2018 Annual Conference Call for Proposals

The IRI Program Committee invites you to share your expertise at our annual conference.

Content presenters benefit by:

  • Networking with innovation thought leaders from around the globe
  • Building professional knowledge via the sharing and exchange of ideas 
  • Gaining visibility among the innovation community and across broad industry segments

Theme - Breaking Boundaries: What’s Now, What’s Next

Innovation and technological breakthroughs continue to happen at an ever-accelerating pace.  New technologies are introduced to market at a rapid rate, disrupting current dominant technologies. Life cycles are shortened as even more technologies emerge.   How does this continual change affect your innovation process, business strategy, and technology partnerships? What can companies do to be resilient and “disruption-proof?” What is the best way to break these barriers to success, or find a path around them? Success in today’s reality requires foresight and the ability to be creative in leveraging effective innovation capabilities without becoming overwhelmed; a skilled eye scanning future boundaries and breakthroughs while recognizing how to respond. IRI’s 2018 Annual Conference explores what companies, large and small, must do to adapt to this shift in continuity and challenge conventional ways of managing innovation. The conference brings together innovators from large corporations, small startups, and everything in between. Innovators from all industries will come together to explore lessons from both new and established companies and learn tactics to survive and thrive in a constantly changing environment. A variety of session formats will highlight the ‘now’ and look ahead to ‘what’s next.’ 

The IRI Program Committee seeks session proposals on the following topics:

  • How faster product timelines affect business models and operations
  • What impact will emergent technologies have on different industries?
  • How not to say yes to everything: How are companies leveraging new innovation capabilities without becoming overwhelmed?
  • Horizon Scanning: How to sense and respond to the next disruption
  • How are innovation clusters driving this new pace of technological development?
  • Best practices and case studies in large corporation-startup partnerships
  • Survive and Thrive: Tactics to remain resilient through market and technology changes
  • What can new companies learn from established companies about remaining relevant long-term?
  • Going Over and Around: Bypassing barriers when you don’t have the resources to break through them



Please fill out the

and submit your proposals on or before Friday, December 1, 2017. Proposals will be accepted via email, fax, or mail.  


Types of Proposals

The methods of delivery vary depending on the type of learning environment that a program proposer plans to create. Here are the types of programs for which proposals may be submitted:

Express Learning Sessions 
Informative and instructional talk or case study presentation for sharing of success stories and best practices in a smaller, breakout format.  Approximate length, including Q&A, is 30 minutes or less.  

Kickstarter Sessions
This new session will be 30 minutes in length and will include two speakers, each giving a 10 minute presentation on a different aspect of the same topic. If you are interested in preparing one of these, contact Mallory Smith to work out the topic details.

Ignite is a style of presentation where participants are given five minutes to speak on a subject accompanied by 10 or 20 slides. Each slide is displayed for 30 or 15 seconds (depending on # of slides), and slides are automatically advanced.  Ignite is intended to be a rapid way to transmit entertaining and engaging ideas from a varied group of presenters.  A few presenters will be selected to give their talks during an evening reception.  Any topic can be chosen, not just those related to the theme, or innovation.  For those who have not witnessed Ignite, it is a fun way to engage with others and presenters typically are able to find common ground with others in attendance.  

Breakout or Training Session
Duration is typically between 1 – 1.5 hours

  1. Focused learning session: Meeting of small groups for intensive discussion and learning application. A smaller group (50 people or less), which consists of a structured session including a moderator/presenter that guides the group with frequent participation and tasks for the audience.  Room layout is arranged so that small subgroups can also discuss topics at each table as part of the session.  The workshop format benefits from the availability of diverging views and ideas in a particular discipline or on a particular subject and allows attendees to think about and apply new concepts to their own situations. 
  2.  Small Group Open Discussion: Informal and open session of free discussion organized to take place on a subject chosen by the session participants themselves or on a special problem suggested by the organizers/session facilitator. 
  3.  Training session in which participants, often through exercises, develop skills and knowledge in a given field.

Factors Affecting Selection

A proposal must demonstrate:

  1. Clarity of purpose
  2. Fit with session and meeting themes 
  3. Timeliness of topic
  4. Exciting information appropriate for the intended audience 
  5. Evidence of a high standard of research (if relevant)
  6. Presentation will be delivered well and meet its audience’s needs

Policies and Procedures
All proposal submitters must follow these policies and procedures: 

  1. All program proposals must be submitted on or before December 1, 2017. 
  2. All proposals must be accompanied by an example from a previous speaking engagement – (a video clip, presentation file or audio recording.  
  3. All proposals must include learning objectives (any proposals submitted without them will not be considered for the conference). Learning objectives should include what the audience will learn, how will the audience learn, and what skill or knowledge they will gain.
  4. Once a session is accepted, the presenter(s) may not change the conceptual content of the session, except with the approval of the program committee.  All presenters’ availability to present must be confirmed before proposal will be accepted.
  5. IRI reserves the ability to edit, change, or combine program proposals if it is educationally advantageous. Program organizers will be notified before changes are made. 
  6.  Proposers will be informed on or before January 2, 2018 if their program proposals have been accepted.
  7.  All IRI member organization presenters are responsible for paying for their own travel expenses, and any other costs associated with presenting at the Annual Conference.
  8. Each presenter must sign a Speaker Agreement Form before presenting. These forms will be distributed through the primary coordinators once the programs are accepted.  All participants at IRI meetings must agree to abide by IRI’s Participation Principles.  
  9. Speakers may be asked to 
    1. moderate a “Brown Bag” teleconference or webinar discussion as a preview or follow-up to their presentation during the meeting.
    2. convert conference presentation into a journal manuscript for IRI’s journal, Research-Technology Management

Employees of IRI member companies will receive a complimentary registration to the 2018 Annual Conference, in addition to the complimentary registrations they receive for being a member.  They will be responsible for their own travel arrangements.  

Non-members eligible for membership will receive reimbursement for travel (restrictions apply) as well as a complimentary registration fee to attend the 2018 Annual Conference.

Non-member partners will receive limited reimbursement for travel (restrictions apply) as well as a reduced registration fee to attend the 2018 Annual Conference.

All proposals are due on or before December 1, 2017.

If you have questions regarding these policies and procedures or the submission process, please contact Mallory Smith or call  703-647-2600.