What Does Collaborative Generation of Knowledge Mean?

Two main core values of IRI membership are the peer-to-peer transfer of knowledge and the research on best practices in technological innovation. The key vehicles for participating in this learning-rich environment are the IRI Networks and Research activities. Together, volunteers share their experiences and research case studies to establish Best Practices regarding common issues of interest or concern. The research performed is leading-edge because it provides a broader and more diverse perspective for enhancing the effectiveness of technological innovation by leveraging experts across all industries. Participating in these unique groups provides an invaluable learning experience and wealth of network connections. Plenty of opportunities exist for in-person collaboration at meetings, as well as virtual interaction through online discussion forums. Browse one of the groups below for additional information.

How Collaborative Learning at IRI Helps Me Work Smarter

“I’m all about learning from others, understanding what works for them, finding and assessing best practices, and applying them to my situation and challenges.  Utilizing IRI, the members, the research, and reports is a perfect way to collaborate with the best of the best, adjust the results to fit our own situation, and move ahead quickly.”- Sue Burek, former chair, PILOT Steering Committee

IRI Research

When IRI members have complex challenges, PILOT swoops in!

The PILOT Team will help you:

  • Connect with other members facing the same challenge.
  • Select and deploy the right tools to dive into the challenge.
  • Create deliverables to share with your team.

How it works:

  1. IRI connects you with other members in the same boat, forming a working group.
  2. IRI guides you through the research process, organizing and advising, while members of the working group provide intellectual input.
  3. The working group creates a deliverable to share with their teams and the rest of the IRI membership.

To learn more, check out this infographic, go in depth with these explainer slides, or check out this short podcast.

Current Projects

Ideation to H2 Opportunity Portfolio Sign up to learn more
The Stories We Tell:  Understanding How Innovators Solicit, Share, Collect, and Circulate Innovation Stories Sign up to learn more
R&D in the New Normal Sign up to learn more
Organizing Slack Time for Innovation Sign up to learn more
Encouraging Autonomy and Empowering R&D Teams Sign up to learn more
Driving Efficiency/Speed to Market Sign up to receive updates 
Corporate Entrepreneurship Sign up to learn more
Effectiveness University Engagements Sign up to learn more


In the pipeline:

Benchmarking surveys Suggest a topic.
IRI archives deep dives Suggest a theme.
Roundtable discussions Suggest a topic.


Recent work:

Challenge: How can we better recruit and retain early career technical talent?
How we addressed it:

Literature scan, survey of early career professionals, case studies


video report out, RTM article, roundtable presentations

Top Takeaways:

Early and later career professionals mostly want similar things; the biggest differences with early career technical talent are a desire for:

  • Quicker rotation through projects and roles
  • Continuous feedback


Challenge: What metrics should we use for our innovation dashboards?
How we addressed it:

Virtual roundtable discussions, member survey

Deliverables: Report (slide deck), webinar
Top Takeaways:
  • Project-level information reported on innovation dashboards includes metrics on:  potential project value, project’s risk level, and project success. 
  • The metrics rated as most effective for assessing project status are fairly traditional project management metrics (e.g., whether the project is meeting its milestones).
  • Highly rated project risk metrics cover commonly identified areas of innovation project risk: technology risk, market risk, and execution risk.


Challenge: What is Big Data and how is it going to impact how we do R&D?
How we addressed it: Literature review, thought leader interviews, case studies

Big Data Primer, RTM Article on Big Data and R&D Management (including maturity matrix), Research Note: Big Data and R&D Management, Digitalization and R&D: Big Data blog, Digitalization and R&D: Big Data Report Out (video)

Top Takeaways:

Big Data, or ‘uncomfortable data’ as the group dubbed it, will impact R&D management through changes in how R&D is informed, enabled, and disrupted or transformed.  They created a maturity matrix looking at how strategy, people, technology, and process integration would all be impacted in a variety of industries, including manufacturing, food and beverage, high tech, energy, chemicals, health care and pharmaceuticals, and government.


The TVP 2.1 tool is a resource for members of the Industrial Research Institute. Member log-in is required. Background | User Guide | Program Contents | Stakeholders | List of Metrics Information for...
Financial Return New sales ratio Cost savings ratio R&D yield R&D return Projected Value of the R&D Pipeline Projected sales Projected income Number of Ways Technology is Exploited...
Metric 41 - How To Score Your Probability of Business Success Business Attractiveness 1. Sales/Profit Potential (Max 10 Points) Does this opportunity have the potential to make a significant...


Networks are groups of like-minded peers facing similar challenges in an informal idea-sharing session. Don't miss out on this great opportunity to benchmark, discuss hot topics and, of course, network!

External Technology Network

Finance, Strategy & Portfolio Analysis Network

Health, Safety & Environment Network

Human Resources Network

Information Services/Information Technology Network

Innovation Leaders Network

Intellectual Assets Management Network

New Business Development Network

Monday March 07, 2016Wednesday March 09, 2016
Six networks meet for two days of interactive discussions. Highlights include Research working sessions and guest speaker, John Bacon, on lean startup principles.
Monday April 04, 2016Tuesday April 05, 2016
Two days of lively roundtable discussions on the latest topics and trends in the HR aspect of innovation. Special tour of Lubrizol's mechanical and R&D labs scheduled.