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R&D Management Conference: 3 - 6 July 2016

From Science to Society: Innovation and Value Creation

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Hosting Future Conferences

Call for proposals for hosting future R&D Management Conference meetings

The R&D Management Conference is an international gathering of academics and practitioners concerned with the study of research, development, technology management and innovation. The prestigious event is of long standing.  The Conference was initiated in Manchester in 1980 and this year’s Conference is due to take place in Cambridge, England in July 2016. The Conference is usually held in Europe, although events have taken place in Canada, New Zealand, Taiwan and in India on two occasions.  The conference typically attracts some 200 delegates and is closely associated with the academic journal R&D Management.  The most recent conference in 2015, hosted by Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Pisa attracted some 330 delegates.  This year’s Conference, organised by the Centre for Technology Management at the University of Cambridge is set to be even bigger.

The Conference is actively supported and managed by RADMA, a UK based charity, which provides PhD scholarships and research support for young scholars attending the conference.  RADMA is also joint publisher of the R&D Management journal in collaboration with Wiley.  RADMA have delegated the oversight of the annual conference to the Manchester Institute of Innovation Research, at Manchester Business School, where the journal was founded and the conference began. The Institute has frequently hosted the Conference in Manchester, most recently in 2010 and again in 2013. 

RADMA is now inviting expressions of interest in hosting the Conference in future years, beginning in 2018.  Considerable support is available to successful hosts as a conscious attempt has been made to accumulate experience over a range of recent successful conferences. A handbook on Conference organisation is available.  Past Conference chairs in Pisa, Stuttgart, Manchester, Grenoble and Norrköping can provide advice. The aim is to promote an open and transparent bidding process and encourage innovation in Conference venues, organisation and academic direction.

There are three essential qualifications for running an R&D Management Workshop.

1)      You need a great venue, both for the conference itself and the associated social events.  But, we are always happy to consider novel ideas for the Conference;

2)      The Conference Chair has to offer leadership in delivering the conference, both intellectually and practically.  The Chair need not necessarily be a senior academic, but the role does require considerable energy, drive and commitment over two years and a considerable effort as the conference approaches and takes place.  It follows that the Chair needs a mix of academic and social skills as well as managerial talent;

3)      You need a background organisation.  In particular the lead organiser is often a crucial figure in ensuring the smooth running of the Conference.

We appreciate not everyone is familiar with the R&D Management community.  Host organisations may be offered support for a trial workshop.  For example, a precursor workshop on “Innovation in Process Industries” was hosted by “Ecole de Management” in Grenoble in 2011.  This pilot workshop took place a year before Grenoble hosted the Conference in May 2012.  The workshop also led to a special issue of R&D Management.  Again, RADMA can offer considerable support on topics and possible participants. 

Events need not conform to the template used by recent Conferences, but can be adapted to local circumstances.  Laboratory, or factory visits are often popular. The Stuttgart Conference in 2014 had very strong industrial support. We are always keen to connect with practitioners.  The Manchester Conference dinner was based at Manchester United Football Club in 2013. The Conference dinner in Pisa was held in a former monastery.

Applicants are asked to submit a “letter of intent” to the RADMA Conference Committee. The letter should include the following information:  proposed dates; reasons or motives for hosting the meeting; facilities of the proposed location and availability of hotel accommodation.  A broad outline of international transport links is also important.  Please indicate the likely institutional support.  Comment on likely venues for events and other activities would also be welcome.   Please give guidance on the proposed management for the event.

Letters of intent are due to RADMA by  1st July 2016.  Please send these to Kay Honeyford, Secretary to the Trustees, RADMA.  The RADMA e-mail address is   Please direct informal inquiries to Jonathan Aylen at Manchester Institute of Innovation Research, Manchester Business School, University of Manchester, e-mail:  Shortlisted bidders will be invited to discuss their plans on an informal basis with members of the RADMA Conference Committee in Cambridge during the 2016 Conference.