Weekly Update - Monday, July 13, 2020

IRI Chair wins prestigious American Statistical Association Hahn Achievement Award

In May, Dr. Martha M. Gardner was awarded the Gerald J. Hahn Quality & Productivity (Q&P) Achievement Award from the American Statistical Association (ASA). It’s a prestigious award in the industrial statistics community, given to someone who demonstrates outstanding performance in quality and productivity-focused projects within their organization. Read more.


The next-gen rover is a laboratory on wheels is seeking signs that life once thrived on Mars. And it has a passenger: The first helicopter set to fly on another world. NASA's Perseverance rover hopes to answer our biggest burning question about Mars history: Did the red planet once host life? The dry, dusty Mars we know today was very different in the deep past. Humanity's latest rover is making a beeline for an area of Mars that was once home to a lake, a perfect place to look for signs of ancient microbes.
Researchers have developed what they say is a breakthrough robotic lab assistant, able to move around a laboratory and conduct scientific experiments just like a human. The machine, designed by scientists from the UK’s University of Liverpool, is far from fully autonomous: it needs to be programmed with the location of lab equipment and can’t design its own experiments. But by working seven days a week, 22 hours a day (with two hours to recharge every night), it allows scientists to automate time-consuming and tedious research they wouldn’t otherwise tackle.
Four years ago, three big tech companies had plans in the works to beam internet down to Earth from the sky, and each scenario sounded wilder than the next. SpaceX requested permission to launch 4,425 satellites into orbit to create a global internet hotspot. Facebook wanted to use solar-powered drones and laser-based tech to shoot wifi to antennas. And Google’s Loon was building giant balloons to house solar-powered electronics that would transmit connectivity down from the stratosphere.
A new paper argues that the computing demands of deep learning are so great that progress on tasks like translation and self-driving is likely to slow. Early last year, a large European supermarket chain deployed artificial intelligence to predict what customers would buy each day at different stores, to help keep shelves stocked while reducing costly spoilage of goods. The company already used purchasing data and a simple statistical method to predict sales. With deep learning, a technique that has helped produce spectacular AI advances in recent years—as well as additional data, including local weather, traffic conditions, and competitors’ actions—the company cut the number of errors by three-quarters.


The Fall Networks Conference is going Virtual!

For the first time ever IRI is turning it's Fall Networks Conference into an online event! IRI’s Networks bring practitioners together to explore member-chosen topics through a combination of peer presentations, interactive roundtables, guest speakers, and workshops. Sessions are designed to be highly interactive and encourage participation from all in attendance. Webinar sessions will be open to all registered conference attendees, while roundtable discussions will be limited to Network Members. Attendees will have the opportunity to share pain points and troubleshoot with their peers, allowing them to easily digest valuable insights with specific steps and strategies in hand.

The Fall Networks Conference will convene virtually September 14-18, 2020. Virtual sessions will be a blend of webinars, interactive roundtable discussions, and organized networking activities.

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 featuring the 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

There are currently six Networks in this program (External Technology, Human Resources, Information Services/Technology, Innovation Leaders,  Intellectual Assets Management, and New Business Development), each of which focuses on a different function of innovation and R&D. Please note that the conference webinar sessions will be open to all registered attendees, but in order to participate in any roundtable discussions, you must be a member of the Network. To join an IRI Network, please contact Mallory Smith (smith@iriweb.org).

Registration will open on Monday, July 20. The virtual conference is free to attend for IRI Members and Network Members and does not require a complimentary registration.




Are you engaging in business model innovation to create a digital platform?

The digital platform business model is capable of substantial revenue growth. While few legacy organizations have a digital platform strategy, even fewer have a coherent digital platform strategy that is integrated with their corporate strategy, and an even smaller percentage have an active digital platform.  This project team aims to see how organizations are engaging in business model innovation to address the need for digital platforms.  Contact Lee Green to learn more.

Click here to watch the project pitch.


This week: Interview with A.O. Smith's CTO with IRI's Digital Transformation Community

Bob Heideman was named Senior Vice President – Chief Technology Officer at A. O. Smith in December 2010. He had served as Vice President of the Milwaukee-based research and engineering facility since February 2008. The Corporate Technology Center consists of technology platforms that concentrate on advanced concepts and emerging technologies supporting the long-term product development strategies of the company’s electric motor and water heating operating units.

Join the DXC this Thursday, July 16th at 12:00 PM (ET), for a live interview where we will hear Bob's thoughts on digital transformation.

Register for the webinar.


Next week: Lightning webinar with Gina O'Connor

Join us on July 23 at 11:00 AM (ET) for a quick, 30-minute webinar. Gina O’Connor of Babson College will apply her years of research into innovation management into steps that practitioners can take to maintain their strategic innovation efforts in the face of a global crisis. She will also provide attendees with a document of her latest recommendations.

Preview her perspective here and register for the webinar.