EIRMA Insights 2016

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New: Upload the EIRMA's Insights 2016, a synthesis of recent activities:

EIRMA Insight is based on the discussions of senior industrial research and innovation practitioners at EIRMA meetings. 

Here you will find the EIRMA Insight of 2016:



The role of Fellows and  Experts in knowledge management and value creation 

Companies, especially those for which technology is their key enabler, need experts to tell them how to use it to best advantage, how it is evolving, and what to invest in next. Some companies even create separate career paths, often culminating in the role of Fellow, that enable their experts to progress their careers and status without having to take on line-management roles. Everyone knows these people are vital to their employers, but what do they actually do - and do they really add value?

A group of the world’s most senior industrial technologists gathered at the facilities of Rolls-Royce in Derby, England, earlier this year to discuss this topic, with contributions from Fellows and Experts at Airbus, ArcelorMIttal, IBM, Michelin, Nestlé, Philips, Rolls-Royce, Siemens, and TomTom

In this EIRMA Insight you can find out about:

  •  Why IBM calls its most senior technologists ’wild ducks’ - and how it expects them to behave
  •       What expectations the director of research and technology at Rolls-Royce has of his company’s large body of Fellows
  •      How Michelin is managing the recent introduction of a Fellows programme
  •     How ArcelorMittal uses its Fellows and experts to share knowledge
  •  The relationship between Siemens’ technology roadmaps and its most senior Experts
  •  How Nestlé’s Fellows and Experts operate within a large and complex global R&D team
  •       The role Fellows play at Airbus in maximising aircraft safety
  •      The expectations of, and opportunities for Fellows at Philips Research
  •  as well as insights into one technologist’s pathway to Fellowship at Rolls-Royce

This EIRMA Insight is accompanied by a comparison table of the role definitions at each of the companies, available as both an XLS spreadsheet and a PDF.

You can download the Insights here.

Links and Downloads: 

The IP challenges of Industry 4.0 and open industry platforms 

The emergence of Industry 4.0 strategies and the open platforms they enable represents a major challenge to established companies, just as the rise of consumer Internet access did for telecoms and media companies in the last decade. The fear is that fast-moving Internet companies will insert themselves between buyers and sellers in industry as they have in consumer markets, completely reshaping established value chains.

Members of EIRMA’s Special Interest Group on Intellectual Asset Management met at EDF’s new research labs in Saclay, Paris, last month to discuss the role of, and potential challenges, to intellectual property rights in the age of Industry 4.0. Speakers from EDF, Bosch and GE discussed the insights they are gaining from early engagement with the Industrial Internet, and their visions of the future. 

In this EIRMA Insight you can find out about:

  •  How EDF is engaging with disruptive technologies that could change its business radically
  •       EDF’s hub strategy for accelerating innovation
  •      GE’s efforts to build an open platform on which it and third parties can build a new generation of operational optimisation strategies
  •   Bosch’s experience of applying Industry 4.0 instrumentation, communication and analysis strategies to some of its manufacturing equipment - including a historic treadle-powered lathe
  •     Insights from speakers and attendees about the IP challenges of working in this more open and interconnected way
  •  How much help current law can provide to protect IP in this situation - and how much law is yet to be made

as well as a set of Action Points that you can apply in your roles today. 

Members can download the Insight here

Links and Downloads: 



 EIRMA Insights 2016 

It has been a year of astonishing political change across the globe, which has forcefully reminded us that we can no longer take for granted that today’s status quo will remain in place tomorrow. 

In the face of such a challenge, the membership and secretariat of the European Industrial Research Management Association has continued to do what it does best – gather groups of research, development and innovation specialists to learn directly from each other’s practical experience of dealing with both day to day issues – and the challenge of radical change.

You can review EIRMA’s 2016 programme here, and look ahead to 2017 here.


Links and Downloads: 


The next Generation of Open Innovation 

The concept of open innovation has been around for over a decade now, so how is it working out in practice and what comes next? EIRMA members met at SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden to discuss the next generation of open innovation. 

In this EIRMA Insight you can find out: 

  •   What happened when a pharma company opened up one of its key pieces of IP for anyone to use
  •       The key factors for success in collaborations between large and small organisations
  •       How ‘translucent innovation’ strategies can remove some of the drawbacks of open innovation while retaining access to new sources of solutions
  •      The best ways to run competitions and awards to gather insights and solutions from new sources
  •       How Sweden is applying open innovation to its public sector research organisations
  •  Some structured approaches to involving the public in open-innovation strategies

as well as a set of Action Points that you can apply in your roles today to help you take the next step with open innovation. 

Members can download the Insight here

There is also a gallery of pictures here

Links and Downloads: 

The role of IP in enabling new business    

What role does intellectual property play in enabling the development of new business, especially for research organisations that have to develop and sustain specialisms to create their differentiating value? Members of EIRMA's Special Interest Group on Intellectual Asset Management met at IMEC in Leuven to discuss this issue the wider topic of creating successfulll start-ups. In this EIRMA Insight you can find out about: 

  • How IMEC manages its IP in the context of its work doing pre-competitive research for semicondutor industry
  • IMEC's new approach to spinning off technologies, which keeps it engaged with the technology while avoiding the perils of dilution
  • An alternative approach - the start-up factory
  •  Key characteristics of successful start-ups
  • Key steps to defending your IP in a start-up
  • The value of an ecosystem

The members also used the meeting to share their insights on a number of day to day IP management issues, including: 

  • How to convince researchers of the value of reading patents and related literature
  • How to teach people who are not IP professionals to interpret patents correctly
  • How to make the right trade-offs about outsourcing the drafting and/or prosecution of IP instruments
  • Understanding the costs of using national representatives

Links and Downloads: 

Extracting Value from Big Data  

Big data is a fashionable innovation theme at the moment - but what is it and how do you make money out of it?

EIRMA members gathered at IBM Research’s Zurich facility to explore the issue, through presentations from IBM Research, Google and Philips Research, and group discussions about the practicalities of implementing value-creating big data strategies.

Download this EIRMA Insight to find out:

  • The difference between unstructured and structured data, and how you can turn one into the other
  •  Why the five Vs are so important to effective big data strategies
  • How cognitive computing can streamline knowledge work
  •  Examples of successes to date, and future possibilities
  •  How you can get started exploring some of these strategies - for nothing

Members can download this EIRMA Insights here

Links and Downloads: 

Getting Ready for the Fourth Industrial Revolution 

How should the research, development and innovation function respond to the fourth Industrial Revolution through which we are living? EIRMA members met at the Paris headquarters of the OECD, its birthplace, to celebrate 50 years since its foundation and to discuss how the ‘digitalisation of everything’ will affect industry’s innovation landscape.

Download this comprehensive EIRMA Insight, based on presentations from the OECD, TomTom, Huawei and many more, and extensive group discussions, to understand how Europe’s most senior industrial innovators see the future. Among the topics discussed:

  • How to bridge the gap between digital natives and digital tourists
  • The opportunities and threats represented by emerging big data strategies
  • How to shift to frugal innovation strategies, which focus on only doing what matters - to your customers abd your business
  • The potential impact of artificial inteligence on the workplace - and your current customers' ability to buy your products and services 
  • Why you need to think more carefully about your responsabilities as an innovator - and how EIRMA can help

Members can download this EIRMA Insights here

Links and Downloads: 

The Role of Communities of Practice in Knowledge Creation  

Most companies need to create, share, apply and maintain knowledge in order to innovate. Members of EIRMA’s Special Interest Group on Knowledge Management (KM) met at the Philips Museum and at the High Tech Campus, both in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, in April to discuss howcommunities of practice (CoPs) can help do this.

Speakers from Philips, ArcelorMittal, Carmeuse, Schneider Electric, Nestlé, High Tech Campus, GuruScan and Eindhoven University of Technology offered their experience of developing and sustaining CoPs. A wide-ranging discussion among all participants went on to cover issues such as:

  • Why you should create CoPs
  • The challenge of buiding engagement
  • Using CoPs to connect diverse engagement
  • CoPs in decision making
  • Evolving mature communities
  • Using CoPs to drive science and technology develoment
  • Tools for developing and managing communities

Members can download this EIRMA Insights here

Links and Downloads: 

Stimulating disruptive innovation in large organisations  

The pressure to innovate is forcing large companies to find faster, more flexible ways to work, in order to compete with start-ups. Large companies usually have strong cultures and processes, which can hold back change. On the other hand, they can call on intellectual and financial resources that few others can match.

Participants at EIRMA's 2016 Representatives' Round Table discussed this issue, in a series of presentations and workshops that included contributions from AD Little, Airbus Group, new member ASCO Industries, GE Global Research, QuantuMDx, Solvay, and many other participants. This EIRMA Insight synthesises their inputs. Download it now to find out:

  • Why you need a corporate garage
  • How to build a corporate garage in a mid-sized company
  • How to add a 'corporate garage' to a rich existing internal innovation ecosystem
  • The role of corporate venturing
  • An entrepreneur's view of intrapreneurship
  • And the outcome of workshop sessions which covered:
  • - General advice on introducing corporate garages
  • - Creating the right culture
  • - Overcomong the tension between incremental and disruptive innovation
  • - Increasing the level of disruptive innovation in corporations
  • - Apporaches to business incubation
  • - and managing people in garage contexts. 

Members can download this EIRMA Insights here

Links and Downloads: 


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