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[CCICADA-announce] DIMACS/CCICADA Interdisciplinary Seminar Series-Monday, March 28, 2011

Linda Casals lindac at
Thu Mar 24 15:28:26 EDT 2011

DIMACS/CCICADA Interdisciplinary Seminar Series Presents

Title: From Olympics to X-Games: Rethinking Innovation for the Digital Century

Speaker: Swarup Acharya, Alcatel-Lucent Bell Laboratories

Date: Monday, March 28, 2011 12:00 - 1:00 pm

Location: DIMACS Center, CoRE Bldg, Room 431, Rutgers University                 
             Busch Campus, Piscataway, NJ


Companies invest in R&D to create new, innovative products to help
grow revenues. Traditionally, research and innovation has followed the
Olympics motto of "Citius, Altius, Fortius" of pushing faster, higher
and stronger, the limits of what is feasible as the means for
disruption. However, recent studies show little correlation between
the size of investments in R&D and growth of company revenues.

We will argue that one of the causes of this discrepancy is that the
enormous technology advances over the last decade has fundamentally
scrambled the playing field by making computing and communication
(relatively) dirt cheap. Problems that were heretofore not
addressable, technically and financially, are now well within reach
(such as offering a profitable mobile payments system for users who
can spend only a few dollars, or, a glucose patch for diabetic
patients that can obviate pin pricks and glucose strips by wirelessly
transmitting readings). However, disruption in these environments
requires not just technical superiority but technical agility that can
balance complex business, customer ability to pay and other
factors. In effect, for research to be effective going forward, the
more appropriate model for innovation is not Olympics but the X-Games,
where the rules for sports such as BMX bike racing and skateboarding
are rough and tumble and success requires multi-faceted excellence. We
will provide examples of such innovation and also highlight new
opportunities in providing wireless access in emerging markets where
by rethinking how to innovate, one can fundamentally disrupt the

Speaker Bio:

Swarup Acharya is the Senior Director of Technology Strategy at Bell
Labs, Alcatel-Lucent where he is responsible to drive the long-term
strategy and research investments. Prior to that, he managed research
teams in the areas of data networking, optical networking and IPTV and
has made significant contributions to products and services in the
Alcatel-Lucent portfolio. He has a B. Tech (Hons) from IIT, Kharagpur,
and a PhD in Computer Science from Brown University and will receive
his Executive MBA at Wharton, University of Pennsylvania in May. He
has authored numerous refereed papers and over 20 patents including
one that was awarded the Thomas Alva Patent Award in 2007.

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