Teece Outlines Ambitions for Institute for Business Innovation

As the new faculty director of the Institute for Business Innovation (IBI), Professor David Teece is setting his sights on launching new programs that will support research on the management of intellectual property and the impact of information technology on business and the economy. 

These new initiatives will be part of an effort to deepen society’s understanding of the relationships among management, innovation, intellectual property, and economic growth.

Teece succeeds Haas Professor Michael Katz, who left to take a three-year post on the UC Berkeley Budget Committee. Teece, who had built the institute from a small base beginning in 1983, was joined at IBI in August by new Executive Director Maria Carkovic, who brings a global perspective to the institute. Carkovic previously served as director of Brown University's Program in Commerce, Organizations, and Entrepreneurship and taught International Trade and Global Macroeconomics at Brown.

The Institute of Business Innovation is an umbrella organization that promotes interdisciplinary research, instruction, and corporate outreach on innovation, entrepreneurship, and technology. It oversees and provides strategic direction for the Lester Center for Entrepreneurship; Fisher Center for Management and Technology; and the Garwood Center for Corporate Innovation, which includes Haas@Work and the school's Open Innovation Program.

“I look forward to taking the institute forward into new areas and garnering for Haas appropriate credit for the work our faculty has done and is doing on innovation,” says Teece.  “In particular, I salute the work of Professor Katz and his stewardship of the institute over the past two years.” 

Teece is clear that he wants to strengthen what IBI has as well as forge new initiatives. "We aim to rejuvenate existing programs and launch new ones focused on intellectual capital," adds Teece, a world-recognized authority on strategy and innovation, who served as director of IBI's predecessor organization from 1983 to 2009.

"I also want to explore the online world, particularly online education, innovation, and the management of technology, and how we can potentially assist the university in its effort there. The development and likely impact of online education on the higher education sector will also be the focus of research efforts," he added. "All of these initiatives will require additional fundraising."

Teece has been a leading force in the study of intellectual capital and its relationship to management practices. "The American economy depends increasingly on intangible assets, whether it's in the tech industry, entertainment, or branded products," Teece says. "Yet in business school we have previously focused on how to manage tangible assets."

He envisions a program focused on managing intellectual capital that supports research, engages PhD students, and amplifies outreach to the business community.

More immediately, Teece, Carkovic, and Lester Center Faculty Director Toby Stuart already are exploring a signature annual event on entrepreneurship and innovation that would involve the Lester and Garwood centers.

Teece also wants to strengthen ties to the College of Engineering, such as Berkeley Skydeck, an interdisciplinary business accelerator that is a joint venture with the College of Engineering.  “Perhaps we can go further and, where appropriate, help the entire campus conceptualize around how to bring university research to practice.” 

He also is very keen to expand the Berkeley Open Innovation Forum, which brings companies from diverse industries together to share ideas on open innovation. This program was started by Adjunct Professor Henry Chesbrough, PhD 97, executive director of the Garwood Center for Corporate Innovation.

Teece will be building on a long history of success at the institute and its predecessors.  He notes that the institute's history dates back to the 1960s, when its predecessor, the Center for Research in Management Science, was blazing new trails exploring the applications of computing to support business decisions.  “Pat Murphy, IBI’s lead administrator, and her staff have been the lynchpins of our success over the decades,” remarks Teece.

In the 1980s and 1990s Teece launched many initiatives, including the Consortium on Competitiveness, aimed at pursuing a deeper understanding of the declining competitiveness of certain industries. Over two decades, he raised approximately $20 million in grants and gifts and built a sizeable endowment for the institute. Those funds helped launch the Lester Center for Entrepreneurship, the Garwood Center for Corporate Innovation, and other programs.

"Berkeley-Haas has led the way in research on entrepreneurship and innovation for decades," Teece says. "We want to make sure the public and business community know this and that we continue to be at the forefront in these fields."

David Teece