"The challenge of how to reconcile professional management with a culture of innovation remains for ever a central issue for management thinkers"
These words of the Financial Times (June 2009) is what EIRMA is all about...
Why establishing EIRMA since 1966?
EIRMA was established 50 years ago in Paris to create a College in Europe at which scientists would be trained in the art of managing. It now enables and supports the transformation of R&D and Innovation Management by Industrial Corporations operating in Europe.
Here is how it all begun…
The idea that industrial research should be organised and directed like other functions for corporate growth and profitability is over one hundred years old. The Bayer Company established a corporate laboratory in 1891. Its director, Carl Duisberg, justified the proposal “deeply convinced that the capital invested will bear rich fruit” but thereafter complained that he hardly found time for his own research any more, because of the demands of being a good manager.
In 1920, C.E.K. Mees, who subsequently became Vice-President in charge of Research at the Eastman Kodak Company, wrote a comprehensive book on “The Organisation of Industrial Scientific Research,” reporting a survey of the National Research Council, which counted 462 US companies with 9350 workers engaged in research.
A first association of industrial research directors, the Industrial Research Institute (IRI) was created in the United States 1938. In 1958, under the impression of the management gap with the United States, the Productivity Agency of the Marshall Plan organisation OEEC (predecessor of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, better known as the OECD) suggested the creation of a College somewhere in Europe at which scientists would be trained in the art of managing. In the following years, several seminars were organised in France, Germany and Denmark, at which the heads of research laboratories discussed their methods. The results of these seminars were collated by Alain Pons, then a consultant to the OECD and published under the title "Research Management".