Expert access: Merger unites two organizations devoted to product development

The Product Development and Management Association (PDMA), a resource for the profession of product development and innovation, has merged with the International Association for Product Development (IAPD), granting corporate members access to a significantly expanded network of thousands of experts.


The Product Development and Management Association (PDMA), a resource for the profession of product development and innovation, has merged with the International Association for Product Development (IAPD).

PDMA is comprised of individual members, while IAPD’s membership consists of corporations. Post-merger, IAPD becomes the first corporate member program of PDMA.

Founded in 1976, PDMA comprises more than 3,500 practitioners, service providers, and academics. In 1999, the organization created the New Product Development Professional (NPDP) certification, a training and accreditation process for the product development profession. The IAPD, founded in 1990, focuses on the cultural and process changes that enable member companies enhance global competitiveness through product innovation. Current members are leaders include Caterpillar, Corning, Eli Lilly, GenProbe, Globe Union, Harley Davidson, Herman Miller, Plantronics, and Shell.

Membership in IAPD is limited to ensure workshops are interactive and enable the formation of small working groups on specific issues.

Robin Karol, Executive Director of PDMA, and Beebe Nelson, Director of the IAPD, discussed the idea of joining the two organizations as they coauthored New Product Development for Dummies (Wiley, 2007).

Recent IAPD workshops have addressed the relationship that leadership, strategy, globalization, and knowledge management have to innovation and product development.

“Our organizations’ mutual interests in advancing knowledge of and developing industry standards for product innovation resulted in this merger—a major step forward for both organizations,” says Nelson. “The merger grants our corporate members access to a significantly expanded network of thousands of experts in product development and innovation who will serve as invaluable resources to all of us.”

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