100 Awards Report-Out: November 13, 2015

Sunday, November 29th, 2015

When a company’s innovation levels are high, or a company’s innovation levels are low and not recognized as being low, GGI has suggested that our clients and customers enter into an award contest.  In the former case, a win creates lovely price premium and brand value opportunities for several years.  In the latter case, competing can be calibrating to both management and to the members the cross-functional product development community.  Benchmarking company products provides learning opportunities up and down the ladder.

There are many award competitions around the globe each year.  Regardless of the purpose or the type of award, there are none as prestigious as the annual R&D 100 Awards – excepting possibly a Nobel Prize.  The R&D 100 Awards are now produced by Advantage Business Media [ABM].  ABM has become one of the publishing powerhouses in the scientific and engineering community with a portfolio of some twenty-five trade publications across the fields of communications, design, manufacturing, and science.  R&D Magazine is among its most prized assets and is the originator and long-time home of the R&D 100 Awards.

As a subscriber to R&D Magazine since the early 1990s, I had followed the results most years and of course when GGI’s clients competed.  But, I had never been to the actual awards ceremony.  The bottom line is that everyone should go to the R&D 100 Awards Dinner at least once in their career.

New Twists For The 2015 R&D 100 Awards

Two things were different this year.  First, ABM decided to produce a two-day conference preceding the Awards banquet on Friday evening.  The 1st Annual R&D Technology Conference had four tracks and attracted over two hundred registrants.   Tim Studt, R&D Magazine’s renowned editor of several decades and the chief architect of the R&D 100 Awards and annual R&D Funding Forecast, asked me to speak on how the complexity of managing R&D will increase in the next decade.

The second thing that was different, was that for the first time in 53 years since the awards began, the winners were not announced in advance.  You may imagine that there were a good number of people bursting with anticipation throughout the conference and right up to the end of the Awards banquet Friday evening at 10:30 PM.

A black tie event, the Awards banquet did not disappoint.  Held at beautiful Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, guests were first surprised by the entrance to the ball room.  There was immediate curiosity as to what might await as one passed through the gateway.

53rd R&D 100 Awards Entrance

As I mentioned, the R&D 100 Award winners were not announced in advance.  After a nice dinner, the lights went out and on came the spotlights.  ABM had orchestrated the event to the level of the Emmy Awards.  There were spotlight instructions identifying where every winner sat at every table in sequential order; for all 100 winners and for the approximately twenty five extra awards that were presented that evening.  The only thing missing was the TV cameras.

53rd R&D 100 Awards Event

Tim Studt and Bea Riemschneider hosted the evening.  Bea is the Editorial Director of Advantage’s Science Group. The Science Group includes R&D Magazine and ten other science and medical publications.

 

The 2015 R&D 100 Award Winners – Highlights

The largest group of winners were the United States National Laboratories and NASA.  Collectively, they took home over thirty awards and were listed as contributors to a dozen more companies that won.  A number of these awards, notably from Oak Ridge National Laboratories, were for advances in 3D printing technology.

The next big block of winners came from companies who all shared the word “Dow” in their names.  “Dow companies” took home seven awards.

The third big block, consisting of four awards, was from Taiwan ROC’s Industrial Technology Research Group [ITRG].  One of these awards will be seen shortly in all our fire departments.  ITRG created an impeller that goes in line before a fire hose’s nozzle and spins with the flow of water.  The spin generates electricity which is captured to power a new spotlight attached to the nozzle.  Whenever the hose is used, the light shines on the target.

From memory, I think Tim said from the podium that the winners came from twenty countries.  Some of the more recognizable winning companies included: Waters, Millipore, Ethicon, Thermo Electron, Milliken, Agilent, Qualcomm, IBM, Boston Scientific, Adelphi, MSC, Mitsubshi, Toyota, and Shimazdu.

Several universities also won awards. Another possible game-changing product came from the University of Central Florida.  They have patented an electrical power transmission cable that transmits power, that also has an outer concentric cable that acts as a battery to store power.  The power cable and the battery are one unit.  There are implications for many industries.

Finally, and please pardon me for this, but I counted roughly twenty companies as the night proceeded that had participated in GGI’s Innovation or Metrics Summits some time in the past 5-8 years.  My thought was that many of these innovation-hungry companies must do a methodical assessment of what was available to be learned on the subject as part of their effort to innovate.  GGI’s next Summit is December 8-10, 2015, the 13th R&D-Product Development Innovation Summit.

 

The 2015 R&D 100 Award Winners – List

Lindsay Hock, Editor of Product Design & Development Magazine [PD&D], published the list of the 2015 winners on November 18.

2015 R&D 100 Award Winners

 

The 2015 Inaugural Technology Conference – Summary

Bea Riemschneider, Editorial Director for ABM’s Science Group, published an article on November 19 that summarizes the first annual science and technology conference.

R&D Industry Leaders Explore the Innovation Process at Inaugural Science and Technology Conference

Physical vs. Virtual Colocation, and the Effects of Interruption

Monday, October 5th, 2015

Officially, “colocation” is the proper spelling, but “co-location” and “collocation” are also recognized spellings. Regardless of how you spell it, it boils down to the science of communication probabilities and qualities between individuals.

Tom Allen, at MIT in the late 1970s, put the first benchmark on the table. He found that the probability of communication depended on whether any two people had any common organizational bonds, such as working in the same department or on the same team. He called this “intra-group” communication; otherwise it was “inter-group.”  If people sat more than 10 meters from one another, there was only a 5% chance of inter-group communication and a 10% chance of intra-group. Unless people sit close to each other, they rarely communicated.

By the early 1990s, while videoconferencing, the Internet, and email were emerging, a study conducted by GGI found 300 companies examining roughly 50 distinct approaches to simulating colocation. A new industry was developing to facilitate effective colocation regardless of physical distance. Since then, a myriad of “solutions” have entered the marketplace.

Alas, the enabling technology has advanced more quickly than its target audience’s behavior. If one examines the relationship of individuals to their work assignments and locations, individuals have not changed significantly since 1930 studies driven by unionization efforts. Individuals without systemized and policed corporate policies still largely behave as they did 80 years ago with regard to the task in front of them.

Physical vs. Virtual Colocation, and the Effects of Interruption [Machine Design – October 2015] discusses several studies conducted in the past ten years that explore the differing workplace environment for physical versus distributed workers and the effects of interruptions on individual and corporate productivity.

TRIZ: A Best-In-Class Innovation Tool

Saturday, July 25th, 2015

TRIZ, a systematic innovation technique developed in Russia, whose acronym is loosely translated as “Theory of Inventive Problem Solving,” is based on an analysis of the inventive attributes of several hundred thousand patents.  Evolving since the 1950s, the body of knowledge was codified and documented by the 1980s.  It was first translated into English in 1992.

Like mathematics, where two plus two always equals four, the inventive attributes of patents are timeless.  Several companies, in very recent times, have repeated and expanded the analysis of the original inventor without any significant changes to Genrich Altshuller’s original findings.  Now deceased, several global organizations continue to nurture and espouse his TRIZ frameworks.

GGI researched some 300 innovation tools that are available to practitioners today.  Not a surprise, the USPTO web site was the most cited tool being used by companies in North America. TRIZ emerged as the second most popular innovation tool in use today.

TRIZ Plus – A Modern Tool for Enhancing Design Innovation , was written by Doug Hoon in his blog on Machine Design’s web site. He describes some of the key attributes and benefits of the methodology, and cited some of GGI’s research findings on TRIZ.

Planning For Intellectual Property Revenues

Tuesday, July 14th, 2015

Not too many years from now, business and program planners will have a new challenge when preparing a product or business plan.  Since the dawn of the Industrial Age, the state of practice has been to estimate an ROI by forecasting product revenues and profits.  Soon, product and business plans will contain two forecasting spreadsheets.  There will be the section on product revenues and profits that we are all familiar with.  And, there will be revenue and profit forecasting for IP.

Work on financial liquidity and monetization of IP began in the 1990s.  Baruch Lev at NYU is often credited with lighting the torch.  Let’s define financial liquidity as the ability to more easily transact IP in the marketplace as a commodity.  Let’s define monetization as the ability to assign a dollar value to a block of IP, and the rate that the initial value depreciates over time.  Liquidity and monetization are different challenges.  One requires a marketplace(s) capable of transacting assets, commodities.  The other requires the ability to assign a recognized value that can be generally agreed.  Just to pronounce the point, some day we might see certain types of IP traded like gold, silver, and soybeans.  The market would have much less volume, but the principles would largely be the same.  So how do we get there?

Financial Liquidity:  Markets are already in development [Figure 1].  There are a number of them and they are all emerging.  Who knows the ones that will stand the test of time.  And, the new ones are certain to emerge.  Right now “scouting firms,” “innovation intermediaries,” “ip auctioneers,” and “crowdsourcing companies” all stand to be market makers.  There are a handful of others.  The front half of industry is engaged in testing the waters at some level.  It typically takes about half of industry to be active before software developers start generating applications to manage new activities.   Software began to emerge at an increasing rate the past couple of years.

Figure 1
Percentage of Companies Currently Utilizing One or More IP Markets

 Percentage Of Companies Currently Utilizing IP Markets

Monetizaton:  Quietly, over the past twenty years, there have been committees and groups studying the merits of actually putting IP assets into financial statements.  A partial list reads like alphabet soup, but you’ll probably recognize them:  SEC, COMEX, FASB, and NAA.  Their goal is to be able to assign a value to a block of IP such that it can be treated like a new furnace or truck or mainframe and placed on the balance sheet as an asset and depreciated.  To meet generally accepted accounting principles, both a depreciation rate and a liquidation value would have to be determinable.  It is not necessary for all this to be worked out before the market can become liquid however, but some level of progress is necessary to determine ranges of salable values.  The accountants are currently paying attention to transacted values today that are agreed by a selling and buying entity.  After thousands of transactions occur in the years ahead, there will be enough data to assign some standard values.  There is great argument however.  Many do not want standard values.  Companies may lose their ability to negotiate premiums for their prized jewels.

Planning for Intellectual Property Revenues [Machine Design – July 2015] discusses the inevitable advancement of IP into the everyday business planning and decision making processes associated with new products. The article concludes with a bit of stretch thinking.

Press Release: 12th Summit To Focus On Advances In Corporate R&D Innovation & Intellectual Property Strategy

Friday, March 6th, 2015

NEEDHAM, Mass. — (BUSINESS WIRE) — February 23, 2015 — Corporate demand for specific strategies, tactics, techniques, tools, and software to bolster Corporate Innovation have steadily increased for fifteen years.

As corporate demand grew, large think tanks and research firms studied what was working. Solutions providers, Makers, and service firms entered the market as money could be made. Like all emergent markets, many initial offerings had a high fall out rate. While still the case, certain approaches are producing financial results and initial patterns of success are apparent.

Intellectual Property [IP] strategy and management, both by itself and aided by the pull from increasing levels of corporate innovation, has also matured. Starting a few years earlier than innovation, circa the technology boom of the 1990s, companies sought to trade, barter, license, purchase, and sell IP at greater levels than any prior time in history. As the IP market grew, suppliers emerged to meet the increased demand.

Successful IP enablers are also beginning to sort themselves out. Corporate abilities to identify, value, and transact IP will soon approach corporate abilities to identify, price, and sell winning products.

The R&D-Product Development Innovation Summit, last held in 2012, offers an update on the evolution of the Corporate Innovation and IP bodies of knowledge. Much changed during the Great Recession. Companies really had to focus to generate good business results in an increasingly normalized, globalized, and economically challenged competitive landscape.

This fact driven and data intensive event, targeted to CXOs and corporate leaders, draws on findings from over fifty secondary research sources along with primary research sources on both subjects.  GGI’s sixth industry study since 1998, found notable shifts in the strategic management of R&D and in processes for Organic InnovationOpen Innovation is on the rise.  Patent and Trade Secret practices are changing.  The ability to determine the value of, and then to monetize IP, is maturing.  And, the metrics corporations use to measure R&D and IP output and productivity are now primarily focused on business results.

Produced in conjunction with The Management Roundtable of Waltham, MA, this Summit holds the content to empower executives with the state-of-the-state knowledge needed to lead innovation and IP improvements in their companies.

The Difference Between Research and Development

Wednesday, February 25th, 2015

The already unclear lines separating research from development are getting even blurrier as more companies allocate some part of their R&D budget to take on riskier projects, and invest in the necessary infrastructure to manage these riskier activities.

New products are now being launched out of recently formed “Innovation” organizations”, and more are coming from existing “Advanced Development” organizations.  “Product Development” is no longer the only organization that launches new products.

Several factors have complicated matters for industry observers trying to stay abreast of what might be coming to market by simply paying attention to product development pipelines. These factors include:

  • The changing corporate approaches described above.
  • The desires of developers to bring solutions to market, not just pieces of a solution.
  • The globalization of R&D that has, in effect, decentralized R&D.
  • Naming conventions for organizations that differ by industry and country.

The jury is still out as to whether today’s approaches to R&D will prove more productive than historical approaches. Historical approaches to “pre-product development” generally restricted the scope of activities to reduce uncertainty and improve the predictability of key enabling features, capabilities and technologies—and then turned those enablers over to product development.

The Continuum™ of Research and Development

The Continuum of Research and Development

Published on R&D Magazine’s Research & Development website, The Difference Between Research and Development discusses historical approaches to The Continuum™ and contrasts them with the changing corporate practices that are occurring today.  The available alternatives for the navigation system of a robotic lawn mower are used to illustrate the key points.

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.

Corporate Practices and KPIs In Organic, Open, and IP Innovation – Research Results

Tuesday, July 8th, 2014

The era of corporate innovation began roughly fifteen years ago, started by industry leaders in the mid-1990s with successful targeted disruptive innovations and chasm crossings.  Today, most companies have now tried out many new approaches and at least changed some of their historical innovation practices to lead, compete, or to just keep up.

John Stark, noted author on the subjects of Product Data Management and Product Lifecycle Management and Director of John Stark Associates which is a research and consulting firm based in Switzerland, has collaborated with GGI on various projects for the better part of the past thirty years.  John Stark Associates publishes a bi-monthly newsletter entitled the “2PLM e-zine” that focuses on the subjects and issues of importance to product development and lifecycle management professionals.  Each time GGI publishes the results of our primary research studies, John Stark runs a six-part series in the 2PLM e-zine.

The first article of the six is a general announcement to the 2PLM readership that alerts them to the upcoming five content pieces.  This first 2PLM article was published yesterday July 7, 2014.  The remaining articles will occur over the next two and one-half months as each bi-monthly issue is published.

The GGI study, entitled the “2014 Product Development Metrics Survey”, was conducted by sending questionnaires to a wide range of companies developing products throughout North America. Participating companies had headquarters throughout the Americas, Europe, and Asia, but their response was for North American R&D-Product Development operations. Complete data sets were received from 200 companies. Consumer, industrial, medical, chemical, and automotive/vehicular products were the top respondent industries. Participants completed 31 questions detailing their demographic information and practices in the following five research areas: R&D Operating Environment, Organic Innovation, Open Innovation, Intellectual Property, and the Top Corporate Metrics used to measure R&D and Product Development. The research period was September 2012 to October 2013. The results were published March 3, 2014. This research is statistically valid and provides a Margin Of Error for each research question.

The pages at which 2PLM is published are:

Current Issue

Main 2PLM Portal

12th R&D-Product Development Innovation Summit – April 7-9, 2015

Friday, May 30th, 2014

This Summit will provide participants with a comprehensive look at the Innovation Body of Knowledge for product strategy, marketing, R&D, development, and commercialization functions.  There will be an emphasis on top management enablers and techniques to create and embed systematic corporate innovation.  Primary and secondary industry research on innovation and measurement tools, techniques, and metrics are used throughout the Summit.

Our first goal will be to codify the current management science of innovation in corporations for our participants.  The Summit will synthesize both what is known and what actually works in companies.  Our approach will be as factual and quantitative as possible for the subject matter.  We constantly refresh the Summit and its Coursebook.  There will be four interactive exercises so everyone samples some key techniques they might some day oversee that will be lead by GGI staff and several guest speakers.

Our second goal will be to take a look at the likely corporate innovation knowledge, capabilities, and changes in the coming decade.  Organizations will evolve to accommodate IP, as they did with globalization and supply-chain.  Business processes will change as early-stage inventions are increasingly transacted in dedicated markets before they are commercialized.  Functions that define and create products will have a “make vs. sell” decision at every step of the way, a change analogous to the introduction of simulation tools to their practices.

Our third goal will be to alert you to categories of tools and systems that will enter the work place.  When “industry demanded better innovation” back around 2004 it created a market for it.  Suppliers to this new product category got busy.  Thought leaders saw it coming in the late 1990s, so some had a running start.  Well, after ten years now, a number of tools, techniques and technologies are withstanding the test of time.  Constantly improving research exists on the ones to think more seriously about.  Little is mainstream yet, but what to do or try and and what not to do or try is becoming clearer.

At the conclusion of the Summit, participants will be current with industry management science and will have a glimpse of the future. Professionals wishing to put themselves and their fellow company leaders in a better position to lead, nurture, stimulate, and drive innovation and invention should consider this venue.  Numerous participants have said, “GGI’s Summit is an Executive MBA on the subject of Innovation.”

Finally, and this is not true of all GGI Metrics Summits, GGI published our 6th North American study of R&D and Product Development practices in the areas of R&D Operating Environments, Organic Innovation, Open Innovation, Intellectual Property, and the Top Corporate R&D Metrics In Use on March 3, 2014. Two-hundred companies from the USA, Canada, and Mexico participated in numbers that represent the relative R&D spending of the North American countries. It will be difficult to find information that is more current to augment the practical nature and usable outcomes of this 12th Innovation Summit.

Please visit our Summit web site for additional content and registration information.

Corporate Innovation Practices Align With Business Results

Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

NEEDHAM, Mass. — (BUSINESS WIRE) — March 13, 2014 — Goldense Group, Inc. [GGI] announced the completion of its sixth primary research initiative on the strategies, processes, practices, and metrics used in North American R&D and Product Development Innovation. This study focused on R&D Operations, Organic Innovation, Open Innovation [OI], Intellectual Property [IP], and the Top 100 Productivity & Performance Metrics used by corporations.

Two hundred companies from the US, Canada, and Mexico participated in equal proportion to the relative R&D Spending of these three countries, representative of North America. The response rate was 6.5%. A typical respondent company had US$ 4-5B in revenues.

While the relative corporate activity in Basic Research, Applied Research, Advanced Development, and Product Development remained largely constant for the past five years, the infrastructure in these areas experienced significant growth. Growth will continue. Two-thirds indicated innovation will be more important in the next five years than in the past five. Half indicated the same for OI.

The emerging OI and IP marketplaces, corporate enablers to monetize soft assets, continued to grow. Scouting and innovation intermediary firms achieved 15% penetration. Joint innovation ventures are reported by more than a third of respondents. Corporate abilities to track revenues and profits lag abilities to track costs, this is especially true for OI.

Seventy percent indicate that IP will be more or much important in the next five years. Three quarters indicate that the financial impact of IP is positive, none indicated negative. Over a third indicated they have formalized processes for monetizing IP. Thirty percent are changing their Trade Secret practices, now that First-To-File has become law in the United States.

After fifteen years of little change in corporate metrics for R&D and Product Development, there has been a sea change in the use of metrics to focus on business results in the past five years. The “R&D sand box” is almost gone. Twenty-three of the Top 25 metrics now measure pipeline attributes, productivity, and results.

These findings are excerpts from two available reports on GGI’s 2014 Product Development Metrics Survey. Findings are also located in Driving Product Development™ and Tangible Innovation!™, and will be discussed at the 17th R&D-Product Development Metrics Summit being held April 15-17, 2014 in Norwood, Massachusetts.