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Agile Innovation: Strategic Company-University Collaborations

Steven Fraser
Innoxec (Innovation Executive Services)

May 24, 2019 at  2:00 PM
Macdonald Engineering Room 497


Technology companies benefit from an open innovation model. Instead of relying solely on internal technical staff to innovate, companies frequently build wider ecosystems by establishing collaborative relationships with university researchers. Collaboration programs are often a cost-effective way to catalyze innovation, attract new talent, and improve a company's reputation. Universities benefit from an open innovation model by connecting with companies to attract additional funding, increase focus on real-world challenges, influence market/product direction, and incubate employment opportunities for their graduates. This seminar explores collaboration techniques, benefits, and potential challenges. We will present collaboration approaches used by companies and universities – and explore the benefits and failure modes of company/university engagement. Areas to be discussed include: choosing the right collaboration model, communicating to stakeholders on the progress of collaboration (outcomes), and managing intellectual property issues.


Steven Fraser is based in Silicon Valley and has served as an innovation catalyst with global influence for Innoxec, HP, Cisco, Qualcomm, and Nortel. His roles have included: consulting on tech transfer for Innoxec, HP’s Lead for Global University Programs, Director of the Cisco Research Center, Senior Staff at Qualcomm’s Learning Center, and Senor Manager of Disruptive Technologies and Global External Research at Nortel. In addition to a year as a Visiting Scientist at Carnegie Mellon University’s Software Engineering Institute (SEI) consulting on domain engineering processes and software best practices he has organized over 75 conferences, panels, workshops, and tutorials.
Steven is the Program Co-Chair of the Agile Alliance’s XP2019 held at ETS in Montréal – May 21 to 25, 2019.
Steven holds a Doctorate (Electrical Engineering) from McGill University in Montréal, Canada, a Masters in engineering Physics from Queen’s University, and a Bachelors in Physics and Computer Science from McGill. He is a senior member of both the ACM and the IEEE. His interests focus on alleviating the “soft” challenges of developing systems highly dependent on software and the practices/strategies used to accelerate the adoption and deployment of new technologies.