CBIS News and Events

Dr. Gina O'Connor to speak at Frontiers of Biotechnology Seminar Series

Dr. Gina O'Connor, Professor and Associate Dean, Lally School of Management

“From the Lab to the Market: Large Mature Companies and the Challenges of Commercializing Breakthroughs”

Conventional wisdom suggests that breakthroughs come from lean, nimble startups, while large mature companies compete through operational excellence and incremental innovation, yet this is not necessarily the case. This research program has followed companies’ attempts to build a capability for breakthrough innovation over three phases. Dr. O’Connor presents insights to the challenges companies face and ways they are circumventing them to build management systems to bring breakthroughs to market.

Dr. Gina O’Connor is Professor of Marketing and Innovation Management and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at the Lally School of Management, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York.  Her fields of interest include radical innovation in the mature company context, technology commercialization, and strategic marketing management in high-tech and deep-tech arenas. The majority of her research efforts focus on how mature firms link advanced technology development to market opportunities. Her articles have been published in Organization Science, California Management Review, Harvard Business Review, Sloan Management Review, Academy of Management Executive, R&D Management and the Journal of Marketing, among others. Four of her papers have won Best Paper of the Year award in the Journal of Product Innovation Management.

She is a coauthor of the book Radical Innovation: How Mature Firms Can Outsmart Upstarts (Harvard Business School Press, 2000) and lead author of Grabbing Lightning: Building a Capability for Breakthrough Innovation (Jossey-Bass, 2008), which won the Strategy + Business magazine Innovation Award as one of four most influential books for 2008.  Her most recent book, Beyond the Champion: Roles and Responsibilities for an Innovation Function, is the third to come from the Radical Innovation Research Program at RPI. She is founding partner of rInnovationGroup, a consultancy that works with companies to build their capabilities for “Beyond Incremental” innovation. She can be reached at oconng@rpi.edu.