New Program to Foster Innovation Connections

September 28, 2004
CT Technology Council News, August 2004
On October 28, 2004, the Connecticut Technology Council will launch a new program which it expects will become a successful and strategically important program to achieve its core mission.  The inaugural Wiggin & Dana [email protected] Series will be launched at General Electric as the first in an ongoing series of programs aimed at facilitating innovation in the State.  Up to 50 medium and small pre-selected Connecticut firms will spend a date at the GE New Product Innovation (NPI) Center and present their latest innovative product breakthrough products or technologies to a gathering of GE Executives from key divisions around the country and the GE Research Center. The selected firms will also have an opportunity to learn about GE’s innovation best practice and hear process experts speak on techniques employed by one of the world’s acknowledged leaders in creativity and technology innovation.
“Our goal at the Council is to facilitate innovation by making connections between firms who may have unrecognized synergy between their technology roadmaps and market strategies and to learn from one another in how they are solving common problems through the innovation processes they are using,” said Tony Allen, president of the IMPACT Group, LLC and co-chairman of the new program along with Frank Marco, a partner in the title sponsor law firm of Wiggin and Dana LLP.
“In the course of a day of meetings and conversations we are hoping to jump start a new way to build the Connecticut technology economy by an innovative program of identifying companies in which the large company host sponsor is interested, and creating a structured venue for creating collaborations,” Marco added.
Allen and his partner at the IMPACT Group, Ed Domeracki have assisted the CTC in developing the architecture of this exciting new program and will be bringing some of the skills that their consulting firm offers to companies around the world in finding new ways to explore strategic opportunities for advancing breakthrough innovation.  Marco, a founding board member of the Council returned to the CTC board of directors this spring.  With a long history in technology transfer and corporate ventures, he immediately backed the new program and helped shape its format.
The Council recognized that it was hard for many of their members to engage in open dialogues with other larger members such as GE, UTC, Pfizer and Pitney Bowes.  The [email protected] series sprang from a desire to find ways to make these connections.
“Strategic partnerships that support our most creative smaller firms and finding ways to take ideas off the shelves of the larger firms in the State are both important development techniques,” said CTC president Matthew Nemerson.
Indra Purkayastha, the CTC Board member and technology manager at GE Infrastructure, is the chairman for this inaugural event.  He has been coordinating the event within the many divisions of the giant technology firm.
The event is not geared to sell products that Connecticut firms may be reselling, but instead to make strategic connections around new technologies and breakthrough products that may be under development in Connecticut.
In December, the Mohegan Sun will host the second [email protected] meeting.  The eastern Connecticut entertainment giant will be showcasing their high technology infrastructure and state of the art IT and security systems.  Part of this event will include a similar opportunity to the event at GE, and will enable firms to connect with key Mohegan Sun executives.  CTC board member and Mohegan Sun CTO Dan Garrow will be the event chairman.
If you are interested in participating in the GE event send a 500 word description of your innovative technology or breakthrough product to the Council at [email protected].
The other sponsors of the Wiggin and Dana
[email protected] Series are General Electric, Edwards and Angell LLP, Pfizer, Gerber Scientific, The IMPACT Group LLC and the Mohegan Sun.