University Engagement and the Crossroads of Organic and Inorganic Innovation

Chris Ramming

Senior Director of Research and Innovation at vmware

as recorded on 17 February 2022 as part of Innov8rs Connect on Startup Collaboration & Ecosystem Engagement

Many companies grow through a thoughtful balance of organic and inorganic innovation. University research engagements can be thought of as seeding both categories. The resulting inventions, often joint, are generally inspired by insights stemming from both industry context and university expertise. In addition, research translation arising from a university-industry engagement can happen both organically (through corporate research translation processes) and with increasing frequency, inorganically (through the acquisition of faculty startups). This talk surfaced challenges, opportunities, and best practices around university engagement and innovation in the presence of faculty startups.

About the speaker

Chris Ramming is a research manager with a passion for bridging theory and practice. He joined VMware to help drive organic innovation and is responsible for the VMware academic research program as well as an incubator that explores disruptive technologies to create new revenue streams for the company. He serves on the CRA Board and is a member of the CRA-Industry steering group; he serves on the DARPA ISAT steering committee and is a former chair; he is also immediate past chair of the UIDP. He has worked with several leading research organizations including Intel Labs, DARPA, AT&T Research, and Bell Labs.

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