“Science sharing” and tuning R&D

Tapscott and Williams in BusinessWeek offering examples of companies such as Novartis and Intel that are encouraging open systems of collaboration:

As large-scale scientific collaborations become the norm, scientists will rely increasingly on distributed methods of collecting data, verifying discoveries, and testing hypotheses not only to speed things up but to improve the veracity of scientific knowledge itself.

Meanwhile, the Economist gives a good overview of some more recent trends in corporate R&D, notably that labs are shifting their attention and forces from research to development:

Companies tinker with today’s products rather than pay researchers to think big thoughts. More often than not, firms hungry for innovation look to mergers and acquisitions with their peers, partnerships with universities and takeovers of venture-capital-backed start-ups.
Modern technology firms are much less vertically integrated. They use networks of outsourced suppliers and assemblers, which has led to the splintering of research divisions.
“The lesson learnt is that you don’t isolate researchers,” says Eric Schmidt, the boss of Google, who started his career as a computer scientist at Bell Labs and later at Xerox PARC. The “smart people on the hill” method no longer works, he adds. Instead, researchers have become intellectual mercenaries for product teams: they are there to solve immediate needs.
The old model of research, of “putting people in a bubble”, is over, he says. The most interesting research is now done “where technology touches people”

Amongst the usual suspects Yahoo! is cited as reference, more here (if you’re fluent in german): Innovationsmanagement @ Yahoo!

  1. […] “Science sharing” and tuning R&D […]