Industrial Research Institute
IRI e-Innovation Newsletter
No. 420
 January 2015
  Member Spotlight

Abraham Tijerina Priego
A Need for Speed (in Technology Development)

Abraham Tijerina Priego
Innovation Management Coordinator, Metalsa
Helping transform a major manufacturer into a full service supplier is no easy feat, but Abraham Tijerina Priego, Innovation Management Coordinator at Metalsa, began his early career tasked with such a project. Only four years after joining Metalsa in the early 1990s, Abraham formed and managed the company's Innovation and Product Technology Group that allowed the organization to begin this transition.

"This process required not only to have a decent engineering and product development capability but also to be able to anticipate our customer's future needs," Abraham said. "This represented a new challenge, to dive deep into the technology management process, changing myself from Product Technology [Engineer] to Technology and Innovation Management Coordinator in 2002, providing Metalsa's technical groups with techniques to manage their own technology fronts and projects; IRI's RTM was critical for the formation stage."

With his undergraduate degree from Nuevo Leon State University and a graduate degree from Monterrey Tech (ITESM), both in Mechanical Engineering, Abraham now manages Metalsa's innovation project portfolio, technical partnerships, external funding, and government relations for the company's R&D.

"My greatest professional accomplishment is having successfully built and established Metalsa's Product and Technology Group, which was responsible for us receiving the National Technology Award from the President of Mexico in 2005," Abraham said. "My greatest challenge came earlier in my career when I had to convince our leadership team of the need for such a group going forward. I told them we needed to be able to move faster than our competitors; they agreed."

Abraham's advice for professionals: "Follow your dreams, train yourself to a level where you can see future opportunities for innovation, never accept no as an answer if it has not been tried first."

Member News

A.O. Smith Boiler Recognized at Innovation Awards

The Lochinvar FTXL(TM), a high efficiency boiler and water heater, was recognized at the 2015 AHR Expo Innovation Awards last month as an honorable mention in the heating category, one of ten categories evaluated at the event.

Federal-Mogul's Innovative Thermal Insulation Extends Vehicle Battery Life

In a recent product launch, Federal-Mogul Powertrain, a division of Federal-Mogul Holdings Corporation, released Protexx-Shield(R) 3007, an innovative thermal insulation that protects batteries from high engine compartment temperatures, extending the life of the battery.

Amway's eSpring Awarded 5th Consecutive F&S Award

For the fifth year in a row, Amway's eSpring(TM) brand has been awarded the Frost & Sullivan Asia Pacific Water Filtration Award. The eSpring water filtration brand has also received the first NSF International certification for recently established water purification standards, successfully removing the 15 water contaminants by which the organization evaluates water filtration technology.

Boeing Breaks Ground for New Composites Center

In St. Louis, MO, last month, Boeing held a breaking ground ceremony for a new 367,000 square foot facility that will serve its new 777 line of aircraft. The facility will employ approximately 700 new employees to work on wings and empennage for the 777X.

The Year Ahead

Each New Year brings many things: personal and professional resolutions, new diets, annual reviews, and, of course, forecasts and predictions about what to expect in the year ahead. Here are a collection of articles exploring these business and tech expectations in 2015:

Harvard Business Review


Business News Daily

Information Management


Tech Cocktail

Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology

Membership Corner


IRI2038 Futures Study




Order your print or digital copy of our study on the future of R&D management known as IRI2038.

Take a look at these other titles while shopping at the IRI Bookstore:



Shaping Innovation Success


The collection of papers provides a set of tools that R&D executives can use to shape the risk of new business development.




This collection highlights a few of the most useful tools to make identifying opportunities more predictable and manageable.



2014 Holland Award Winning and Shortlisted Articles


A collection of shortlisted articles considered for the 2014 Holland Award, including the year's winning article by Ray Johnson and John Evans of Lockheed Martin.



Upcoming Events


2015 Annual Meeting
April 27 - 30
Seattle, WA

ROR Winter Meeting
February 24 - 25
Fort Lauderdale, FL

Spring Networks Meeting
March 17 - 19*
San Diego, CA

Shaping Innovation Leaders**
May 30 - June 5
Evanston, IL


*Please note that the dates for the Spring Networks Meeting have been changed from March 16-18 to March 17-19.



**Shaping Innovation Leaders is a unique executive course for high-potential, mid-level technology managers to learn the skills necessary to succeed as they advance in their careers. Seats fill quickly and early registrations receive a discount. Seat prices for the course increase by $1,000 after January 16, 2015. Send in your registration form today to save on your attendance.




If you would like to have your company's latest product or service innovations featured in this monthly newsletter, please send an email to Greg Holden (

In This Issue
Member Spotlight
Member News
The Year Ahead
Membership Corner
Upcoming Events
2015 R&D Trends Forecast
Visit the ROR Clinic
IRI's Top Hits of 2014

Welcome New Member

Colorado Springs, CO 
VR: Wade Bowe
Vice President, R&D

2015 R&D Trends Forecast

This year's R&D Trends report, published in the latest issue of RTM, talks about the expectations for R&D budgets heading into the new year. Of significance this year is a growing concern about attracting, developing and retaining talent, with several comments also made by survey participants about a looming retirement bubble. Could this be the year the retirement bubble starts to hit home?

For further reading on such concerns about talent management, also check out this article from one of our past ROR projects:

Visit the Clinic

This year's ROR Winter Meeting will feature a special clinic, but not for flu season. The Sustainability-Driven Innovation (SDI) group will be hosting a short application clinic to help companies briefly describe their position, achievements (if any), issues, and more, regarding the implementation and use of sustainability-drive practices.

After a brief conversation, participants will learn where their organization fits within the ROR group's Sustainability Maturity Model and possible steps to improve their organization's sustainability practices.

Register to attend this year's ROR Winter Meeting,
February 24 - 25.

2014's Biggest Hits

Top 5 RTM Downloads
of 2014

Vol. 54, No. 1

Highest Attended Brown Bags of 2014

Tom Kurfess and Bill Cass, "Rethinking Additive Manufacturing and Intellectual Property Protection." Session not recorded.

Member Summit presentation replay.

Highest Rated Session from
2014 Annual Meeting

Mehmood Khan, PepsiCo
(login required)

Highest Rated Session from
2014 Member Summit

Hila Lifshitz-Assaf, NYU
(login required)

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