Utterback — lauded as one of the pioneers of research on innovation at and by spin-offs — spoke to attendees about the confluence of different fields such as biotechnology and nanotechnology. He described this fusion of disciplines as necessary, but cautioned that the benefits of interdisciplinary research must not be left to chance and innovators must purposefully steer the process.
KU Leuven reported that in discussing the problematic issues of innovation, Utterback mentioned the link between automation and unemployment, pointing out that 90 per cent of employees still work in established industries. "It is therefore important to invest in new fields in a well-considered and balanced manner." And what is the secret to 'spin-off sauce', as Utterback himself described it? "Young entrepreneurs are attracted to MIT because they know we support their ideas." (Video | Interview | Laudatio)