About Us

The Garwood Center offers customized forums within an Open Innovation network that engages across industries to expand markets. Our process builds on cutting-edge research to facilitate the formation of strategic alliances, partnerships & ecosystems, and create sustainable business models

Our Mission

The Garwood Center for Corporate Innovation brings together scholars and practitioners—from executives to students—to understand Open Innovation and overcome the unique challenges of openly innovating in large enterprises.

  • Address corporate innovation challenges through both theory and practice. We place particular, but not exclusive, emphasis on Open Innovation.
  • Help corporations implement and share innovation solutions through our Berkeley Innovation Forum.
  • Generate and share cutting-edge research on corporate and open innovation through our World Open Innovation Conference and other events.
  • Educate the next generation of corporate innovators through undergraduate and graduate courses as well as our visiting scholars and Garwood Innovation Fellows programs.
Key Topics of Inquiry
  • Open Innovation: the use of purposive inflows and outflows of knowledge to accelerate innovation.
  • Business Model Innovation: creating and capturing more value by innovating business models and coordinating them with key partners,
  • Open Services Innovation: extending the open innovation and open business models concepts to services, and
  • Applied Corporate Innovation: developing innovative solutions to business problems using MBA student teams.


“Large organizations have always worked hard to grow but consistently run into obstacles. The systems that make them more stable also make them less adaptable. Open Innovation and the Garwood Center help corporations answer the question of, ‘How do we keep growing and becoming different in useful ways?’”

Richard Lyons

(former) Dean, Haas School of Business

More About The Garwood Center

The Garwood Center center pays particular attention to the implementation of issues and development of new business models to capture the value of innovative products and services. Garwood’s Faculty Director, Henry Chesbrough, is known as the father of Open Innovation, but like any proud parent, he prefers to shine the spotlight away from himself and on to what his idea contributes to the world: a way to innovate that harnesses useful knowledge from just about anywhere.


Take Procter & Gamble’s SpinBrush. It’s a low-cost powered toothbrush using technology invented outside P&G—and first used in a spinning lollipop. It’s also the result of Open Innovation, which is less restricted and more distributed than the closed research-and-development process corporations typically rely on, a process that doesn’t always yield the results they’re seeking.


Garwood acts as a bridge between two usually disconnected spheres: business practice in corporations and business theory devised and refined by academics. In fact, the Center’s mission is to bring together scholars and practitioners—from undergraduate students to CEOs—to understand and overcome the unique challenges of innovating in large enterprises. Through its programs, Garwood helps corporations implement Open Innovation and other innovation models, and it creates a platform for scholars to generate and share the latest research on corporate innovation.


At Garwood’s annual World Open Innovation Conference, scholars present the latest research on Open Innovation and collaborate with managers who are facing real-world innovation challenges in their organizations. Through the Center’s Berkeley Innovation Forum, managers from 32 member firms share their innovation-management successes and obstacles, offering support and potential solutions from a range of industries. Every quarter, the Center invites chief innovation officers from select companies to the CIO Roundtable, which explores leading-edge innovation concepts, such as autonomous factories and innovation as a service. The Garwood Innovation Fellows program gives executives-in-residence the opportunity to work with the unparalleled Garwood network on their organizations’ most pressing innovation challenges. As part of the Institute for Business Innovation, Garwood also hosts a number of visiting scholars who come from around the world but are all focused on corporate innovation in their research.


These programs all leverage Garwood’s unique elements. In addition to being home to the father of Open Innovation, the Center is part of one of the world’s top-ranked business schools, where many renowned innovation experts teach and research, and it’s close to Silicon Valley, which infuses all of Garwood’s programs with an entrepreneurial spirit.   Chesbrough believes business schools are often too separate from the organizations they study, and he’s used the Open Innovation mindset to find a useful model for the Garwood Center. “We need to do what leading medical schools do: they hire world-class researchers, but they also employ a second kind of professor, a clinical professor. This person translates the latest research results into new, real-world treatment methods. That’s what we’re trying to do at Garwood, to translate new theories of innovation into practice, and help companies get better results.”

Faculty and Staff

Henry Chesbrough

Faculty Director, Garwood Center for Corporate Innovation – Professor, Berkeley Haas/ ESADE Business School

Open Innovation is a term promoted by Henry Chesbrough, a professor and executive director at the Center for Open Innovation at Berkeley, in his book Open Innovation: The new imperative for creating and profiting from technology[1]. The concept is related to user innovation, cumulative innovation and distributed innovation.[2]

Read more about Henry Chesbrough here

Solomon Darwin

Executive Director, Garwood Center for Corporate Innovation

Solomon Darwin is the Executive Director, Garwood Center for Corporate Innovation and former Executive Director of Financial Reporting and Management, at the Haas School of Business. Prior to joining UC Berkeley he was an Associate Professor at the University of Southern California from 1996 – 2005. Solomon Darwin has over 13 years of Industry experience at Bank of America and Motorola.

Read more about Solomon Darwin here

Contact Information

Phone Number

Phone: (510) 642-4041
Fax: (510) 642-2826

Mailing Address

Garwood Center for Corporate Innovation
F402 Haas School of Business, #1930
University of California, Berkeley
Berkeley, CA 94720-1930



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