The Radical Future of R&D
The cover story in BusinessWeek’s September 7th edition was titled “The Radical Future of R&D”. One of the articles in this edition was about science and job creation, “How Science Can Create Millions of New Jobs”.
The premise of this article is that the overall innovation pipeline is faltering. This is mostly due to corporate under-investment and short term needs for capital gains on R&D activities. In short, companies have moved costly or volume production to low cost areas and for the past two decades there has not been anything to really fill the void. So, the assumption of this article is that a renewed, intense investment in science needs to happen for major job creation to happen to cope with current unemployment, projected population growth, and urbanization.
If you think about it (although conventional logic would say different ) when was the last BIG thing? The last big driver that caused a shift in the economy was the spread of the internet in the mid-90s. There was another article a few months back, also in BusinessWeek, called “Innovation, Interrupted” that examines the actual lack of innovation over the past decade.
The article talks about accelerating innovation and the author’s own recommendations for venture capitalists, government, industry, and academic roles in these efforts. The idea of accelerating innovation is compelling.
You can argue that a w0rld where you have to report on return on investment at quarterly intervals may limit risk and innovation. Conversely, you can argue that in order to innovate profitably, you need to quickly identify that single, viable idea, and accelerate its introduction to market. On an earlier blog I suggested that the “Edison model” of innovation may not be the ideal anymore – we can’t fail a thousand times before we succeed, we need to decide quickly on the ONE idea and bring it to market as quickly as possible.
In terms of PCB development, we can measure success both by bottom line (cost, time) and top line. Top line represents opportunity. If we can enable accelerated time-to-market, not only are we enabling better premiums in the marketplace but we are also enabling more time to innovate for current and future projects.
I invite all of you to visit the re-designed multimedia section on mentor.com for PCB. There you will see customer testimonials, on-line demos, and on-demand webinars. We fully believe that we are enablers of a radical (and better) future of R&D and product development.
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