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The Innovation and Technology Transfer Centre

An Lárionad Nuála agus Aistrithe Teicneolaíochta

Keynote Speaker: Professor Woody Powell


Woody Powell is Professor of Education, Sociology, Organisational Behaviour, Management Science and Engineering, and Communication at Stanford University, California. He joined the Stanford faculty in July 1999, after previously teaching at the University of Arizona, MIT, and Yale.

His research interests include networks, institutions and university-industry interfaces.  He is engaged in research on the processes through which knowledge is transferred across organisations and the role of networks in facilitating or hindering innovation.  Powell and his colleagues have developed a longitudinal data base that tracks the development of the biotechnology industry worldwide from the 1980s to the present day.

Professor Woody Powell

With Jason Owen-Smith, Professor Powell is studying the transfer of university science into commercial development by science-based companies and the evolution of a field marked by widely distributed expertise. Their 2005 American Journal of Sociology paper, Network Dynamics and Field Evolution: The Growth of Interorganisational Collaboration in the Life Sciences, won the Viviana Zelizer Distinguished Scholarship Award for the best paper in the field of economic sociology.

Woody is also currently studying distributed innovation in two research projects. Using Stanford's large multi-disciplinary initiatives in biology and engineering and energy and environment as research sites, he and his colleagues employ network and computational linguistic tools to study knowledge creation in interdisciplinary scientific communities.  Powell is also examining geographical agglomeration in the life sciences industry where organisations are clustered in a small number of regions around the world.

He has been a member of the board of directors of the Social Science Research Council since 2000 and an external faculty member at the Santa Fe Institute since 1999. He holds honorary degrees from Uppsala University, Copenhagen Business School, and the Helsinki School of Economics, and is a foreign member of the Swedish Royal Academy of Science.