Strategic Innovation Alliances

Welcome to the first blog in the United States that focuses solely on the multi-party alliances that generate strategic level innovation: new industries, shared architectures, new standards for systems level solutions. These multi-party alliances are different that strategic partnerships or R&D consortia, and often involve companies, universities and governments.

We hope to provide information for leaders and managers seeking a single information source about the current trends and most successful methods to organize, launch, lead and manage strategic innovation alliances in the United States:

·      Industry focused- R&D consortia, test & evaluation consortia

·      Federal focused- Innovation public/private partnerships (I-PPP)

·      Regional economic development focused- Regional innovation clusters (RICS)

·      Single company focused- Closed/gated architectures and operating systems for supply chain alignment, e.g. Microsoft, Uber, Amazon, Google, Facebook, Twitter, etc.

·      Investor focused- Closed/gated innovation platforms

We will provide information and insights in the most common design and co-management issues for these alliances including.....

·      Strategic Objectives- Strategic alignment approach

o   Leader- Single commercial firm, industry trade associations, Federal government leadership, regional innovation cluster (RIC) leadership, research center leadership (private, university)

o   Objectives- Shaping or control of concepts of operations, architectures, supply chain alignment, open systems, gated systems, closed systwms

o   Alignment- Scenario planning, technology road-mapping

·      Governance and Organization Structures- Decisions regarding governance structure; management system; options for systems engineering; systems integration; task and technical teams; membership rights and responsibilities at each leve; decision criteria at each level

·      Legal Vehicles- Decisions regarding types of multi-party agreements (contracts, best efforts, joint ventures); membership via non-profit R&D organization: types of non-profit organizations (Inc, LLC, LLP, B Corp); anti-trust exemption filing (DOJ); tax treatment vehicles: tax deductible, R&D direct tax credit; R&D indirect tax credit; governmental partnership legal vehicles; regional economic development partnership vehicles

·    Financing and Cost Sharing- Mix of financing sources with associated accounting treatment including: direct financing, off-balance sheet financing; government financing (Federal and regional); Federal government cost sharing; standards for Federal cost-sharing recognized for R&D tax credit rather than expenditures

·    Partnership formation process- The engagement of partners requires the utilization of a partnership formation process with distinct means of public solicitation, partner screening, and potential partner selection.

·    Managed research/technology development process- The joint effort requires a managed research and technology process that raises issues of program/project formulation, organization, legal engagement, management, and shutdown.

·    Property rights- The joint effort requires defining and allocating property rights at the partnership formation stage.

·    Value measurement- The partnership requires distinct means of value measurement.