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The newspaper of The Johns Hopkins University May 12, 2008 | Vol. 37 No. 34
Courses Encourage Innovation for Competitive Advantage

A recent study by the U.S. Council on Competitiveness concluded that nurturing innovation has become a key strategy for national prosperity. To support that strategy and meet regional workforce needs, the Johns Hopkins Engineering and Applied Science Programs for Professionals will offer this fall a new master's- level concentration in technical innovation management.

The concentration will be part of EPP's Technical Management master's degree program, chaired by Kenneth Potocki, a member of the principal professional staff at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory.

"No one country owns innovation," Potocki said, "and in competing across national boundaries, strengthening the innovation process in this country is key."

The new concentration will address the personal and organizational management of innovation and the development of new technical ventures.

"Moving an innovation from opportunity to reality — and competitive advantage — contains an element of management responsibilities," Potocki said. "The courses will help students build workplace environments where innovation can flourish, and those who take the concentration will be able to understand and direct the collaborative creativity of engineers and scientists."

Prime candidates for this concentration are students with about five years of experience in their fields and who are lead engineers/scientists or hold mid- to upper-level management positions. Of 10 one-term courses required for the master's degree in technical management, three constitute the new concentration: Fundamentals of Technical Innovations in Organizations, New Technical Ventures and Management of Innovation.

Allan Bjerkaas, EPP associate dean, said, "This new concentration will be applicable to a number of disciplines. It is our mission in EPP to not only provide students with the most up-to-date research results and information in their fields but also to give students the tools to use that information to create and manage new products and technologies."


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