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Organization and management of these efforts have given rise to mutual problems, such as selection, control, and termination of projects and evaluation of their results; barriers to innovation; professional development of research personnel; effect of societal influences on R&D; and many others.
Founded in 1938 under the auspices of the National Research Council, the Industrial Research Institute (IRI) is an association of over 265 companies that provides a means for the coordinated study of problems confronting managers of industrial research and development. IRI was incorporated in the State of New York on April 17, 1945, as a non-profit, 501(c)(6) organization.
Activities of the Industrial Research Institute cover current as well as long-range problems in the management of research and technology. Primarily educational and informational, these activities include semi-annual meetings, seminars, study groups, a bi-monthly journal Research-Technology Management, and periodic newsletters.
Procedures for carrying out the Purposes of the Institute are subject to approval of a Board of Directors. Plans, policies, and proposals evolve from a number of standing committees, and are implemented by a headquarters staff of ten persons plus two editorial consultants.
Membership in the Institute is taken in the name of the company upon the payment of annual dues of $3,200. A requirement for membership is that the company maintain a technical staff and laboratory for industrial research in the United States, Canada, or Mexico, and shall either be engaged primarily in industrial production or be the research subsidiary of a company so engaged, or shall be a service company whose industrial product is technical service, information technology, or software. Institute members are located mainly in the United States, although several are in Canada, Europe, and Japan. Industries represented by these companies include chemical, metal-producing, paper, textile, pharmaceutical, food, petroleum, electronics, computers, rubber, aerospace, transportation, and R&D services. The policy on admission to IRI provides for a moderate annual increase in membership while avoiding undue predominance of companies in any one industrial classification.