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Innovation on showcase

Undergrads present research at the SuperUROP Research Preview.

Innovation is about solving the right problem at the right time, Sophie Vandebroek, Xerox’s chief technology officer, told an audience of students participating in the School of Engineering’s SuperUROP program on Thursday.

“You have to focus on who is the user for your technology and what is the right problem to solve,” said Vandebroek, who is also president of the Xerox Innovation Group. “In the early 1970s, we had a color copier. It was amazing technology. There was just one problem: There were very few color originals.”

Today, Xerox sends experts into hospitals, schools, cities, and other environments to observe users, she noted — making sure the right problem is solved early in the innovation process.

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