Innovation Engineering

Ikhlaq SidhuIS-v3
Contact: or, Also see the Sutardja Center Website at    For Conference or Speaker Biographic Information:See this link or LinkedIn for details

My Area: Innovation Engineering

“… because the most valuable projects don’t start with emerging technologies, but instead start with a broader story and insight that that later leads to a practical and effective, technical solution”

My research and practice area is Innovation Engineering. I study, advise, and/or solve technology and business problems for organizations who want to innovate, adapt, and/or enter new markets using expertise in data, AI, system architecture, blockchain, technology business models, innovation culture, and Silicon Valley networks.

Innovation Engineering as an Method:

  • The Problem: Most innovation projects fail.  In fact, even when they go forward, they often result in ineffective, overly complex, and/or overly expensive solutions.
  • An Observation: In our research, we have observed that successful entrepreneurs/innovators know how to target the most valuable of problems by using story and by using inductive and agile learning processes. Skilled technical architects understand how to solve complex problems by breaking them down at a fundamental systems-level while keeping the design as simple and effective as possible.
  • A Solution: Innovation Engineering is a method that combines the approaches of technical architects and entrepreneur/innovators.

Recent Project Examples:

  • JC-X: Developing an AI based solution for a placement agency to target the best candidates for any position.
  • AIP-X: Helping a firm develop and scale semi-automated call center application that can literally “sell” to customers that don’t know they are talking to a machine.
  • MP-X: Helping a major mall retailer develop technology strategy and organization to avoid disruption form Amazon.
  • BM-X: Providing guidance to universities developing new, applied, experiential technical curriculum with business and innovation context.
  • 5G-X: Guiding telecom operators with AI and Data projects to deliver value from 5G rollouts.
  • Tech-Transform-X: Transferring of university technology to a new venture or innovative firm.
  • HM-X: Helping a major government tax service to use AI and data as part of the fraud detection capabilities of the agency.
  • Berkeley Innovation Index  A data-analytic approach to measuring innovation mindset and innovation culture inside companies.

Sample Topics for Talks and Seminars:

  • Data, AI and Systems for Business: What’s Next
  • How to Enable Innovation and Entrepreneurial Culture in Large Organizations
  • Innovation Tactics, Process, and Execution
  • Data, AI, and Blockchain for Telecom and 5G Rollout
  • How we teach Berkeley students to create Innovation and Ventures (BMoE)

On a day-to-day basis, I work with people at..

  • Innovative Firms: Engineering leaders at Apple, Google, Samsung, Cisco, Applied Materials, Lam Research, Yahoo, Network Appliances, GM, Bosch, Qualcomm, PayPal, Broadcom, VMware, and many other leading firms.
  • Organizations, Universities, and Governments:  Includes Chile Engineering 2030, Onset Ventures, a leading Silicon Valley investment firm, Hong Kong (HKBU), the Government of New Zealand, the Lawrence Hall of Science, and the Jacobs Institute for Design at UC Berkeley.
  • New Ventures: Undergraduate, Ph.D. students, and faculty colleagues at UC Berkeley and the global partner institutions of the College of Engineering.

Academic Programs:

My academic projects create the  educational methods and tools needed to enable technology innovation.

Data-X: A Framework for Digital Transformation and Technology Strategy

A framework and technical course at UC Berkeley that teaches students to use foundational mathematical concepts and current computer science tools to create data-related applications and systems for real-world problems.

Engineering Leadership Program

This program is the management track for Silicon Valley.  The program builds upon the core technical skills of managers, engineers, and scientists; and provides breadth, strategy, market focus, operations, and communication skills for engineering leaders to be able to take larger roles within innovative companies.

Applied Innovation Institute:
I am a fellow of the Applied Innovation Institute in Singapore.


About Me: Ikhlaq Sidhu, UC Berkeley

  • Chief Scientist and Faculty Director, UC Berkeley Sutardja Center (founding)
  • IEOR Professor at UC Berkeley
  • Developed Data-X, A framework for rapid impact with Data, ML, and Systems
  • Co-creator, Berkeley Method of Entrepreneurship to develop innovation mindsets and behaviors.
  • Created many UC Berkeley programs
  • Invented seminal Internet communication technologies used at Skype, HP, US Robotics, IBM, and licensed to many others.  HP – Laser Printer Design
  • Granted 75 US Patents
  • IEEE Major Innovation Award, 2018
  • UC Berkeley IEOR Emerging Area Professor Award, 2009
  • 3Com “Inventor of the Year” 1999
  • Venture Advisor at Onset Ventures, X-Fund
  • Advisor to many firms, executives, advisory boards, and non-profits
  • All degrees: Electrical Engineering, BS to Ph.D.