John Ettlie has been “granted” two wishes.
The Rochester Institute of Technology professor was recently “granted” an award from the National Science Foundation to work on a joint project, “Collaborative Research: Service Innovation,” with Professor Stephen Rosenthal of Boston University.
Ettlie is also the recipient of a Fulbright “grant” to teach in Portugal from May through August.
“I will teach a version of the course I teach here, and although it is offered under their MIS track, it is a two-part course on managing innovation,” explains Ettlie, who is director of technology management and Madelon L. and Richard N. Rosett chair in the College of Business.
“This is how you learn about a culture; you live it,” Ettlie remembers about his last teaching experience in Lisbon, at his host institution, Catolica, where he taught in 2003. “You speak only the native language, go where the natives go, ride the bus, the subway, the tram, eat in local restaurants, and when you get back to the U.S., you understand the true meaning of diversity: tolerance, tolerance, tolerance.”
When he returns to RIT, Ettlie will embark on a five-year study of service innovation, the first two years funded by the NSF division of Innovation and Organizational Change. The project is funded jointly between RIT and Boston University, together exceeding $200,000.
“Our focus is on service innovation extensions of manufacturing firms,” Ettlie explains, “and partner firms include Kodak, Flextronics and several other leading companies in manufacturing services.”
The NSF grant, says Ettlie, represents a major new applied research thrust by the technology management center in the College of Business.