T his morning a friend shared an article that triggered some thoughts:
For the past year, I have been developing an approach with our colleagues at Fraunhofer to apply market-tested principles of innovation to Purdue.
As the article notes, the Obama Administration is using the Fraunhofer model as a template for its new national network of manufacturing institutes.
We start from a different premise. Our approach, developed in close consultation with our colleagues at Fraunhofer, is far more lean, agile and scalable. Practically, it is more adaptable to the US context.
Rather than establishing freestanding institutes, our Purdue-Fraunhofer team believes we can adopt Fraunhofer’s market-facing frameworks and tools to accelerate innovation within the ecosystem surrounding our research universities.
As a first step, it requires distinguishing between a university’s startup ecosystem and its innovation ecosystem. The two are different. Overall, I suspect, we have not been spending attention attention to the innovation ecosystems surrounding our universities.
We are finding a receptive audience for these ideas:
- Next week, I have been given the opportunity present these ideas in a keynote to the APLU-CICEP Summer meeting in San Diego.
- This week, our colleagues Purdue Sabine Brunswicker and Scott Hutcheson are in Stuttgart for an international R&D conference at Fraunhofer. Sabine is leading a track on open strategy, and Scott is presenting his research on regional strategy, which supports our strategy work.
- Our colleagues at Kansas State suggested last week that Strategic Doing is emerging as a strategy protocol for designing and guiding strategy in open, loosely connected networks. (Think “open innovation”). This summer, we are working on approaches to roll Strategic Doing out across both Kansas and Alaska with our university partners.