Pre Conference Workshop: Innovation Bootcamp

Innovation Bootcamp April 29 8 AM-5 PM Wyndham Grand Pittsburgh Downtown
Lead by Steve Lerner & Matthew Wagner
Monday April 29, 2019 8:00am5:00pm
Wyndham Grand Pittsburgh Downtown

This practical one-day workshop is designed for professionals new to R&D, high potential employees with the capacity to become managers within a few years and persons interested in learning effective innovation leadership concepts. Students will gain a broader perspective on innovation designed to help them on-board more rapidly, perform better, and create more value for their organizations. Each section will start with a posed question to stimulate engagement and thought, and to understand the current state of innovation in participants’ firms. We will then move to a discussion of best practices/principles with group exercises. Additionally, students will be assigned to a mentor who will be available to help apply the learnings of the workshop to their future projects, and how the content of the Annual Conference applies to and builds on them.



  • The role of innovation – “Why innovate” (relation to strategy, skills, needs, etc.)
  • Types of innovation projects and how to identify new projects
  • How projects are evaluated and selected (value prop, market potential, competitors, etc.)
  • Establishing a portfolio given robust choices  
  • Managing the work and innovation processes –  from conception to commercialization
  • Shortening the critical path (agile, lean, scrum, etc)
  • Understanding risk (IP, market position, strategic relationships, etc)
  • Maximizing competitive advantage



Matthew Wagner, Senior Analyst and R&D Training Expert, Lux Research
Matt Wagner is a Senior Analyst at Lux Research in Corporate Strategic Intelligence. Before joining Lux Research, Matt worked for Pall Corporation. There, Matt led the firm’s global application technology activities in gas filtration, gas purification, and trace moisture analysis for the semiconductor manufacturing market. Previously he worked in multiple roles in R&D at Praxair, including leading Praxair’s Breakthrough Innovation initiative, developing and implementing corporation-wide innovation work processes and tools. Matt received his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Minnesota. His research focused on heterogeneous catalysis and reactor engineering. He also holds a B.S. in Chemical Engineering and Engineering and Public Policy from Carnegie Mellon University.  He is the author of numerous patents, papers, and conference presentations.
Steven Lerner, Partner, Princeton Growth Partners
Steve Lerner is a partner with Princeton Growth Partners, LLC, a firm that helps clients accelerate growth through innovation.  Prior to joining PGP, Steve served as Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer of Praxair Inc. -- a Fortune 300 firm providing industrial gases, electronic chemicals, healthcare services and performance coatings – and was responsible for R&D, global market development, and licensing.  Steve joined Praxair in 1989 as Manager, Process Chemistry and held several leadership roles including VP, Process & Systems.  Prior to joining Praxair, Steve held management positions in R&D, operations and commercial development with The BOC Group Inc. and Atlantic Richfield Corp.



Note: You do not have to register for the Annual Conference to attend this workshop.

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