IRI Networks Program

IRI’s Networks bring practitioners together to explore member-chosen topics through a combination of peer presentations, interactive roundtables, guest speakers, and workshops. Unlike the more traditional conference format, these sessions have limited seats and are designed to be highly interactive. Attendees have the opportunity to share pain points and troubleshoot with their peers, allowing them to return to the office with specific steps and strategies in hand.

There are currently six Networks in this program, each of which focuses on a different function of innovation and R&D. Each Network has their own agenda, as well as several opportunities to engage with others in various joint sessions. This approach allows topics to be examined from various perspectives and gain a deeper understanding of how it impacts different departments within a company.

Please note that the 2023 Spring Networks Conference has been cancelled. Stay tuned for announcements about 2023 Networks webinars and the 2023 Fall Conference hosted at Georgia Institute of Technology.

Upcoming Events

2023 Fall Networks Conference

Additional session recordings from past conferences can be found in the IRI Resource Center.

The mission of the IRI Networks is to share experiences, seek best practices, and brainstorm solutions to innovation challenges. To learn more or join our Networks Program, please contact Mallory Smith (

External Technology Network

  • Technology Acquisition
  • External Tech Partnerships
  • Open Innovation

Professionals involved: Directors of Corporate Partnerships, Managers of Technology Transfer, External Research Directors, Open Innovation Managers, and more.

Chairs:  Ben Haskell (Lam Research) and Steven Perri (Eastman Chemical Company)

Human Resources Network

  • HR support for R&D organizations
  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
  • Organizational Behavior and Culture

Professionals involved:  HR managers, directors and officers with responsibility for R&D

Information Services/IT Network

  • Knowledge Management
  • IT architecture
  • Digital Transformation

Professionals involved:  IT professionals, IS Managers, Librarians, Knowledge Management professionals

Chairs:  Denise Callihan (PPG Industries, Inc.) and Amy Watson (PPG Industries)

Innovation Leaders Network

  • New Product Development
  • Innovation Metrics
  • Managing Innovation Teams

Professionals involved:  Innovators, innovation leaders, portfolio managers, business managers, External Research directors, licensing directors

Chair:  Michael Blades (National Gypsum)

Intellectual Assets Management Network

  • IP management
  • Patents and Trade Secrets
  • Portfolio management 

Professionals involved: Senior Research Engineer, Director of Product Development and Innovation, Senior Project Manager, Intellectual Property Manager, Director of Intellectual Asset Management, Intellectual Property Strategist

Chair:  Emily Hoffman (HarbisonWalker International)

New Business Development Network

  • Customer Relationships
  • Commercialization
  • Speed to Market

Professionals involved:  New business and commercial development, Marketing/sales development, New products development, Mergers and acquisitions, Portfolio management, Strategic alliances, Market research, Technology transfer

Chairs:  Pete Hunderup (INVISTA) and Mike Marchand (Michelin America’s Research Company)