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Leveraging Innovation Ecosystems: Innovation Alliances

Welcome to a blog for corporate managers in the United States that focuses on multi-party alliances that align potential innovation partners into large scale, innovation initiatives. Our focus is going to be on strategic level innovation: new product lines, new architectures, breakthrough innovations, rapid growth advances and new systems level solutions. These multi-party alliances are broader than one-on-one partnerships, small groups or R&D consortia and often involve government research organizations, academic and investor supported startup networks such as accelerators or incubators.

Meeting Organizational Innovation Needs

Our future blogs and article releases will inform leaders and managers seeking a single information source about the current trends and most successful methods to address decisions facing managers:

· Value- How to assess whether multi-party, innovation alliances are valuable relative and meet organizational needs relative to other alternatives.

· Designs- How to understand the different charters, designs, organizational structures, financial models and legal vehicles.

· Implementation-How to organize, launch, lead, manage and administer Innovation Alliances in the United States.

Insights About Different Innovation Alliance Types by Charter and Leader

We will provide insights about the primary form of corporate innovation ecosystem:

· Single organization led- Coordinating one or more innovation ecosystem networks of suppliers, academics, small businesses, investor led startup groups for product and process improvement, often with connection to evolving platforms

We will also provide insights about existing innovation ecosystems that can be tapped for innovation:

· Industry organizations- R&D consortia, test & evaluation, IP sharing pools

· Regional economic development authorities- Regional innovation clusters (RIC’s) and regional innovation strategies (RIS)

· US Federal government- Federal led, multi-party innovation public/private partnerships (I-PPP), multi-party advisory boards and shared innovation ecosystem networks

· Academic based- Membership based academic institutes and research centers

· Investor facilitated- Investor supported networks of incubators, accelerators and syndicated investing networks, often for closed or gated innovation platforms.

Understanding Purpose, Design, and Implementation

We will provide information and insights about the most common design and implementation features that drive successful outcomes for IA’s

· Strategic objective- Securing alignment across organizations, cultures and leaders to achieve a shared outcome of common interest.

o Leadership convening capacity- Leader organizations with the capacity to convene stakeholders. Leadership capacity includes central governments (e.g. US innovation strategies, major Federal programs, leading Federal laboratories), industry associations, regional innovation clusters and academic-linked research centers.

o Common shared objectives- Shaping or controlling concepts of operations, architectures, production and process systems to reduce cost, speed development and align supply chains

o Common alignment methods- Scenario planning, technology road-mapping

· Governance and Organization Structures- Decisions regarding governance structures, management systems, systems engineering, systems integration, task and technical teams, membership rights and responsibilities, and 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 organizations, 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- Fundamental information and updates about the mix of financing sources sought and the associated accounting treatment from those sources, e.g. GAAP, GAAS, direct financing, off-balance sheet financing, government financing (Federal, state and local), Federal government cost-sharing, standards for Federal cost-sharing recognized for R&D tax credit rather than expenditures.

· Alliance formation processes- Information about the fundamentals of alliance formation processes and their distinct methods by type of leader organization, including US Federal partnership processes, regional economic development participation practices, academic institute membership costs and practices, industry consortia practices and investor/venture capital groupings of startups to create shared technology outcomes. Each of these leader types utilizes different methods of partner solicitation, screening and selection.

· R&D Management and Technology Development Processes- Information about the fundamentals of multi-party, R&D management and how they are adjusted for the different types of strategic innovation alliances. The blog will address decision topics such as program formulation, project definition, project team charters, project team leadership & management, project tracking and reporting, intellectual property identification and finally integration to achieve strategic objectives.

· Property Rights- Information about the fundamentals of intellectual property creation, protection and allocation among the alliance participants. The blog will provide updates about evolving IP rulings and precedents within the context of the different forms of strategic innovation alliances.

· Metrics and Value Measurement- Information about the fundamentals of performance metrics and value measurement as applied to multi-party, R&D innovation alliances. The blog will address the differences in metrics and value measurement as applied in the different types of strategic innovation alliances, including Federal government policy measure to assure optimized R&D dissemination to maximize competition; regional government policy measurement to assure optimum job formation; academic organization measures to assure optimization of PhD dissertations and university revenue; industry association & consortia measures to maximize the dissemination of advances to increase global competitiveness.


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