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A winning formula for innovation

By Dorothy Lozowski |

Innovation is the key to economic growth, and research and development (R&D) is key to innovation. While industry recognizes that R&D is vital to longterm success, it focuses, of course, on marketable results from research — after all, R&D is expensive, and cost without any foreseeable return is not good business. From my R&D background in the chemical process industries (CPI), I’m familiar with the struggle around keeping R&D efforts — particularly longterm programs — aligned with the scalable and profitable results sought by industry, while allowing the bright, scientific minds attracted to R&D the freedom that they need to explore and discover. Various strategies have been developed and implemented to help bridge the gap, such as the stage-gating procedures that may allow great freedom in the early stages of research, but call for intermediate review measures to stop funds from pouring into research that does not look promising in terms of potential profitability. Some companies have coupled their R&D centers with their marketing teams to make sure that all R&D efforts start off with and continue to target a marketable end in mind. Industry also participates in cooperative…
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