Research - Best Practices & Benchmarking


IRI’s Research on Research program is being reworked in 2018 to improve operational or individual learning of members by benchmarking current best practices and studying ways to build on them to recommend future practices. PILOTPractices in Innovation Leadership, Operations and Talent – will encompass current working groups as well shorter, more agile and resilient processes for developing best practices. 

The purpose of PILOT is to engage members and other thought leaders to identify, sponsor, lead, support, and conduct activities that advance the  understanding and development of best practices in innovation management.

As the ROR program transitions to PILOT, the PILOT Steering Committee has begun examining activities that:

  • Produce faster results
  • Are highly relevant to IRI’s primary and secondary customers (CTOs and their direct reports)
  • Create highly actionable and measurable deliverables

Result: A Member Toolbox of processes for getting results.  PILOT tools now being tested include crowdsourcing, a variety of surveys, and hosted roundtables.  Check out the notes from the first hosted roundtable.

Analysis of these experiments will conclude at the end of 2018, and successful elements will be incorporated into PILOT’s first full year in 2019.

Current Projects

Brilliant Failures 

Growth Outside the Core

Recent Completed Projects

Product Design for Mass Customization

Developing and Monetizing a Long Term Vision for R&D, Phase I

Adding Sustainability to the NPD Toolbox  

IRI/APQC Joint Project: Next Generation Communities of Practice

Using Experts to Support the Global Flow of Knowledge   

Lean Start-Up in Large Organizations  

Long-Term Strategic Initiatives

Strategic Challenges in R&D Talent Management  

Digitalization and its Implications in R&D Management    

IRI2038 Futures Study 

Search the Research Archives

Technology Value Program

Get Involved

Participation in a current or ongoing project team is only available to IRI members. Members are encouraged to join and to consider beginning new working groups as well. If you are not an IRI member, but are interested in joining a project team as a Subject Matter Expert, please email Lee Green. Your expertise and contact details will be added to the SME database for new groups to utilize.

Interested in starting your own working group?  See the guidelines Information for ROR Working Groups

For more information or if you or a colleague are interested in participating in a project team, please email Lee Green or call 703-647-2597.

Pilot Steering Committee

This committee supports all PILOT activities, including working groups, from inception through dissemination.  Committee members work collaboratively to experiment in processes and methods to identify best practices; provide means for idea generation to keep the pipeline full and relevant; and actively investigate mechanisms for timely, accessible and actionable deliverables.

  • Mike Blackburn (Chair), Research & Development Portfolio/Program Leader, Cargill
  • Steve Moskowitz, Strategic Innovation Manager, Entegris
  • Kent Young, Senior Director of Technology, Sherwin-Williams
  • Norman Golm, Director of Innovation, Regal Beloit Corporation
  • Pushpa Manukonda, Director, John Deere Technology Innovation Center, John Deere
  • Marcie Zaharee, Project Leader MITRE Innnovation Program, MITRE
  • Joel Schall, Director Technology and Innovation, Henkel
  • Preeti Chandra, Associate Director, Praxair R&D


A Research-on-Research (ROR) Subcommittee was appointed by the IRI Board of Directors in 1968, following an unsuccessful effort to convince the National Science Foundation (NSF) to establish centers for research-on-research at universities in the United States. The subcommittee concluded that research-on-research was important enough to the interests of the Institute that the idea should be initiated without the support of NSF. Thus, a regular standing committee of IRI was created in 1971 to carry out research on the process of research in industry.

PILOT replaced ROR in January 2018 in tandem with the association’s rebranding to Innovation Research Interchange.

Research Document Center

Project Proposal Form

PDF iconProject Plan Diagram

Microsoft Office document iconProject Charter Template