IRI Networks Program

IRI’s Networks bring practitioners together to explore member-chosen topics through a combination of peer presentations, interactive roundtables, guest speakers, and workshops. Unlike the more traditional conference format, these sessions have limited seats and are designed to be highly interactive. Attendees have the opportunity to share pain points and troubleshoot with their peers, allowing them to return to the office with specific steps and strategies in hand.

There are currently six Networks in this program, each of which focuses on a different function of innovation and R&D. Each Network has their own agenda, as well as several opportunities to engage with others in various joint sessions. This approach allows topics to be examined from various perspectives and gain a deeper understanding of how it impacts different departments within a company.

Click here to view the recorded sessions from our Virtual 2021 Spring Networks Conference.

Explore Networks


External Technology Network (ETN) members share experiences, seek best practices, collectively solve problems, and innovate in the area of external technology to improve the technology acquisition for their companies.

Co-Chairs:  Steven Perri (Eastman Chemical Company), Werner Kaufmann (BASF Corporation) and Derek Shuttleworth (Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company)

Number of members:  140

Professionals involved: Directors of Corporate Partnerships, Managers of Technology Transfer, External Research Directors, Open Innovation Managers, and more.


Human Resources Network (HRN) members share experiences, seek best practices, collectively solve problems, and innovate in the area of human resources for R&D organizations. The group addresses topics ranging from generational differences to developing creativity competencies. 

Co-Chairs:  Oscar Blanco (Crown Holdings) and Ivan Kerley (Crown Holdings)

Number of members:  105

Professionals involved:  HR managers, directors and officers with responsibility for R&D


The Information Services & Information Technology Network (ISITN) is a unique mix of information services and information technology members who share experiences and information on innovative approaches and best practices in knowledge management and information-technology architecture within the R&D environment. 

Co-Chairs:  Denise Callihan (PPG Industries, Inc.) and Amy Watson (PPG Industries)

Number of members:  75

Professionals involved:  IT professionals, IS Managers, Librarians, Knowledge Management professionals


The mission of the ILN is to improve the effectiveness of innovation in industry by sharing tools, techniques and lessons learned, so that members can improve the impact of innovation in their businesses. 

Co-Chairs:  Michael Blades (National Gypsum), Martin Waszak (NASA), and Tim Dennison (Sealed Air Corporation)

Number of members:  149

Professionals involved:  Innovators, innovation leaders, portfolio managers, business managers, External Research directors, licensing directors


The Intellectual Assets Management Network (IAMN) is a new offering from IRI. We plan to have both live and virtual meetings and current topics under consideration include:

  • Patent search tools;
  • Software for tracking IP and ideas;
  • China and IP;
  • Training scientists in patent art;
  • Capitalizing IP on the balance sheet. 

IAMN provides members ideas and tools to improve management of their organization’s intellectual assets, from ideas to patents and beyond. 

Co-Chairs: Aditya Gottumukkala (PPG Industries) and Javier Tenorio (Metalsa S.A. de C.V.)

Number of members: 41

Professionals involved: Senior Research Engineer, Director of Product Development and Innovation, Senior Project Manager, Intellectual Property Manager, Director of Intellectual Asset Management, Intellectual Property Strategist


The NBDN is comprised of professionals working in Commercial Development and New Business development and focuses on developing and sharing strategies and tactics to improve the conversion of technologies to cash.

Chair:  Mike Marchand (Michelin America’s Research Company)

Number of members:  110

Professionals involved:  New business and commercial development, Marketing/sales development, New products development, Mergers and acquisitions, Portfolio management, Strategic alliances, Market research, Technology transfer

Who Joins a Network?

“I have been involved with the IRI and IRI Networks for  a large portion of my industrial career.  I have always found the ability to network with a diverse set of professionals from industry, academia, research institute and government sponsored research organizations to be a very rewarding experience. It has been amazing to learn the different approaches organizations use to address issues we have in common and these differing approaches open up new avenues for the organizations I have represented over the years.”  

-Ed Getty, Former ETN Co-Chair, Mars, Inc.