HR For R&D: How Should HR Support Breakthrough Innovation Working Group | Hosted by Merck | October 6, 2017 | Boston, MA

Friday | October 06, 2017

Register Now

Download the Working Group Notes

LOCATION:   Merck Research Laboratories | 33 Avenue Louis Pasteur | Boston, MA 02115

Innovation is an important engine of economic growth and a vital source of corporate productivity and profitability. However because R&D is risky and uncertain, many public corporations have been scaling back their investments in basic research.  Gone are the halcyon days of well-resourced R&D labs such as AT&T Bell Labs and Xerox PARC.  Firms must develop (or acquire) breakthrough innovations more quickly and more efficiently than ever before.

This raises important questions for the HR function:
  • How should breakthrough innovation be encouraged and managed?
  • How can firms attract and retain R&D talent?
  • Can R&D talent be developed and promoted from within or must it be acquired externally?
  • How are compensation and incentives different for R&D staff?
  • What role does HR play in supporting breakthrough innovation?

To date there has been relatively little discussion of these topics in the press, or within the HR profession.  Our Third working group on this topic is an effort to continue our conversations and generate practical insights for CAHRS partners.
We will begin by illuminating the unique organizational and managerial challenges faced by businesses that rely on basic science and Ph.D.-level scientists and engineers drawing from recent academic research on scientific innovation.  We will devote some time to discussing the HR challenges in supporting this population.
We are aware that many of our CAHRS partner firms are undertaking efforts to encourage and support breakthrough innovations including the selection of talent, cultivating a culture that sparks innovation, innovating ways of work, building skills and capabilities and the use technology/different operating models.  In our working group, participants will share lessons learned from these efforts.  Which of these things are working?  Which are not?  Why?
Our intended audience for this working group are HR leaders who work with and support research, basic science, and the R&D function.

This working group will run from 8:30-3:00pm with a continental breakfast and working lunch.  The session is free of charge to CAHRS partner firms, but participation is limited to no more than twenty-five attendees.

Cornell Discussion Leader:
Diane Burton is Associate Professor of Human Resources, ILR School, Cornell University

Hotel Accommodations:

Hotel Commonwealth
Residence Inn by Marriott Boston Back Bay/Fenway
Hilton Boston Back Bay

© 2016 Cornell University | ILR School