Henry ChesbroughHenry Chesbrough, faculty director of the Garwood Center for Corporate Innovation, was honored with a medal from the Industrial Research Institute (IRI) this month for his standout work in innovation management.

Chesbrough, an adjunct professor who is widely recognized as the father of open innovation, accepted the medal at the IRI’s May 10 annual meeting. The IRI, which represents 200 industrial and service companies interested in effectively managing technological innovation, has awarded the medal since 1946 to top leaders in industrial research.

Chesbrough said his own research has benefited greatly from the IRI and close observation of several of its member companies that have implemented open innovation.

The open innovation concept, which Chesbrough introduced in 2003, argues that companies need to tear down the walls between their R&D organizations and outside companies and innovators. Chesbrough believes that businesses cannot afford to rely entirely on their own research, but should instead buy or license R&D processes and inventions such as patents from other companies.

“As the pace of change quickens across industries, organizations are looking at open innovation not just as a tool for solving unique technology challenges, but for expanding it to include a wider variety of participants and making a significant impact on corporate business models,” Chesbrough said.  

The recipient of multiple awards for his research, Chesbrough in 2015 was named to the Thinkers50 global ranking of management pioneers. The Thinkers50 global ranking of management thinkers, published every two years, has been described by the Financial Times and others as the “Oscars of management thinking.”

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