Research-on-Research Reports

Research-Technology Management, November/December 2010 | Go to article overview

Research-on-Research Reports


Eight Research-on-Research working groups held meetings at the IRI Annual Meeting; five groups report on the status of their work, describe ongoing initiatives, and summarize preliminary results.

"Research on research" is just what it sounds like: an examination of the current research on a given topic-in this case, with an eye toward identifying best practices for the effective management of research and development. The Research-on Research Committee (ROR) is IRI's "laboratory for innovation management."

IRI's first Research-on-Research (ROR) subcommittee was appointed by the Board of Directors in 1968, after an unsuccessful effort to convince the National Science Foundation (NSF) to establish research-on-research centers at U.S. universities. Convinced that the concept was important enough to be carried forward even without NSF support, the Board made ROR a regular standing committee in 1971, setting the stage for an ongoing program of robust, member-supported research studies. Currently, the ROR leadership team includes committee chair Rich Antcliff (NASA); vice chairs Rob Williams (The Boeing Company), Dan Carpenter (Energizer), and Mike Schwenk (Pacific Northwest National Lab); and Board liaison Erik Whalen-Pedersen (Kraft).

The ROR committee supports a slate of working groups, each focused on a particular area of concern identified by members. Each working group brings together industry leaders in research, technology, and innovation to collaborate, share experiences, and research case studies in pursuit of best practices around an issue of common concern. The result is leading-edge research that provides a broad perspective for enhancing the effectiveness of technological innovation and leverages the expertise of IRI members from across industries. The ROR experience provides working group participants an invaluable learning experience and a wealth of network connections.

Individual ROR groups are initiated by members who express an interest in a particular area. Volunteers define each project and set each group's research agenda. Project leaders may invite experts from outside of IRI, such as academic researchers or consultants, to participate in the group. These outside participants provide additional subject matter expertise and can help facilitate the timely completion of the project.

ROR working groups meet three times per year-once in February, once at IRI's Annual Meeting in May, and once at the Member Summit in October. Many projects continue their work between meetings, either virtually or through additional face-to-face meetings.

All projects are open to all members, and a member may join a project at any stage in its life cycle. …

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