Blog posts from February, 2012

Conference presentations reveal benefits and challenges of Open Innovation

February 24, 2012 by MAGNET Ohio

Last week, I attended the CoDev 2012 Conference in San Diego–which had as its focus the topics of Co-Development and Open Innovation. This was the eleventh annual such gathering, sponsored by The Management Roundtable and the Product Development Management Association. The conference’s tagline is: "Achieving Higher Open Innovation Returns While Managing Risk, Cost & Uncertainty." Open innovation is the practice of looking outside your organization for expertise and/or ideas that can help you pursue new products or new business models. I expected to hear about a long history of success stories from many of the companies presenting case studies which included large firms such as Corning, Avery Dennison, and Kraft Foods. What I actually heard was that a disciplined, systemic approach to open innovation that has full backing of the organization is more of an aspiration than a reality right now, as these firms are still working on how to make it work for them. It should not surprise me that these firms don’t quite have it right because open innovation is difficult, even for large firms.  Getting your organization to make innovation a key element of your business strategy is difficult enough in its own right, and figuring out

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Wanted: Manufacturers seeking double-digit growth

February 10, 2012 by MAGNET Ohio

Are you a manufacturer that: Has ideas for new products or innovative processes that could deliver double-digit growth? Needs help in developing and realizing your growth potential? Is ready to work closely with experts through the entire commercialization process, from vetting to launch? Wants to be "Meaningfully Unique" in a commodity world? If your answer to all these questions is "Yes," we at MAGNET want to reach out to you. This year, MAGNET is formally launching a comprehensive new program called Partnership for Regional Innovation Services to Manufacturers (PRISM). This is a long name for a program with a simple purpose: help small- to medium-size manufacturers in Northeast Ohio thrive in today’s global marketplace. PRISM is a new business model and natural evolution of MAGNET’s original mandate. The concept is simple: Help manufacturers realize their growth plans faster, cheaper, and with less risk while creating a continuous flow from innovation thru launch. With PRISM, participating manufacturers will be able to leverage all Northeast Ohio’s many regional assets to create sustained manufacturing growth for Ohio. PRISM clients will have easy access to MAGNET’s well-documented 4-D innovation process, an entire network of partners, including economic development organizations, government agencies, universities, service providers

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MAGNET Engineer leads sustainability class at Kent State University

February 02, 2012 by MAGNET Ohio

MAGNET’s Product Development Manager, Aaron Marshall, has been instructing a graduate level class that runs this semester at Kent State University, located in Kent, Ohio.  The goal of the class is to teach students how to come up with ways to make products more sustainable, while using a program called Sustainable Minds. "Sustainable Minds is a software that allows you to create a baseline of your products," Marshall says. "It helps the students analyze how sustainable products are." This Life Cycle Design II class allows the students to think critically in order for them to come up with unique ideas to improve, redesign and modify components in order to make a product achieve certain standards. "I’m teaching them how to think differently and how to evaluate a product from the sustainable design standpoint," says Marshall. Their final project of the semester will require the students to come up with corporate sustainability goals and then redesign a product to achieve those goals. Find out more about the MAGNET Product Design & Development group at

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