Annual Meeting 2014 - Keynote: Unlocking the Value of R&D

Keynote: Unlocking the Value of R&D
J. Gary Smyth, PhD, Executive Director of Global Research and Development, General Motors Company

Industries or businesses that make money selling products and services understand that innovation requires commercialization to create value. Therefore, the most successful companies not only have systems in place to foster new ideas but also understand what’s required to get their ideas into the marketplace. 

In order to accelerate innovation in products, processes, or business models, many of these companies have developed new R&D business models. For example, GM has adopted a “develop, invest, and partner” strategy. We leverage multiple sources of advanced technology, including internal resources like R&D and advanced engineering and external sources like startup companies, suppliers, engineering firms, universities, and industry and government consortia. We work with these sources and non-traditional suppliers to commercialize “inventions” into “innovations” – to unlock the value of new technology for our customers. This talk discusses key challenges, lesson learned, and best practices required for establishing a value-based approach to the business of R&D.