Wolfson Visiting Fellow Professor Irene Ng has been appointed as Director of The International Institute for Product and Service Innovation (IIPSI) at WMG, the University of Warwick. Irene’s new role will tap on her experience as a leading market academic as well as entrepreneur for 16 years, which fits with the strategic vision for IIPSI, a digital innovation space that aims to translate WMG’s innovation into commercial outcomes within small businesses.
Irene is currently Professor of Marketing and Service Systems at WMG, where she also leads the service systems and digital innovation research group. Prior entering academia, she was CEO of SA Tours, one of the largest tour operators in Southeast Asia based in Malaysia, Singapore and China. She also founded Empress Cruise Lines, a cruise company with an annual turnover of USD250 million which she sold in 1996.
Since becoming an academic in 1997, Irene has received global recognition for her work in value-based pricing and service systems with 22 journal articles and prestigious appointments such as the ESRC/AIM Services Fellow in 2008 and ESRC/NIHR Fellow in 2009. She has also written two books and her third book Value: Creating New Markets in the Digital Economy will be released in January 2013. She is also one of the four investigators of NEMODE (New Economic Models in the Digital Economy), a £1.5m initiative under the Research Councils UK (RCUK)’s Digital Economy (DE) Network+ programme. With a research grant portfolio of more than £7.9m as well as an advisor on pricing and business models innovation to start-ups and SMEs, Irene is well placed to drive and develop a future strategy that connects digital research and the need for business growth.
Funded by the University of Warwick and the European Regional Development Fund, IIPSI will enable businesses to access the very latest cutting edge product and service design technology, leading to the creation and testing of market-leading products and services. Irene has ambitious plans for IIPSI to become a global exemplar as an innovation institute while making a difference locally.
IIPSI will be a showcase of how cutting-edge interdisciplinary research that work alongside businesses in a creative and innovative knowledge eco-system can create real impact, from start-ups to established global corporations. Through IIPSI, companies will be able to access WMG’s academic experts who will be showcasing the depth of the research that can be achieved to embed new capabilities into their business, as well as supporting research bids. For instance, IIPSI will feature a range of demonstrators in the technology areas of Digital Innovation, Polymer Innovation and Experience-led Innovation, enabling SMEs to explore ways in which the technology can work for their specific business needs.
IIPSI is expected to create or safeguard over 200 jobs and catalyse start-ups through a funded support programme for West Midlands SMEs that will run till the end of June 2015.