UGA’s Terry College of Business and IBM launch study of innovation

Athens, Ga. – IBM and the University of Georgia have launched a research initiative to find out how great inventions, business models, technology and profit influence innovation.

The collaboration is part of IBM’s Shared University Research award program, created to exemplify the deep partnership between academia and the industry to explore research in areas essential to fuel innovation. IBM has donated $80,000 in systems and software to the University of Georgia’s Terry College of Business where students will work together with IBM Research and Market Intelligence to delve into the topic of innovation.

“The future of successful companies will depend not on how much they spend on research and development but on how efficiently they direct their innovative efforts to provide solutions to real customer problems and convert their inventions into marketable and profitable offerings,” said Srinivas K. Reddy, the Robert O. Arnold Professor of Business at the Terry College.

As a result of this grant, which is one of the first Innovation grants from IBM, the marketing students will provide IBM with a set of guidelines on how it has come to develop innovation that matters to both the company and its clients. The team will develop the “roadmap” by researching how IBM has consistently found creative, cost-efficient and convenient solutions and inventions for customers in the past. In addition, a published report will document how certain business practices can turn into profitable innovations.

Under the direction of Reddy, who directs the Terry College’s Coca-Cola Center for Marketing Studies, students will be provided with case studies from IBM. The team will take a look at IBM accomplishments in the form of patents, awards and products that have made an impact by either increasing revenue, saving money or by gaining brand name recognition. The marketing students also will research the steps that have been taken to turn innovations into successful sellers.

Besides studying innovations that have led to actual products, the team also will study a wide range statistics and data from industries other than technology — such as pharmaceuticals. They will analyze a company’s successes and attempts at marketing certain innovations. The findings will help researchers develop their guidelines and will help them figure out how innovations can affect a company’s profits.

About IBM’s SUR grants

IBM’s highly-selective SUR program awards computing equipment to institutions of higher education around the world to facilitate research projects in areas of mutual interest including: the architecture of business and processes, privacy and security, supply chain management, information based medicine, deep computing, Grid Computing, Autonomic Computing, and storage solutions. The SUR awards also support the advancement of university projects by connecting top researchers in academia with IBM researchers, along with representatives from product development and solution provider communities. IBM supports over 50 SUR awards per year worldwide.

About the Terry College of Business

The Terry College of Business at the University of Georgia was founded in 1912 as the School of Commerce, making it the oldest business school in the South. Today, the college delivers top-quality instruction while providing its world-class faculty a climate for both basic and applied research and a service program designed to meet the needs of the business community of Georgia and beyond. Through a strategic planning process, the college adopted its purpose of developing leaders for the world’s private enterprise system. Its undergraduate and MBA programs are consistently ranked among the top 20 public business schools by U.S. News & World Report, BusinessWeek, The Financial Times and other college guides.