About the Founder

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Dr. Anne Marie Knott, PhD
Founder and Chief Scientist

Founder and Chief Scientist, Dr. Anne Marie Knott, is Professor of Strategy at the Olin School of Business, Washington University, where her principle area of expertise is innovation, both through entrepreneurship and large scale R&D. She has published books and numerous articles on innovation and entrepreneurship, and has received two National Science Foundation grants for her RQ work.

Professor Knott pioneered the RQ measure as part of a twenty-year academic career (the first half as an Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship at Wharton, the second half as Professor of Strategy at Washington University in St. Louis) doing research and consulting on innovation.  But RQ is not merely an academic exercise for her.  She experienced declining innovativeness first hand during a prior career managing missile guidance projects at Hughes Aircraft Company.  “I could see within Hughes that government policies and the company’s responses were forcing decisions that would permanently degrade R&D capability.   Moreover, I suspected this was true not only for Hughes, but for all firms in the Defense sector, and possibly other sectors as well.   The challenge at the time was I couldn’t convey the need for alarm, because there was no good measure of R&D capability”.

She became an academic (earning her PhD at UCLA, while continuing to work at Hughes) in part to solve that problem.  Ultimately, she discovered RQ as a byproduct of answering a more fundamental question in the management of innovation.  However, “once I had the measure, I knew it was the holy grail I’d been seeking”.  The first thing she did with RQ was characterize the R&D productivity of all publicly traded US firms going back as far as data would allow (1972).

She learned her concerns while at Hughes were valid—not only for Hughes, but for the entire US economy (R&D productivity had declined 65%).  Of course the next step was trying to identify how to reverse that trend.  Fortunately, she was awarded two National Science Foundation (NSF) grants that allowed her to link RQ to R&D practices across the entire spectrum of US firms.

For more information on Dr. Knott please consult her website at Washington University