October 21, 2014

Haas Creates New Center on Corporate Innovation

Dean Rich Lyons recently announced the creation of the Garwood Center for Corporate Innovation at the Haas School, expanding the school's focus on large-enterprise innovation.

The creation of the Garwood Center was made possible by a $4.5 million endowment from the late Ed Garwood, BS 31, and his wife, Elsie. Adjunct Professor Henry Chesbrough, who previously led the school's Center for Open Innovation, will serve as the inaugural faculty director of the Garwood Center. The creation of the Garwood Center is part of a restructuring of Haas’ Institute of Business Innovation, which is overseen by Professor Michael Katz.

“Ed and Elsie Garwood’s generosity has allowed us to launch this new Center, which is a natural extension of Haas’ focus on the innovative leader. It will complement our successful and growing activities related to innovation by startup companies," says Katz. "The Garwood Center will provide a focus on the particular problems of innovation in a corporate context. Henry Chesbrough’s track record as the ‘father of Open Innovation’ makes him ideally suited to lead this new endeavor within the institute.”

“Globalization and commoditization are creating significant challenges for corporate innovation,” Chesbrough observes. "To sustain growth and profits in today’s world, corporations will need to extend innovation beyond their products and technologies to business models and services. The Garwood Center will focus on both academic research and management practices that address these challenges.”

The Garwood Center will house a range of activities previously under the auspices of the Center for Open Innovation. Activities of the renamed Open Innovation Program will include courses; a speaker series; and the Berkeley Innovation Forum, a membership organization hosted by Chesbrough to give firms the opportunity to share knowledge about overcoming innovation challenges.

The Garwood Center will also serve as the home of the Project on Business Model Innovation, which received seed funding from Nokia. The program will offer grants for academic research that addresses the challenges faced by large businesses in developing new business models, including revenue and pricing models. The center also will house the school's Haas@Work Program, which is now being led by alumnus David Rochlin, BS 85. Haas@Work is an applied-innovation program in which teams of students work with business clients to develop innovative solutions to their problems.

Garwood is one of three centers housed in the Institute for Business Innovation, which serves as the hub for Haas research, teaching, and outreach on innovation. The other two centers are the Fisher Center for Management & Technology and the Lester Center for Entrepreneurship.

The Lester Center, led by André Marquis, MBA 96, undertakes a wide range of activities supporting entrepreneurship and addressing issues related to innovation in startup ventures. Previously led by Jerry Engel for 18 years, the center hosts courses, public forums, mentoring programs, and two business plan competitions. The Lester Center is at the forefront of research and teaching on scalable startups.

The Fisher Center for Management & Technology is led by Senior Lecturer Sara Beckman and Associate Professor Terrence Hendershott. The late Don Fisher, BS 51, was the founding donor of the center, which embodies his long-held belief that information technology can play a central role in management and business strategy. The center is home of the Fisher CIO Leadership Program, which works with chief information officers to develop them into fully integrated strategic partners in general business management. The Fisher Center also houses the school's courses on design and innovation. Although the use of design thinking in business is currently a “hot, new topic” nationwide, Beckman has been leading Haas efforts in this area for 15 years.

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