Part of my sabbatical has been spending time with academia and I’ve learned there are some great things going on at our universities.
In the spirit of the annual Leeds/Reading music festival (best bands I’ve seen there were The Arctic Monkeys and The Hives) I’ve created two parallel blogs – one with an example from Leeds and one from Reading.
This is a great MSc course and I’ve blogged previously about the Innovation Management in Practice module which is now an important part of it.
The first time I was engaged with the MSc course was early in 2015 when I hosted a visit for the students to see innovation in action at IBM Hursley. We repeated the visit for this year’s class in March 2016.
In their course the students have learned a lot about the technology push and market pull aspects of innovation. The focus of the visits has been on learning and experiencing real examples of the application of emerging technologies at the sharp end of this intersection between the push and pull forces.
We included short talks on making innovation happen, visits to the IBM Innovation Centre and lots of time with members of the IBM Emerging Technology Services team – including discussion sessions, lab visits and technology demos from IBM Senior and Master Inventors.
Technology focus areas covered included The Internet of Things, Mobile, Augmented Reality and of course IBM Watson cognitive technologies.
The students fed back it was a fantastic experience. They were inspired by seeing new and emerging technologies being applied to drive business value across many spheres and industries.
Industry engagement like this is a very practical way for universities to help their students learn from “the real world” and I think it is great that universities like Leeds really focus on this.
Personally I love going to Hursley and catching up with what is happening and meeting colleagues and friends, old and new. My biggest thanks are to the two IBM leaders who helped to make these visits happen and work – Kevin Turner in 2015 and Helen McAllister in 2016 – many thanks to you both and the teams who supported.
We’re now looking forward to the next visit in 2017.