406355 IRI2038 Futures Study: A Journey into the Future of R&D Management

Wednesday, November 11, 2015: 9:20 AM
Deer Valley I/II (Salt Lake Marriott Downtown at City Creek)
Lee Green1, Ted Farrington2, Christian Crews2, Edward Bernstein1 and Anthony Nickens3, (1)Industrial Research Institute, Arlington, VA, (2)AndSpace Consulting, Arlington, VA, (3)Ceramatec, Inc., Salt Lake City, UT

As part of the Industrial Research Institute’s 75th Anniversary Celebration, it commissioned the IRI2038 Futures Study, a futures initiative designed to answer the following question: How will possible future developments and events impact the art and science of research and technology management over the next 25 years?

After examining hundreds of trends, weak signals, and implications, the Futures Study was able to create four plausible, yet provocative scenarios about the future of R&D and innovation management:

•             Africa Leapfrogs Developed Countries

•             Everything’s In Beta

•             Three Roads to Innovation

•             Death of Distance vs. Megacities

These scenarios are not predictions of the future.  They are tools to enable practitioners to better prepare for the real future as it unveils itself.  The more a particular theme appears across all four scenarios, the more likely it is that it will come to fruition.  Key themes to watch include:  the death of IP, augmented humans, the era of women, and the end of the time zone problem.

Presentation of this study includes the process of doing a foresights study of this size, a description of each of the scenarios, and key trends that R&D practitioners need to consider.  Breakout sessions can include a backcasting exercise, a great way to bring the scenarios to life and get people thinking about how they can actually apply the themes touched on in the study.

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