The primary goal of the Garwood Center for Corporate Innovation is to focus on corporate innovation. The faculty and staff strive to create individual research opportunities, and also fund research for others. Within open innovation, the Center works closely with many Fortune 500 corporations to assess specific business models that are commonly practiced, as well as those that have become defective over time. Each researcher looks not for positive aspects, but probes for the limits and negative issues of each corporation. Unlike the institute’s Lester Center for Entrepreneurship, the Garwood Center for Corporate Innovation does not focus on innovation for startups, but works with established companies that rely heavily on innovation for business success.

Of the many research activities, one specific activity that is currently launching in the Center is a questionnaire, developed by Henry Chesbrough and the Fraunhofer Institute of Germany, which will be sent to numerous corporations in both the U.S and Europe, asking them about their individual adoption of open innovation. As a result, the survey allows researchers and professors to recognize what percentage of firms currently practice open innovation and what percentage have abandoned it.

Recently, Dr. Chesbrough and Professor Darwin invited a new round of research proposals for the Garwood Center for Corporate Innovation. Four proposals have been currently selected. Each proposal outlines the research activity that will occur in the next year and will target corporate innovation. Additionally, the Garwood Center for Corporate Innovation has proposed to provide grants up to $15,000 each to fund the research of faculty members.