Evolution of technology in any industry is largely driven through the attempt to create new customer value by the application of current and new technologies. Education plays an important role in allowing the students and the researchers to experiment and take risks with new methods, materials, processes and information that seem to be continuously evolving. Therefore the organizations which continue to win in the market place by delivering value for customers are those that marry the outcomes of the available research at the educational institutes and the competencies and capabilities they have within the organizations.
While this is true, the Technology delivery scales sometimes vary depending on the market needs. However, by establishing Technology centers at more than one location which specialize in specific domains can help cross pollinate technologies that allow all markets to benefit. One of the advantages that clearly emerge by following such a model is the value driven innovations for the developed markets and at the same time is one of the smarter technologies for the emerging markets.
In order to create innovative products and technologies, corporate organizations are in constant need to find the professionals and researchers who understand their specialty fields extremely well. Although majority of such organizations hire experienced professionals, there has been a recent trend showing signs of organizations hiring graduates fresh from colleges with the fact that they have experience in specific domains. The mix can allow various corporate organizations that specialize in innovation, research and development to experiment and build deep domains. Furthermore, this will enhance the business strategy that defines the markets the corporate organizations want to enter and the technologies they want to launch.
By hiring interns the corporate organizations are able to gain benefits in two ways. The first criteria that companies must look for when hiring a potential candidate, is to look at his/her ability to assess the working culture and the technologies he or she is going to be associated with. Secondly, it also allows the companies to assess the potential and the attitude of the individual. It is extremely crucial to recruit people who can ï¿½stretchï¿½ while doing research in order to provide the best products, solutions and technologies.
The Stretch in a research center is accomplished when the Engineers are allowed to conduct research and develop solutions beyond the normal call of duty. One needs to provide the freedom and the necessary resources to experiment and take risks. While Ingersoll Rand allows its workforce to take risks and develop solutions and products beyond the normal, it is crucial that the industry adapt the same principle to enhance their businesses and thus encounter global possibility. This creates a good environment of experimentation and innovation. By encouraging the team to take up research activities, employees should also be provided the opportunity to pursue patents which help the brand grow or the employee gain fame. An example of this is when a conscious effort is made to recognize the patent holders despite the fact that the number of patents filed by the work force may not be directly related to the business today. The technical Leadership team should constantly evaluate such innovations for potential new markets and applications which will guide the growth of the market share of the company.
Educational Institutes must allow students to experiment. They must coach their faculty and the faculty must get exposed to Engineering centers such as ours. This will allow the institutes to stay on the current trends and the faculty to understand emerging technologies and its application in the real world. This has to be a collaborative exercise between the Industry and Educational Institutes.
By increasing collaborative activities, students and researchers at various educational institutes are able to understand the requirements of the industry and hence provide the same. Furthermore, students and researchers are constantly supported by the universities and the industry in any form they require. This guidance can be in the form of providing clarity on certain technical knowledge not understood.
It is however, important that educational institutions should have a rotation program for the faculty with the Industry. The Educational Institutions must enable the faculty to spend time at Research centers of Organizations. As they introduce students to new sciences & technologies, this industry exposure would enable them to reinforce these concepts through practical application scenarios of such technologies in the practical world. This will improve the quality of students passing out from the Educational Institutes and provide them an opportunity to acquire a job and increase their credibility in the corporate world.
A crucial advice that all students must keep in mind is to have the passion to find new applications of sciences & technologies that they learnt in the institute and make a difference to the world. Demonstrate this through credible work and always have an attitude that reflects a learning mind. (As told to Dylan D'Souza)
She is currently the Vice President of Human Resources at Ingersoll Rand International (India). Apart from being in the current position for the past three years; she has worked with companies such as Agilent Technologies, PRS Group and GE Bayer Silicones.