Campus News

Grant from IBM will be used to launch study of innovation

Srinivas Reddy

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 UGA’s Terry College of Business where students will work with IBM Research and Market ­Intelligence to delve into the topic of innovation.

Srinivas K. Reddy, the Robert O. Arnold Professor of Business at the Terry College, said, “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.”

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 “road map” 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 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 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.