Teece Outlines Ambitions for Institute for Business Innovation

As the new faculty director of the Institute for Business Innovation (IBI), Professor David Teece is aiming his sights on launching new programs focused on intellectual property and online education as part of an effort to bring management and innovation closer together.

Teece succeeds Haas Professor Michael Katz, who left to take a three-year post on the UC Berkeley Budget Committee. Teece 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 matters related to innovation, entrepreneurship, and technology. It oversees and provides strategic direction for the Lester Center for Entrepreneurship; Fisher Center for Management and Technology; and Garwood Center for Corporate Innovation, which includes Haas@Work and the school's Open Innovation Program.

With IBI's support, the Garwood Center has sent out a call to faculty for proposals to receive grant money for innovation-related research. IBI also is developing a signature annual event on entrepreneurship and innovation that would involve the Lester and Garwood centers.

"We aim to rejuvenate existing programs and launch new ones focused on intellectual capital," saysTeece, a world-recognized authority on strategy and innovation, who served as director of IBI's predecessor organization from 1982 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." These programs will involve additional fundraising, Teece says.

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 great brands," Teece says. "Yet in business school we tend to focus on how to manage tangible assets."

He envisions a program focused on intellectual capital that involves more research, PhD students, and outreach to the business community.

Teece also wants to raise the profile of existing programs and activities, including Berkeley Skydeck, an interdisciplinary business accelerator, and the Berkeley Open Innovation Forum, which brings companies from diverse industries together to share ideas on open innovation that 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. The institute's history dates back to the 1960s, when its predecessor, the Center for Management and Research Science, was blazing new trails exploring the applications of computing to business management.

When Teece took the helm of the center in 1982, its heyday had passed and it had a tiny budget. He stepped up its stature by launching an annual event called the Consortium on Competitiveness aimed at pursuing a deeper understanding of the failures of the U.S. economy and attracting close to $20 million in grant money and donations over the next two decades. 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."