This issue begins RTM’s 60th continuous year of publication. Originally called Research Management, it was founded as a journal by and for practitioners of research and development in order to share lessons learned and build best practices. The journal, renamed Research-Technology Management in the 1980s, has now served several generations of R&D and innovation leaders, and it will help executives and practitioners manage through many changes in the future.
When RTM was founded, corporate R&D labs were centralized think tanks, often remote from the offices of the parent company, charged with a mandate to develop science for the future. Since then, the R&D function has become more focused, more actively managed, increasingly multidisciplinary, more open to the outside world, much more tightly tied to the business, and more global. The central R&D labs of the past have given way to global networks of R&D centers, with increased focus on shorter-term deliverables and stronger connections to universities for foundational work. The boundaries of the labs have opened up, so that ideas can move through the business and across corporate boundaries to support business objectives. The stakeholders in R&D have expanded to include marketing and strategy, in addition to product development. And R&D engineers are spending more time with customers, learning from them in new ways.
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Volume 60, Issue 1, January-February 2017
From the Editor