October 27, 2014

Open Innovation: A 2014 Research Agenda

One of the main goals of the Chesbrough/Vanhaverbeke/West 2006 book was to shape the research agenda of the open innovation. Our final chapter was immodestly entitled “Open innovation: a research agenda” (West, Vanhaverbeke and Chesbrough, 2006). According to Google it has 189 cites — not the most influential chapter in the book (which is Chesbrough, 2006) — nor as well cited as key lit reviews (e.g. Dahlander & Gann, 2010), but still not bad for a book chapter.

This year, there have been several other articles that claim to summarize the current literature and suggest topics for future research. Yes, some of these are my articles, but I think together I think they provide the best summary of OI research opportunities today.

Since I'm trying to write a short encyclopedia article on open innovation — and want to make it different from my 2011 article — it seemed a good time to review what’s been written recently. It helps that several of these articles are associated with large new batches of OI research (i.e. the June 2014 special issue of Research Policy and the forthcoming New Frontiers in Open Innovation), and thus are directly tied to some of the latest work.

Journal of Product Innovation Management (West and Bogers, 2014)

This article was previously summarized on this blog. With the benefit of time, the two things that seems most often mentioned from this article are:
  • The four stage model (Figure 1 and most of the text) on how firms utilize external innovation, and the fact that we need more research on what happens when these innovations come into firms and are brought to market
  • The fact that almost all OI research is about the inbound process, with very little about the outbound process (Figure 2).

Chapter 1 of New Frontiers in Open Innovation (Chesbrough & Bogers, 2014)

In Table 1.3, Chesbrough and Bogers look at the 20 most cited articles on OI, and indicate whether they relate to one of the following 7 topics:
  • Strategy
  • Product development
  • Innovation process
  • Toolkits/users
  • Limits/risks/costs
  • University
  • Environmental context
Just for fun, in Figure 1.3 they offer a word cloud form the abstracts of nearly 1,000 articles, chapters and proceedings papers taken from SSCI for 2003-2012.

Consistent with a renewed interest in non-pecuniary OI (see below), page 17 offers the new canonical Chesbrough definition of what open innovation is, replacing earlier definitions:
we define open innovation as a distributed innovation process based on purposively managed knowledge flows across organizational boundaries, using pecuniary and non-pecuniary mechanisms in line with the organization’s business model.
Research Policy (West, Salter, Vanhaverbeke & Chesbrough, 2014)

This is the introductory article for the nine peer-reviewed articles of the special issue. The discussion of trends was first drafted by Salter and West (utilizing time spent over breakfast in Bath a year ago).

The main themes are summarized by a quote from page 807 of the article (emphasis added):

The papers in this SI reflect three emerging themes in open innovation research. The first is newer and better approaches to measuring open innovation. The second is a more sophisticated (and nuanced) understanding of the role of appropriability in enabling open innovation. The third comprises efforts to more closely integrate open innovation with established theories of management and economics. Here we review these three themes, and three others that (while not represented in the special issue) will also shape the conception of open innovation in its second decade: coupled innovation, nonpecuniary motivations and multi-level analysis.
The measurement issue seems pretty self explanatory: it’s important trend but one that is both expected and easily understood for a new body of work. The opening article of the entire special issue by Dahlander and Piezunka (2014) — both the first article finished and one of the strongest throughout the process — looks at external knowledge sourcing with a massive database that circumvents previous sampling bias problems.

Appropriability is a longstanding topic in OI, going back to the 2006 book (West, 2006) if not before; the special issue includes not only the expected article by Henkel and colleagues (2014) on the topic, but a new article by the dynamic duo of OI econometrics, Laursen & Salter (2014).

The questions of established theories and levels of analysis come up again, so I’ll discuss them separately below. The topic of coupled OI is near and dear to my heart — my major research emphasis today — but because I talked about it a few months ago (in the context of the Piller and West 2014 book chapter), I’ll save that for another time.

The nonpecuniary motivations is a helpful extension that Dahlander & Gann (2010) used to distinguish forms of OI that are motivated by profit (or greed) and those that are not. They (looking back) summarize how research has considered the motivations of organizational actors for a given knowledge flow. In the new book Chesbrough & Di Minin (2014) extend this to its logical conclusion: how does OI apply to government and other non-profit organizations? Their discussion of “open social innovation” fills an important gap in OI research.

Chapter 15 of New Frontiers in Open Innovation (Vanhaverbeke et al, 2014a)

The (Vanhaverbeke-led) final chapter of the book provides a separate (but overlapping) classification of OI research trends. For clarity, I disassemble the paragraph of prose into numbered bullet points:
  1. we discuss the need to connect (and integrate) open innovation research into mainstream management theories.
  2. we look for possible extensions of open innovation research into new application fields, such as SMEs, low-tech firms, and non-profit organizations. Open innovation also has several implications for public policy and multinational companies.
  3. we elaborate on the need to examine open innovation at different levels of analysis.
  4. we identify the need to develop frameworks to understand how companies must change internally to successfully apply open innovation.
  5. we highlight how open innovation has implications for functions beyond R&D that have not traditionally been involved in implementing open innovation: such as HRM, PR, and legal.
The first and third items are discussed below. The second was a natural theme for the book and the summary, since there was a conscious effort to solicit chapters about SMEs, MNCs and nonprofits.

The issue of organizational change needed to support open innovation is a longstanding puzzle in OI research. It’s a topic most closely associate with the various studies of Tim Minshall and Letizia Mortara of the University of Cambridge (and UK Innovation Research Centre), who penned an update on their research (Mortara & Minshall, 2014) for the book.

Finally, the question of OI outside R&D was a real head-scratcher for me when Vanhaverbeke first suggested it. However, in straining to find enough articles to mention in this section, he convinced me this is a real gap — and thus an opportunity —for OI researchers.

Levels of Analysis

Extending West et al (2006), Chesbrough & Bogers (2014) suggest five levels of analysis:
  • Individual/Group
  • Firm/Organization
  • Network
  • Industry/Sector
  • National/Institutional
(Unfortunately, I didn’t catch that this was an obsolete list, since for more than five years we’ve known that community is an important level of analysis distinct from networks and industries).

More recently, the work of Vanhaverbeke not only points to the importance of understanding differences within a firm on how the firm uses open innovation, but identified the level of the R&D project as an important way to operationalize that variation. They did a series of studies (Du et al 2014; Vanhaverbeke et al 2014b) in a large “European” multinational.

So, I believe the complete list would be
  • Individual/Group
  • Project
  • Firm/Organization
  • Network/Ecosystem
  • Community
  • Industry/Sector
  • National/Supranational
Since institutions can exist at many levels, my own impression is that they don’t count as a separate level of analysis: most of what we call “institutions” govern at the industry or national level, with some institutionalized governance acting upon networks and communities.

Linking OI to Mainstream Theories

Both of the summary articles (West, Salter, Vanhaverbeke & Chesbrough, 2014; Vanhaverbeke, Chesbrough, West, 2014) note the importance of linking OI to mainstream theories. Although I’m a co-author on both articles, it’s fair to say that the discussions on this trend more closely match the view of Salter and Vanhaverbeke, respectively.

Here’s how the first summary article put it:
Although the original Open Innovation book drew on deep currents of research in the broader traditions of management and economics, it did not itself seek to directly align to existing under- pinning theories in these fields. Over the past 10 years, researchers have sought to find mapping of concepts of open innovation to more general theories about the nature of the firm and its boundaries (Vanhaverbeke and Cloodt, 2014).
concluding with a nod to a think piece (in New Frontiers) that links OI to theories of the firm. It then points to three articles in the special issue: one on diversification via OI (Colombo et al, 2014), one a model of property rights and OI (Gambardella & Panico, 2014), and one that applies the level of the project to classify OI (Felin & Zenger, 2014).

The second summary article (Vanhaverbeke et al, 2014a) makes a similar point
The open innovation literature originated with reflections on observations about changing innovation management practices in companies (Chesbrough, 2003a, 2006a). Literature about open innovation has grown rapidly, and there is a growing need to relate or integrate it into existing innovation management research.
Other than the aforementioned Vanhaverbeke and Cloodt (2014), I don’t think anyone has attempted to link OI to the “traditions,” but clearly in both articles (and other recent articles) there have been efforts to link and contrast to specific areas of management research.

Conclusions

To me, the flurry of recent work demonstrates two things about open innovation. First, OI remains an active and vibrant area of research. Second, it is one that is far more mature and established than it was when we completed our first academic book in 2006, as reflected by trends such as measurement and increasing linkages to established theory in management and economics.

I'm hoping this posting will help new (and existing) OI researchers come up with ideas for future research opportunities. However, it’s just a blog posting: please see the original articles for more specifics.

References

Chesbrough, Henry (2006). “Open Innovation: A New Paradigm for Understanding Industrial Innovation,” in Henry Chesbrough, Wim Vanhaverbeke, and Joel West (Eds.), Open Innovation: Researching a New Paradigm, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1-12.

Chesbrough, Henry and Marcel Bogers (2014). “Explicating Open Innovation: Clarifying an Emerging Paradigm for Understanding Innovation.” In Henry Chesbrough, Wim Vanhaverbeke and Joel West (Eds.), New Frontiers in Open Innovation, Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 3-28.

Chesbrough, Henry and Alberto Di Minin (2014). “Open Social Innovation.” In Henry Chesbrough, Wim Vanhaverbeke and Joel West (Eds.), New Frontiers in Open Innovation, Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 169-188.

Colombo, Massimo G., Evila Piva & Cristina Rossi-Lamastra (2014). “Open innovation and within-industry diversification in small and medium enterprises: The case of open source software firms,” Research Policy 43 (5): 891-902. DOI: 10.1016/j.respol.2013.08.015

Dahlander, Linus, and Gann, David M. (2010). “How open is innovation?” Research Policy 39 (6): 699-709. DOI: 10.1016/j.respol.2010.01.013

Dahlander, Linus & Henning Piezunka (2014). “Open to suggestions: How organizations elicit suggestions through proactive and reactive attention,” Research Policy 43 (5): 812-827. DOI: 10.1016/j.respol.2013.06.006

Du, Jingshu, Bart Leten & Wim Vanhaverbeke (2014). “Does Open Innovation Improve the Performance of R&D Projects?” Research Policy 43 (5): 828-840, DOI: 10.1016/j.respol.2013.12.008

Felin, Teppo & Todd R. Zenger (2014). “Closed or open innovation? Problem solving and the governance choice,” Research Policy 43 (5): 914-925, DOI: 10.1016/j.respol.2013.09.006

Gambardella, Alfonso & Claudio Panico (2014). “On the Management of Open Innovation,” Research Policy 43 (5): 903-913, DOI: 10.1016/j.respol.2013.12.002

Henkel, Joachim, Simone Schöberl & Oliver Alexy (2014). “The emergence of openness: How firms learn selective revealing in open innovation,” Research Policy 43 (5): 879-890. DOI: 10.1016/j.respol.2013.08.014

Laursen, Keld & Ammon J. Salter. (2014). “The Paradox of Openness: Appropriability, External Search and Innovation Collaboration,” Research Policy 43 (5): 867-878. DOI: 10.1016/j.respol.2013.10.004

Mortara, Letizia and Tim Minshall (2014). “Patterns of Implementation of OI in MNCs.” In Henry Chesbrough, Wim Vanhaverbeke and Joel West (Eds.), New Frontiers in Open Innovation, Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 242-255.

Piller, Frank and Joel West (2014). “Firms, Users, and Innovation: An Interactive Model of Coupled
 Open Innovation.” In Henry Chesbrough, Wim Vanhaverbeke and Joel West (Eds.), New Frontiers in Open Innovation, Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 29-49.

Vanhaverbeke, Wim, Henry Chesbrough and Joel West (2014). “Surfing the New Wave of Open Innovation Research.” In Henry Chesbrough, Wim Vanhaverbeke and Joel West (Eds.), New Frontiers in Open Innovation, Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 281-294.

Vanhaverbeke, Wim and Myriam Cloodt (2014). “Theories of the Firm and Open Innovation.” In Henry Chesbrough, Wim Vanhaverbeke and Joel West (Eds.), New Frontiers in Open Innovation, Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 256-278.

Vanhaverbeke, Wim, Jingshu Du, Bart Leten, and Ferrie Aalders (2014). “Exploring Open Innovation at the Level of R&D Projects.” In Henry Chesbrough, Wim Vanhaverbeke and Joel West (Eds.), New Frontiers in Open Innovation, Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 115-131.

West, Joel (2006). “Does appropriability enable or retard open innovation,” In: Chesbrough, Henry, Wim Vanhaverbeke, and Joel West, eds. Open Innovation: Researching a New Paradigm, Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 109-133.

West, Joel and Marcel Bogers (2014). “Leveraging External Sources of Innovation: A Review of Research on Open Innovation,” Journal of Product Innovation Management 31 (4): 814-831. DOI: 10.1111/jpim.12125

West, Joel, Ammon Salter, Wim Vanhaverbeke, Henry Chesbrough (2014). “Open innovation: The next decade,” Research Policy 43 (5): 805-811. DOI: 10.1016/j.respol.2014.03.001

West, Joel, Vanhaverbeke, Wim and Chesbrough, Henry (2006), “Open Innovation: A Research Agenda,” in Henry Chesbrough, Wim Vanhaverbeke, and Joel West (Eds.), Open Innovation: Researching a New Paradigm, Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 285-307.

October 24, 2014

Tools for New Frontiers

Oxford reports that New Frontiers in Open Innovation “is available for pre-orders and will ship on 16 November 2014.” It’s also available for pre-order from Amazon and Amazon UK.

I've put together a few web pages with information about the book. This links to the pre-print chapters at Exnovate.nl (maintained by co-editor Wim Vanhaverbeke), and includes the biographies of the contributors. I also hope to have a chance soon to post the full references from the book, to go with the references from the 2006 book.

Google Scholar does a terrible job of generating citations for book chapters, so the table of contents page lists the chapters in citation format, and are also listed below:
  • Asakawa, Kazuhiro, Jaeyong Song, and Sang-Ji Kim (2014). “Open Innovation in Multinational Corporations: New Insights from 
the Global R&D Research Stream.” In Henry Chesbrough, Wim Vanhaverbeke and Joel West (Eds.), New Frontiers in Open Innovation, Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 157-168.
  • Brunswicker, Sabine and Vareska van de Vrande (2014). “Exploring Open Innovation in Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises.” In Henry Chesbrough, Wim Vanhaverbeke and Joel West (Eds.), New Frontiers in Open Innovation, Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 135-156.
  • Chesbrough, Henry and Marcel Bogers (2014). “Explicating Open Innovation: Clarifying an Emerging Paradigm for Understanding Innovation.” In Henry Chesbrough, Wim Vanhaverbeke and Joel West (Eds.), New Frontiers in Open Innovation, Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 3-28.
  • Chesbrough, Henry and Alberto Di Minin (2014). “Open Social Innovation.” In Henry Chesbrough, Wim Vanhaverbeke and Joel West (Eds.), New Frontiers in Open Innovation, Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 169-188.
  • Chesbrough, Henry and Roya Ghafele (2014). “Open Innovation and Intellectual Property: A Two-Sided Market Perspective.” In Henry Chesbrough, Wim Vanhaverbeke and Joel West (Eds.), New Frontiers in Open Innovation, Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 191-207.
  • Chesbrough, Henry and Chris Winter (2014). “ Managing Inside-Out Open Innovation: The Case of Complex
 Ventures.” In Henry Chesbrough, Wim Vanhaverbeke and Joel West (Eds.), New Frontiers in Open Innovation, Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 208-222.
  • Christensen, Jens Frøslev (2014). “Open Innovation and Industrial Dynamics—Towards a Framework
 of Business Convergence.” In Henry Chesbrough, Wim Vanhaverbeke and Joel West (Eds.), New Frontiers in Open Innovation, Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 94-114.
  • 
Mortara, Letizia and Tim Minshall (2014). “Patterns of Implementation of OI in MNCs.” In Henry Chesbrough, Wim Vanhaverbeke and Joel West (Eds.), New Frontiers in Open Innovation, Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 242-255.
  • Piller, Frank and Joel West (2014). “Firms, Users, and Innovation: An Interactive Model of Coupled
 Open Innovation.” In Henry Chesbrough, Wim Vanhaverbeke and Joel West (Eds.), New Frontiers in Open Innovation, Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 29-49.
  • Roijakkers, Nadine, Andy Zynga, and Caroline Bishop (2014). “ Getting Help From Innomediaries: What Can Innovators Do To
 Increase Value in External Knowledge Searches?” In Henry Chesbrough, Wim Vanhaverbeke and Joel West (Eds.), New Frontiers in Open Innovation, Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 241-257.
  • Vanhaverbeke, Wim and Henry Chesbrough (2014). “A Classification of Open Innovation and Open Business Models.” In Henry Chesbrough, Wim Vanhaverbeke and Joel West (Eds.), New Frontiers in Open Innovation, Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 50-68.
  • Vanhaverbeke, Wim, Henry Chesbrough and Joel West (2014). “Surfing the New Wave of Open Innovation Research.” In Henry Chesbrough, Wim Vanhaverbeke and Joel West (Eds.), New Frontiers in Open Innovation, Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 281-294.
  • Vanhaverbeke, Wim and Myriam Cloodt (2014). “Theories of the Firm and Open Innovation.” In Henry Chesbrough, Wim Vanhaverbeke and Joel West (Eds.), New Frontiers in Open Innovation, Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 256-278.
  • Vanhaverbeke, Wim, Jingshu Du, Bart Leten, and Ferrie Aalders, (2014). “Exploring Open Innovation at the Level of R&D Projects.” In Henry Chesbrough, Wim Vanhaverbeke and Joel West (Eds.), New Frontiers in Open Innovation, Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 115-131.
  • West, Joel (2014). “Challenges of Funding Open Innovation Platforms: Lessons From Symbian Ltd.” In Henry Chesbrough, Wim Vanhaverbeke and Joel West (Eds.), New Frontiers in Open Innovation, Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 71-93.

October 22, 2014

Georg and Karim offer more time

Nov. 15 is the new deadline for the Information Systems Research special issue on “Collaboration and Value Creation in Online Communities”. The deadline has been extended from the original Nov. 1 date, according to an email I received this morning from Georg von Krogh (who is editing the special issue with Samer Faraj, Karim Lakhani and Eric Monteiro).

I blogged on the original CFP in February. I don’t personally have anything ready for the call, but look forward to see the articles when it the special issue is published in 2016.

October 10, 2014

(In)famous OI scholar moving on to next career?

Ulrich Licthenthaler is leaving the University of Mannheim in 5 1/2 months. As reported by RetractionWatch.com earlier today:
According to a terse release from the university (translated from German):

Prof. Dr. Lichtenthaler informed the Rector of the University of Mannheim that he wants to leave the University of Mannheim on March 31, 2015. The state of Baden – Württemberg has agreed with his wishes.
That’s not an excerpt from the press release — it’s the entire press release.

Due to his problems with self-plagiarism and questionable statistical results, Licthenthaler has 16 retracted papers plus three that were withdrawn after acceptance but prior to online publication. Six (plus three) of these papers were co-authored by Holger Ernst, who remains a faculty member at WHU (where Lichtenthaler completed his PhD and since-cancelled habilitation).

It seems unlikely he will get another position in a German university. People who’ve met Lichtenthaler speculate that he will be leaving academia for another career.

Since journals don’t publish a notice of non-retraction, it’s not clear whether any of more than 20 non-retracted articles are still being considered for retraction. Perhaps his citations will go up if people conclude there’s no risk of further retractions.

Sadly (for more conventional scholars), his most cited article is his 2009 AMJ article that was retracted last December. Google Scholar says 74 articles and working papers that cite the retracted AMJ article been published since it was retracted.

August 18, 2014

Decisions for the 1st WOIC

After several meetings by the co-chairs and hundreds of reviews, the acceptance decisions have been made for the World Open Innovation Conference 2014. Authors have been notified and people can start making their plane and hotel reservations.

December's Program
The program chairs — Chesbrough, Piller, Tucci and West — were overwhelmed with the interest in our inaugural conference. We received 115 submissions, and will probably end up (after attrition) with about 55-60 plenary, parallel and interactive papers. We were limited both by the size of the venue and a desire to keep attendance around 100 people.

Being the first US-based open innovation research conference, we were unable to predict the mix of papers. There will be crowdsourcing papers, but not as many as at OUI 2014. Not surprisingly, the Chesbrough conference will have more patents than the von Hippel one, but not dramatically so. If anything, the difference seem most pronounced in the two sessions worth of business model papers. (As Marcel and I noted in our June 2014 JPIM, business models are an important part of the concept of open innovation, but relatively under-researched).

The program will include a new interactive paper format, combining the plenary intro pitch of OUI with the posters+drinks approach that worked so well at our 2012 London conference and this year’s OCIS social at AOM. I even had one author volunteer to give up a parallel paper presentation slot to do an interactive paper (which we nixed because the process would be a nightmare to administer).


Guess Who's Coming to Dinner
When we did the London conference, we expected to get more authors from Europe than the U.S. In planning for WOIC, we worried that not enough of them would come to a resort 90 minutes from San Francisco’s international airport. We needn't have worried.

Of the 123 unique authors represented in the accepted papers, this is how they broke down:
  • 91 Europe: 23 Germany, 12 Spain, 11 UK, 8 Sweden, 7 Italy, 6 France & Switzerland, 5 Belgium
  • 26 North America: 25 US
  • 6 Asia
In other words, there will be nearly as many Germans (population 80 million) presenting in the US as there are Americans (population 315 million).

So perhaps there will be less German spoken at the Chesbrough-Fest (a medieval English name) than the VonHippel-Fest (honoring the son of a German-born physicist). But clearly German will be the 2nd most popular language at coffee breaks.

Given the travel costs, I expected more chaired professors, but that didn’t happen. Instead, about half of the names are familiar OI researchers (including 6 of the 19 accepted authors from the June 2014 special issue of Research Policy and 3/4 of the guest editors). Some of the other names are their students and other co-authors, but there are definitely names that I haven’t seen at an open innovation conference before (not to imply that I’ve been to every meaningful OI conference).

Tips for Future Authors
We made our decisions off of abstracts, which sped the review process but at times made it difficult to judge the substance of the paper. (Some authors did a better job than others of squeezing their key points into a 3,000 word abstract). Some conferences accept based on "I promise to write this paper", but — with so many strong submissions — many such abstracts didn’t survive in competition with completed research.

In doing my 58 reviews, I wrote some notes about how (IMHO) people could have presented the same research more effectively within the abstract format:
  • No need to include an abstract within your abstract.
  • The lit review needs to be drastically shortened — as in a real paper (or a PPT deck) it should be no more than 25% of the body of the paper.
  • Make sure your abstract communicates your contribution, not tells us what you hope your contribution will be someday. (If you don’t know yet, take your best guess — it will be better than ours).
  • Use as many words as you need to prove your point. What is your evidence? What are your methods? Measures?
  • Make the link to the conference theme explicit, as many papers were rejected for failing to do notice that this is a conference about “open innovation” (as defined by the CFP). That said, the paper will be accepted based on its potential contribution, not on its fit to the conference.
  • Don’t claim “there’s no theory in open innovation” and promise to be the first one to solve this problem. (NB: unless you’ve read every single article, it’s probably dangerous to claim to be the first to do anything in any research stream that’s 10+ years old).
Faced with an unexpected surge of demand, we instituted a “Rule of One” comparable to OUI or DRUID: one attendee, one paper. As with both conferences, some senior authors were listed on multiple papers with their students but only present one paper. In the end, the Rule of One only affected one person (me) who had an under-funded lead author who can’t fly from Europe in December to present his paper (forcing me to drop it or another paper where I’m lead author).

The Future
We expect to have a great two days (December 4-5) in Napa. The size seems just right — what OUI used to be, but slightly bigger than our wonderful 2012 London conference.

I hope that the Silverado Resort will have the same effect as my former hangout in Hawaii (HICSS): people will be happy to be there, and thus more relaxed (and hopefully creative and constructive) in their interactions. I suspect we will have more spouses than usual, allowing allowing people to put faces to names they have heard about for years.

In addition to having a nice venue, we also have the Napa Valley. After the conference ends, there will be an (optional) wine tour and other outings available.

For people whose papers weren’t done this year, there’s always next year: like a fine wine, good research should not be served before its time. We are hoping that by having a regular conference (December) and submission deadline (July 1), people will be able to plan to have something available for this annual event.