Innovation and Commercialization [3321]

Covers from human process of innovating to innovation ecosystems.


Innovation and Commercialization is taught by distinguished practicing innovators. They debunk the concept of innovation as a linear process, from research to development to product in the market. They present a simple model for understanding it as a highly iterative process, in which you cycle repeatedly through many factors in the areas of Technology, Market and Implementation -- until the right pieces come together. Prof. Fitzgerald tells the story of his own major innovation, tracing it along the winding path into products we use every day. The course then proceeds to tell the larger story of how the vaunted American 'pipeline' for carrying this process has been pulled apart.

Before your course starts, try the new edX Demo where you can explore the fun, interactive learning environment and virtual labs. Learn more.

How can you take this edX Course?


Eugene Fitzgerald
Eugene Fitzgerald

Eugene Fitzgerald is the Merton C. Flemings SMA Professor of Materials Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Fellow in the Singapore-MIT Alliance. Prof. Fitzgerald is Founder and Board Chairman of Innovation Interface. Building upon his early experience at AT&T Bell Labs, he has created and led a series of fundamental innovations, from early technology to final implementation in the market. He received a BS degree in Materials Science and Engineering in 1985 from MIT and his PhD in the same discipline from Cornell University in 1989.

Andreas Wankerl
Andreas Wankerl

Andreas Wankerl is Operations Director of the Innovation Interface. He conceptualized its beginnings and co-founded its precursor, the Business of Science and Technology Initiative at Cornell University. The Innovation Interface works with corporations on innovation processes and innovation projects at the corporate/university interface. He received his BS and PhD degrees in Electrical Engineering from Cornell. After four years of managing international sales and customer relations in the semiconductor equipment industry, he returned to Cornell to earn his MBA and to start what has become the Innovation Interface with both Cornell and MIT.


What type of computing environment do I need for this course?

You need to have a computer running one of the following operating systems:
• Microsoft Windows, version XP or greater (XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7)
• Apple OSX, version 10.2 or greater
• Linux - most distributions that have been released within the past two years should work
In addition, you will need the ability to download, install, and run software on your computer.

Will the text of the lectures be available?

Yes, transcripts of the videotaped lectures will be available on the platform.

What if I take a vacation?

The course schedule is designed with this in mind! You can work three weeks ahead in the course, and the exams are one week after the material. Even if you have a two week vacation, you do not need to miss any deadlines and can still complete all of the material.

Will certificates be awarded?

Yes. Online learners who achieve a passing grade in 3.086x will earn for free a certificate of mastery. These certificates will indicate you have successfully completed the course, but will not include a specific grade. Certificates will be issued by edX under the name of MITx.

How are grades assigned?

The two modes of assessment are the electronic evaluation of online exercises and the peer evaluation of writing assignments according to rubrics that will be specified in detail at the beginning of the course.

How does this course use video?

Video lectures with many examples will be interspersed with online exercises to form an integrative and engaging learning experience.

Can I still register after the start date?

Yes! The first homework will be due 2 weeks after the course start, and the first essay a week later.


There are no prerequisites for taking this course other than an interest in the subject.

Course code:
Classes start:
16 Sept 2013
Estimated effort:
12 hours/week (13 weeks)

There are no prerequisites for taking this course other than an interest in the subject.

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