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Yale Professor Gives Innovation A Helping Hand

Yale Professor Gives Innovation A Helping Hand

Entrepreneurial students from The University of Auckland Business School are being given a helping hand to develop innovative products by a leading American academic and businessman.

Visiting Yale Adjunct Professor Henry Bolanos is teaching the semester-long course, Innovation and New Product Development, and is confident that some students will produce marketable products.

Professor Bolanos, who holds over 100 patents and was the Vice President Research and Development at the US Surgical Corporation, teachers a similar course at Yale University which has led to a number of students successfully taking new products to the market.

"This is my third visit to New Zealand to teach the course, and in the past it's been very successful. I recently bumped into a student who was on one of the earlier courses who is now in business selling the product he developed on the course," Professor Bolanos says.

The course, which is open to undergraduate students from across the University, takes a hands-on approach with the final assessment based on the development of a new product in a team project.

"A lot of people have innovative ideas, but don't really know what to do about it. What this course is about is showing people the entire product development cycle so that they understand what is involved.

"Even if students don't have a marketable product by the end of the course, they will have developed some essential product development skills for the future," he says.

Students work in teams to come up with a product idea, undertake market research, set up product specifications, build a prototype, write a marketing plan and present the product for final assessment.

Professor Bolanos' career has spanned product development in surgical instruments, microelectronics, telephones, child development products and UHF TV tuners. He is the co-author of three books on creativity and new product development, and has worked in Taiwan, Singapore, Japan, Hong Kong and the United States.

He returns to Yale University in June.

Innovation and New Product Development is one of the initiatives of The University of Auckland Business School that meets the strategic desire to provide leadership to meet the challenges of enterprise creation. The Business School also offers the undergraduate course, Creating Wealth >From Technology, and a number of Owner Operator Management Courses in conjunction with The ICEHOUSE.

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