On Nov. 4-7, 2013, 36 of our industry’s’ top research leaders, representing more than 30 institutions, companies, and associations from 10 countries, converged on the city of Montreal, Que., Canada, at Le Place D’Armes Hotel.

I celebrated my seventh year with TAPPI on October 2 of this year, and I must say that this was the absolute best overall TAPPI International Research Management Committee meeting that I have ever attended. Each person was told to take at least one golden nugget that they acquired from this meeting back to their company. At the conclusion of the last day’s meeting, each person was asked to name what idea they would take back with them. This is where things got a little out of hand. I do not recall any of the 36 individuals who were able to name one thing that they were going to take back...they all named multiple ideas. And that, my friends, defines what takes place at TAPPI’s International Research Management meetings.

A survey to determine what the topic needs were for this meeting was conducted for all of our members during the early planning stages.

The discussion topics that made the cut were as follows: Research Funding Challenges, Managing Innovation vs Managing Research, The Future of Open Research Beyond the Hype, and Challenges of a Research Manager in the 21st Century.


During two days of the meeting, time was provided for actual breakout sessions of three groups that allowed the smaller groups to drill down on the more specific portions of the general topics:

Day One: How do you address funding challenges? What are the best components of an innovation team? How do you avoid pitfalls of innovation process?
Day Two: What are the best Intellectual Property Management Practices? Do you start from Market Needs or from Discovery? What are the Challenges and Solutions to Open Innovations?

At the conclusion of each day’s breakout session, each small group was allowed to present its findings to the entire group.

In addition to the aforementioned subjects, we were also very fortunate to hear from several other speakers on various pertinent topics.

My hat goes off to Jean Hamel of FP Innovations, this year’s program chair, along with his team to take this committee to new heights. Past IRMC Chair Gil Garnier presented Jean with a gift.

In addition, I would also like to recognized TAPPI’s own Colleen Walker and Libby Settle for the tremendous job that they did in bringing great ideas into reality.

If you would like more information concerning TAPPI’s International Research Management Committee, please contact Scott Springmier.

More information about TAPPI is available online.

There are two types of people in our industry—TAPPI members ad those who should be.

Until next time.......................
Larry