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Sun 22 - Fri 27 October 2017 Vancouver, Canada

Note: This is a “discussion-style” workshop - not a mini-conference with prepared papers. Workshop participants will work together to explore this topic. It is a chance for dialog for conference attendees from both academic and industry. The results may include some new research questions as well as guidelines for cross-organizational collaboration.

(You do not need to have a “position paper” to partcipate in the discussion. We will accept “walk-ins” on the day of the workshop, space permitting.)

Escaped from the Lab

What are some of the practices for taking new ideas and converting them into products?

Even large organizations have a difficult time sustaining the innovation process. The all-to-common story: One part of the organization over-commits (promises the earth, moon, and stars), and another part of the organization is forced to deliver. The extravagant promise of the Powerpoint presentation is converted into the trail of tears of the Gantt chart. The grandiose project was originally supposed to be feasible. There were some small technology trials that proved out the basic ideas for low-volume transaction rates and simplified user interfaces. The product was supposed to be delivered in record time because of high rates of software reuse. So what went wrong?

This workshop will explore the intersection of modern software technology and tools, high reliability and performance requirements, large organizations, and conflicts in the software development process.

“Escaped from the lab” is an issue both in industry and academia. Many technology companies have a significant investment in research, and some notable companies have a division with the name “Labs” or “Research” in its title (IBM, Microsoft, Intel, HP, Oracle, Ericsson, Samsung, Siemens). But there is a trend for technology companies to look to outside sources of technology innovations such as partnerships with other companies, university research organizations, and government-sponsored labs. Companies can profit from good relationships with university researchers, and innovators in an academic environment usually need some strategies to find industry partners to get an innovation into practice.

This workshop will explore questions and obstacles in making research ideas practical for use in the real world. Workshop discussion topics will include:

  • Prototyping: Under what conditions can a prototype be “scaled up” to production? Are some prototypes only “pure experiments” which should be thrown away?
  • Technical debt: One common strategy for advancing the introduction of new technology is to take on some “technical debt” in building a first generation product, with concrete plans to make the next version more complete and robust. What are some techniques for keeping this technical debt under control?
  • Reusability: How can you make an honest assessment of the potential reusability of a module or subsystem?
  • Reliability and Availability: How do the reliability and availability requirements get captured and how do they become action items in the product plan?
  • Decision making: Is it possible to define the key issues early in the project lifecycle? What kinds of development processes and management processes are most useful for highlighting the gaps?
  • Risks: Can we assess and mitigate the risk of software failures early in the prototype-to-product transformation process? What are the most critical performance, reliability, and performance issues to address in the transition from prototype to product?
  • Innovation and “innovation models”: Where do the new ideas come from, and how to we make sure that an “invention” turns into a “money-making innovation”?
  • Future: How can we do better at moving innovations into practical applications?

More information and links on the workshop website

Call for Participation

How to join the workshop

Are you interested in joining the dialog on the issues of bringing research into practice? Here is how you can join the workshop:

  • Contact one of the workshop organizers listed below.
  • Prepare an optional one-page “position paper” – containing your ideas, questions, and experiences. Send your position paper to dmancl - AT - acm.org. (Position papers were originally due by September 7, 2017, Workshop participants can “walk in” to the workshop without a position paper. If you have an interesting position to discuss, please send it to dmancl - AT - acm.org, even at the last minute.)
    • Position papers can be in any format – text file, MS-Word, PDF. For this workshop, the workshop position papers do not need to conform to the formats in the “Author Guidelines” tab.
  • The position papers will be used as a starting point for planning the workshop’s activities – position papers will not be “published”.
    • Your position paper might explain some of your personal experiences (positive and/or negative) with transferring research ideas into practice.
    • Or, you might also describe some specific techniques you have tried to improve your technology transfer (especially if they are related to OO technology).

The workshop will accept “walk-ins” on the day of the workshop. (If you plan to attend the workshop, send us email as soon as you can, so we can prepare for you.)

More information and links on the workshop website

For fairness reasons, all submitted papers should conform to the formatting instructions. Submissions that violate these instructions may be rejected without review.

Submission Site

Please take a moment to read the instructions below before using the submission site.

Concurrent Submissions

Papers must describe unpublished work that is not currently submitted for publication elsewhere as described by SIGPLAN’s Republication Policy. Submitters should also be aware of ACM’s Policy and Procedures on Plagiarism.


Submissions should use the ACM SIGPLAN Conference acmart Format with ‘sigplan’ Subformat, 10 point font, using the font family Times New Roman. All submissions should be in PDF format. If you use LaTeX or Word, please use the provided ACM SIGPLAN acmart Templates provided here. Otherwise, follow the author instructions.

If you are formatting your paper using LaTeX, you will need to set the 10pt option in the \documentclass command. If you are formatting your paper using Word, you may wish to use the provided Word template that supports this font size. Please include page numbers in your submission with the LaTeX \settopmatter{printfolios=true} command. Please also ensure that your submission is legible when printed on a black and white printer. In particular, please check that colors remain distinct and font sizes are legible.

Publication (Digital Library Early Access Warning)

AUTHORS TAKE NOTE: The official publication date is the date the proceedings are made available in the ACM Digital Library. This date may be up to two weeks prior to the first day of the conference. The official publication date affects the deadline for any patent filings related to published work.