Weekly Member Update - Monday, August 10, 2020

Digital Futures 2020: Strategy, culture, and technology at work -- Now all virtual!

Learn how other legacy companies are implementing digital strategies, navigating challenges around talent and culture, and making productive partnerships at the 2020 Virtual Digital Futures Conference in October!

What: Virtual Conference Hosted by IRI and Case Western Reserve University

When: Monday October 12 at 11:00am EDT - Thursday October 15, 2020 at 3:30pm

Get the help you need to take the next steps in your digital journey with:

  • Case studies from legacy companies;
  • Interactive learning sessions focusing on key practical issues; and
  • Thought leaders focused on real world applications.

Register now!

Complimentary registrations are available for each level of membership. Standard IRI member companies will receive up to 8 complimentary registrations; Silver members – 16; Gold – 24; and $100 off registration fees for every other Digital Futures registration after.


Have you signed up for IRI's Fall Networks Conference?

IRI's Fall Networks Conference will convene virtually September 14-18, 2020. This free, exclusive virtual event for IRI members only will blend webinars, interactive roundtable discussions, and organized networking activities. The following Networks will hold sessions: External Technology, Human Resources, Information Services/Information Technology, Innovation Leaders, Intellectual Assets Management, and New Business Development.

Topics include:

  • The Future of Remote Work and Collaborating Virtually
  • Managing Innovation Remotely and Coping with Distributed Teams
  • New Strategies for Voice of the Customer During Pandemic
  • The (Remote) Research Lab of the Future
  • Corporate and University Partnerships in Fighting COVID-19 (Georgia Institute of Technology)
  • Relationship Building Without ROI
  • Best Practices to Minimize In-Person Customer Contact During Prototyping Phase
  • Maximizing Productivity and Adapting Corporate Culture to the Remote Office
  • Hiring and Onboarding Remote Talent
  • Considerations for Safely Reopening Offices and Labs
  • Opportunity Processing
  • Predicting Federally Funded R&D Outcomes with Ideation, Project, and Organizational Factors
  • Identifying and Partnering with International Startups
  • Emerging Technologies IP Licensing – What Happens When Your Technology Partners Goes Bankrupt
  • Digitalization and Data

Learn more about IRI's Networks Program or Register for the Fall Networks Conference.


Don't forget to RSVP to these virtual learning opportunities happening this month!

Wednesday, August 12: Foresight and R&D in the Pandemic
This webinar presented by Christian Crews, and based on his article in the latest issue of Research-Technology Management, will include ways the pandemic challenges theories of change that influence our decision-making, how to get alignment on long-term projects during short term uncertainty, and capabilities for recognizing and tracking change for portfolio management. It will include break-out groups to examine specific R&D challenges in a time of pandemic and how a foresight capacity can help them, and a short update on the future of the pandemic.
Thursday August 13: Thriving Through Crisis: What Startups Can Teach Us About Being Agile
Agility is a required trait for startups who are constantly navigating uncertainty. And, recent tectonic shifts have escalated uncertainty to new levels — not just for startups but for established firms, too. What must leaders do to ensure their firms not just survive but begin to thrive during this period of rapid change? In this session, Jamie Jones of the Fuqua Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation at Duke University, will explore examples of how startups have quickly moved to identify new revenue opportunities and what questions leaders of any company should be asking their organization about future growth opportunities.
Tuesday, August 18: How to Reduce Risk with Confidence
Dan Adams of the AIM Institute has taught tens of thousands of B2B professionals how to develop better new products. He and his team have recently developed a whole new approach to managing large, high-impact R&D projects. With this method, you’ll confidently uncover and defuse “landmines” that blow up schedules, projects and careers. And you’ll completely change the conversation with management: No more, “Trust us, you’ll love our project.” Instead of judging your team, management will join it.
Thursday, August 20: DXC August Thought Leader Interview with Jerry Grunewald, VP of Operations, INVISTA
Join Lee Green, IRI's Vice President of Knowledge Creation, as she interviews Jerry for the Digital Transformation Community's August Thought Leader Interview to learn how INVISTA has gone through their digital transformation journey. Jerry is currently the Vice President of Operations at INVISTA which is part of Koch Industries, one of the largest privately held companies in the United States.  Jerry leads INVISTA’s Operations Transformation effort, which is focused on delivering value from the Digital Plant of the Future.  Jerry’s team focuses on unlocking the underlying data in each area to convert data to knowledge, knowledge to action, and action to value.  Prior to this role, Jerry led INVISTA’s global R&D team.  His group developed several breakthrough technologies in Nylon 66 intermediates and polymer products and processes that have recently been or are currently being commercialized.
Friday, August 21: The Bridge of JOY for Your Innovation Team
In these uncertain times, one thing we know is that we are not going back to “normal.” Leaders do their best work in times like these. Why? A leader’s job is to guide a team through uncertainty toward a vision. How? Not by predicting the future, but by holding to what’s important through the uncertainty. In this webinar, Amanda Parker, CEO of eNthusaProve, will focus your leadership thoughts to practical ways to enable joy in your workplace, especially now. Why joy? Joy is the opposite of fear, and there is ample fear that impacts our team’s thoughts and work. Joy is not happiness or morale, but much deeper. In our discussion, we will share simple ways to look at your team dynamics, evaluate, and take action. Be the leader who leads well in uncertain times by driving out fear by enabling joy.


Every major technology breakthrough of our era has gone through a similar cycle in pursuit of turning fiction to reality. It starts in the stages of scientific discovery, a pursuit of principle against a theory, a recursive process of hypothesis-experiment. Success of the proof of principle stage graduates to becoming a tractable engineering problem, where the path to getting to a systemized, reproducible, predictable system is generally known and de-risked. Lastly, once successfully engineered to the performance requirements, focus shifts to repeatable manufacturing and scale, simplifying designs for production.
Frances Allen, a former high school math teacher who became one of the leading computer scientists of her generation and, in 2006, was the first woman to win the A.M. Turing Award, considered the Nobel Prize in computing, died in Schenectady, N.Y., on Aug. 4, her 88th birthday. Renowned for her seminal work in optimizing the creation of computer software programs and high-performance computing systems, Ms. Allen earned her stellar reputation in the esoteric field of software compilers. Simply put, her efforts over a distinguished 45-year career at IBM helped software designers generate more-powerful and efficient code, which led to huge advances in the use of supercomputers and parallel processing, and eventually in all levels of computing.
Scientists are using satellite data to map ground surface changes in the aftermath of the recent explosion. NASA's Advanced Rapid Imaging and Analysis (ARIA) team, in collaboration with the Earth Observatory of Singapore, used satellite-derived synthetic aperture radar data to map the likely extent of damage from a massive Aug. 4 explosion in Beirut. Synthetic aperture radar data from space shows ground surface changes from before and after a major event like an earthquake. In this case, it is being used to show the devastating result of an explosion.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could do something useful with excess carbon dioxide other than capture it, compress it, and bury it deep in the bottom of the ocean? Scientists at Argonne National Laboratory may have discovered a way to do precisely that.
As schools across the country start to reopen, recent data shows that COVID-19 infection is on the rise in children. The American Academy of Pediatrics, in collaboration with the Children's Hospital Association, each week surveys all publicly available data from U.S. states on child COVID-19 cases. According to its most-recent report, as of July 30, there were 338,982 total child COVID-19 cases reported since the onset of the pandemic. That represents 8.8% of all COVID-19 cases.