How $10B Corning Focuses R&D Efforts — and the Four Places Its New Ideas Come From

Christie McCarthy, Director of New Product Realization, Corning Life Sciences

Few companies can claim an innovation track record as historic as that of Corning — the company not only developed the glass enclosure for some of Thomas Edison’s earliest light bulbs, but also created one of the first corporate research departments, in 1908. Corning went on to create Pyrex, the fiber optics used in telecommunications, and the ultra-tough Gorilla Glass that is a key part of 4.5 billion mobile devices.

“Innovation is critical to Corning’s identity and sense of itself,” says Christie McCarthy, Director of New Product Realization in Corning’s life sciences division. “It really is who we are.” About 2,000 PhDs work at the company’s Sullivan Park Research & Development campus near Corning, New York. “We have a critical mass of ideas and research in one place. It feels a little old-fashioned these days, but it really works for Corning. It really forges tight bonds.”

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