Innovation Mangement is Growing – Expanding the US Market

The US market is increasingly important to Innovation Management and innovation practitioners as policy makers and business leaders prioritise innovation here as they have done elsewhere around the world. As of this month Melba Kurman joins IM to help us grow and respond to the needs of this remarkable innovation country.

Tell us a little about yourself, who are you and what experiences do you have from the field of innovation management?

— Innovation management is frequently used to refer to how a company prepares its internal culture to embrace an innovation-oriented approach to product development, marketing, sales, and a host of other internal functions.  However, innovation management also encompasses the connections (or breaking points) between different organizations when they come together to try to form innovation partnerships.  I’ve worked with innovative technologies for many years in both corporate and university environments.  I’ve had the good fortune to experience firsthand, a high tech company’s product development process, as well as university intellectual property strategies in bringing early-stage research from the lab to the marketplace.

— My particular interest is the rich and complicated ecosystem where universities meet the business world.  As a product manager at a large tech company, I was able to help shape our product’s marketing strategy and see how technology development meshed with the demands of the marketplace, and customer needs.  More recently, I worked in a university’s technology commercialization unit.  Universities own a wealth of potentially game-changing innovative technology, but face significant strategic challenges and cultural barriers when trying to form innovation partnerships with companies and entrepreneurs.  I’ve learned firsthand that innovative technology alone, doesn’t foster innovation.  Instead, innovation happens when the technology and the culture are ready to embrace change, and all the players are permitted to take strategic risks and stretch out of their comfort zones.

What role do you think a platform as InnovationManagement can play? / What difference do you think a platform as InnovationManagement can make?

— To me, a large part of the value of Innovationmanagement is the magazine’s high quality content – its tireless efforts to pull together the best thinking and thought leaders in the field.  IM offers its readers new insights and practical information on how to integrate new practices into the daily life of their business or university.   Some articles take a practical “how to” approach, while other thinkers offer a broad brush, visionary approach to how to move ahead.   Both practical information and inspiration are important.  Raising reader awareness of how diverse, yet integrated effective innovation management needs to be will help them chart the right course in their careers and in their day-to-day business management strategies.   It’s also a uniquely international platform.

What will you focus on in your role as country manager with InnovationManagement?

— Many readers and writers are based in the US already, so there’s already a lot of great work being done, and excellent momentum.  I think that businesses, the government and universities in the US right now are very concerned about developing an innovation economy.  No one has the right answer and it’s a very complicated topic that I think is well served by the wealth of thinking and information InnovationManagement offers.  As US country manager, I want to help InnovationManagement keep doing what it’s doing, but with more visibility and with an eye to making our content appealing to people in the US.   Without becoming too US centric, it would be interesting to pursue interviews or guest articles by some of the leading names in the US world of product development and innovation strategy.  Connection-wise, I think that InnovationManagement can get more interconnected with other online gathering places (both US and international) for people interested in the topic.

About Melba Kurman

Melba Kurman, US country manager and a member of the review team. Melba is an analyst and speaker with over 15 years of experience in bringing innovative technologies to market. Melba’s commercial and academic work experience gives her unique insight into industry/university research and product development partnerships. She was a product manager for Windows Server at Microsoft and more recently, was responsible for marketing Cornell University’s intellectual property portfolio to industry partners. She is an expert in university technology transfer strategies and challenges. Melba writes the popular Tech Transfer 2.0 blog, and is the president of Triple Helix Innovation, a consulting firm dedicated to improving university and industry innovation partnerships. 

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    The US are no better than Europe for tech transfer. Asia is moving FAST on this front.Switzerland is where tech. transfer is best done world-wide (see the last Pulitzer prize book From Science to Business !!!)

    Where the US are unsurpassed is their ability to: 1) attract non-US talent and 2) fast grow ventures to the size of eBay, Microsoft, Oracle, etc…Also, the amount of taxpaxers’money going into private R&D is staggering.