News and Events

Five Strategies for the Future of Work:
Accelerating Innovation through Tech Transfer


22nd International Conference on Agile Software Development

Steven Fraser

This experience report outlines five tech transfer strategies that I developed over a period of 25 years at four Global 1000 companies (HP, Cisco, Qualcomm, and Nortel) to mitigate R&D challenges associated with duplicated effort, product quality, and time-to-market. I continue to refine and use these strategies as an Innoxec consultant. My five strategies accelerate innovation through knowledge sharing, rather than through creating and licensing tangible intellectual property rights (IPR) such as patents, trade secrets, and copyrights. These five strategies are based on corporate tech forums, conference panels, exploratory workshops, research reviews (at universities and companies), and talent exchanges. My initial objective was to foster corporate adoption of software best practices, but I discovered over time that these strategies had broader impact on company innovation, including incubating cross-company R&D collaborations, capturing organizational memory, cultivating and leveraging external research partnerships, and feeding company talent pipelines.

Exploring the Dimensions of University-Company Collaborations:
Research, Talent, and Beyond


Steven Fraser and Dennis Mancl

June 4, 2021


8th International Virtual Workshop on Software Engineering Research and Industrial Practice - in conjunction with the ACM/IEEE International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE) 2021


Our presentation (based on a paper with the same title), will explore the benefits of university-company collaborations beyond research and talent – primarily from a US and Canadian perspective. Company connections to specific universities may initially be based on research relationships or talent acquisition needs. Additional collaborative dimensions may include marketing, sales, public policy, local economic development, and philanthropy. University-company partnerships are complex and fragile. To build effective and enduring partnerships, we describe collaboration scenarios to: incubate collaborations, connect experts, assess and communicate collaborative value, and grow relationships. Our talk (and paper) presents a set of recommended activities to achieve a greater sustained impact for innovation and learning: orchestrate collaborative events, measure and track results, facilitate learning, catalyze research through philanthropy, leverage regional development and government incentives, incubate a collaborative ecosystem, and make collaboration results more visible and actionable.

Presentation available on YouTube:



2021 Strategies for “Socially Distant” University-Company Collaborations


8th International Virtual Workshop on Software Engineering Research and Industrial Practice - in conjunction with the ACM/IEEE International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE) 202


Panel Chair: 

• Steven Fraser



• Sheri A. Brodeur, Director of Corporate Relations, MIT Industrial Liaison Program

• Randy Katz, Vice-Chancellor for Research, UC Berkeley

• Xue (Steve) Liu, Professor McGill University and VP R&D Samsung AI Center

• Stefanie Molthagen-Schnöring, VP for Research & Transfer HTW Berlin

• Sheng-Ying (Aithne) Pao, Professor National Tsing Hua University (NTHU) and CEO Startup Garage


In the early months of 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic suddenly transformed the way the world works and collaborates. With all work-related travel abruptly curtailed and most company professionals and academics working from home, the daily work environment shifted to an ecosystem enabled by online communication and collaboration tools. In 2021, workflows continue to evolve for both universities and corporations – to better support R&D, education, and ideation. This panel will discuss how COVID-19-inspired innovation ecosystems have changed – for better or worse – university-company collaborations. Panelists will share personal observations, challenges, results, and ideas for the future.


Virtual Collaboration Techniques to Catalyze Open Innovation


McGill University, Montréal (Virtual Webcast)

November 13, 2021.


Steven Fraser


As we face the challenges of pandemic-enforced separation, now more than ever, effective strategies for open innovation and collaboration “at a distance” are essential for software industry professionals. This seminar will focus on the strategies and benefits for collaborative open innovation by both companies and universities. For companies, university relations programs are a way to expand a company's ability to innovate, calibrate its research in emerging technologies, leverage government incentive programs, and build visibility for the company's brand. For universities, an open innovation collaboration model is a great way to connect researchers, students, and administrators with companies. University research collaboration goals often include attracting new funding, understanding real-world challenges to evolve curricula, networking to foster increased research excellence, and cultivating employment opportunities for graduates. Leveraging 25+ years of multi-site R&D, virtual collaboration forums, and university relations experience at Nortel, Qualcomm, Cisco, HP, and Innoxec – Steven Fraser will explore strategies, collaboration techniques, benefits, and potential challenges for open innovation. The seminar will conclude with a summary of “best case,” “worst case,” and “most likely case” company-university collaboration scenarios.



COVID-19's Influence on the Future of Agile


XP2020 21st Intl Conference Agile Software Development

June 8-12, 2020, Copenhagen, Denmark



Panel Chair: 

• Steven Fraser



• Aino Vonge Corry

• Steve McConnell

• Rachel Reinitz


As a result of the global COVID-19 Pandemic, the way we work, collaborate, and live has changed dramatically. Many of us are currently “working from home” in quarantine to reduce our pandemic exposure and the risk of infection for our colleagues and families. Collaboration is increasingly facilitated by a variety of internet-based tools – substituting screens for face-to-face interactions. How do does this impact our productivity and the future of Agile?