PITA Fiscal Year 2007 Projects

Product and Process Design and Optimization

Innovation Management Course Development, with PA Companies
As technological advances effectively reduce traditional geographic distinctions around the world, and global business competition increases, the importance of innovation for industrial success is increasing. In this context, there is an important opportunity for transforming engineering education. Carnegie Mellon’s College of Engineering is incorporating innovation management education in a new MS program that is designed to equip students to lead innovation and manage value creation from technology. Because the real laboratories for innovation management developments are the companies that are striving to create value using new technology, effective innovation management education should incorporate these real-world perspectives.

This project will strengthen innovation management education by developing and deploying classes that address key topics in innovation management, utilizing the perspectives of practitioners from PA companies. From establishing a culture for innovation, to identifying opportunities for innovation, to utilizing effective processes to bring ideas from early stages to implementation, to measuring value creation, innovation management in practice is often more complex than might be predicted from a purely academic perspective. The classes to be developed will use readings from the innovation management literature to set the stage for the industrial speakers. The innovation management topic that will receive particular emphasis in this project is Open Innovation, a model by which companies take a broad perspective of sources for ideas, as well as their market exploitation, in order to strengthen their competitive position. Air Products is not only utilizing the Open Innovation concept, but they are working with academia, including Prof. Roger Nagel at Lehigh, to develop education programs in this area. The Open Innovation education program development could also serve as a model for the future development of other innovation management courses.