Rob Munro

Associate Industrial Fellow - The Institute for Manufacturing, University of Cambridge

Presentation Title : Technology Strategy Toolkit: The R&D Managers’ Secret Weapon

Abstract : Companies are frequently looking for growth, innovation and productivity gains to enhance their prospects over the longer term. Unfortunately, more 90% of strategy fails to some extent. For business and technology leaders, making sense of new technologies and effectively and at speed is crucial. Creating well-aligned new product programmes that are rigorously underpinned makes the best use of a firm’s precious resources. The technology strategy is the key link between the firm’s commercial objectives and its new product pipeline. Research by the IfM has developed a solution to more quickly and effectively develop or refresh the company technology strategy. A modular approach of decision-support methods and workshop facilitation combine to provide a scalable strategic thinking and planning toolkit. The audience will hear examples from IfM’s large company experience to a case study with SME’s needing light touch yet credible results. Ways of developing in-house capability are offered.

: Rob Munro is a technology and innovation management specialist and works with business and innovation leaders within the high-value manufacturing community and government. Before becoming an innovation and technology-focussed specialist Rob spent twenty-four years within speciality chemical and material companies ICI and Johnson Matthey creating new technologies and building new businesses. He held senior line management positions in manufacturing operations, commercial and R&D with strong track record in developing business and innovation strategies, improving business work processes and delivering complex high-value projects. Today, Rob assists clients move their organizations forward in the following key areas, ‘ Developing effective technology and innovation strategies that align the organization. ‘ Enabling the transformation of organizations for Open Innovation. ‘ Creating more effective innovation systems in general and specifically front-end innovation. As a research practitioner in innovation management, Rob is an active chemical engineer with a deep interest in using science and technology to respond to the challenges of climate change, population growth and resource depletion. Rob holds a Masters’ degree in Chemical and Process Engineering and an MBA from Manchester Business School where innovation theory and management was a particular focus.