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Collaborative Innovation Across Industry-Academy and Functional Boundaries: How Companies Innovate with Interdisciplinary Faculty and Student Teams

Authors/Editors: Spanjol, J.
Scott, M.J.
Melamed, S.
Page, A.L.
Bergh, D.
Pfanner, P.
Published: 2014
Type: Articles in Books and Non-Refereed Journals
ISBN/ISSN: 978-1-118-77077-1
Published by: Abbie Griffin, Serdar Durmusoglu, and Charles Noble (eds.): Open Innovation: New Product Development Essentials from the PDMA, Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons Inc., 175-222.


This chapter describes a model of industry university collaboration that provides a structured and systematic approach to producing tangible, actionable insights and new product concepts for organizations. The specific program described has been developed at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), where it is called Interdisciplinary Product Development (IPD). The IPD model helps new product development (NPD) practitioners develop an understanding of critical elements in open innovation (OI) initiatives, particularly when engaging with academic partners. The keys to success and pitfalls to avoid described in the chapter, while framed specifically within the UIC IPD model, are likely to apply to any course-based industry-university OI initiative. Student teams become adept at working with the information provided by the partner organization and reframing the problem statement, supported by their research, in order to ensure that they are moving down a path to solve the right problem.

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