New Product Professionals Will Have Quicker Access to Certified Innovation Tools Thanks to a New Stage-Gate(R) Alliance Program



    ANCASTER, ONTARIO, April 10 /CNW/ - The program was announced today by
Stage-Gate Inc., a member company of the Product Development Institute.

    This unique, new program will provide easy access to a centralized
listing of innovation resources that meet the rigorous standards and criteria
of the Stage-Gate Ready certification program.

    "Until now, the researching and selecting of product development software
for such Stage-Gate processes as idea management, idea-to-launch and portfolio
management has been unreliable and time consuming," says Michelle Jones,
Executive Vice President of Stage-Gate Inc. "Our rigorous functionality
validation program will take the risk out of the search."

    "This is a free directory service for purchasers of NPD software that
will close the disappointing gap that sometimes exists between NPD business
requirements and performance of some software applications," she explains. "It
is a program born directly out of the numerous requests we receive from
innovators around the world."

    Software vendors who submit to a newly-instituted Stage-Gate Ready
certification are subjected to a comprehensive evaluation on some 200
innovation-related criteria. The evaluation is conducted by a Stage-Gate
expert and can take up to 2-3 full days. Successful vendors receive a detailed
report card outlining how their application performs against both mandatory
and optional criteria.

    "Who better to define and validate Stage-Gate best practice requirements
than the thought leaders in the field - Dr. Robert G. Cooper and Dr. Scott J.
Edgett?" continues Jones. "The collective works of Cooper and Edgett are
considered to be the most comprehensive and reliable assembly of innovation
best practices available in the world today."

    Already, two software tools have been certified Stage-Gate Ready. They
are: Innovation Framework Suite version 4.0 offered by Innovation Framework
Technologies of New York and Accolade(R) version 6.0 offered by Sopheon of
Minneapolis.

    Any organization involved in new product development can benefit from the
Stage-Gate Alliance Program. Even if a company does not have an authentic
Stage-Gate process, it can benefit from innovation productivity tools that are
certified by the originators of Stage-Gate. Certification is assurance that
the software was scrutinized and validated by experts in innovation.

    "I strongly recommend all would-be buyers to ask specifically for
Stage-Gate Ready software, even if your company does not deploy a traditional
Stage-Gate process," says Dr. Robert G. Cooper, Stage-Gate's inventor. "We
want to help organizations take advantage of innovation productivity tools
that can help advance business performance. We believe that if we reduce risks
associated with these decisions, it is a win-win for everyone."

    For more information on the Stage-Gate Alliance Program, the Stage-Gate
Ready Certification Program or Stage-Gate Inc., visit www.stage-gate.com.

    About Stage-Gate(R)

    Stage-Gate is a business system designed to drive new products and
technologies from idea to market faster and with higher rates of commercial
success. Invented by Dr. Robert G. Cooper in 1985 as a result of his
ground-breaking research studies, Stage-Gate is now widely accepted by
industry as the preferred method for new product commercialization. According
to the Product Development and Management Association (PDMA) through their
benchmarking studies, the percentage of companies in North America using a
stage and gate system was 73% in 2005. For more information on the evolution
of Stage-Gate, view this downloadable story of its history
(http://www.stage-gate.com/downloads/20_years.pdf).

    About Stage-Gate Inc.

    Stage-Gate Inc. helps companies achieve growth through successful product
innovation. Our exclusive access to the best practices, databases and research
of internationally recognized thought leaders, Dr. Robert G. Cooper and Dr.
Scott J. Edgett, enables us to create high quality products and services
designed to achieve substantial business impact. We offer proven solutions to
the most complex problems in all aspects of product innovation through our
widely recognized and implemented products, our highly regarded and trusted
consulting services, our award-winning research papers, best-selling books and
first-rate seminars. We also conduct unbiased, expert evaluation and
certification of 3rd party innovation enabling tools through our Stage-Gate
Alliance Program. For information visit www.stage-gate.com.

    Stage-Gate is a registered trademark of Product Development Institute.
Stage-Gate Inc. is a Member Company of the Product Development Institute.

    Accolade is a registered trademark of Sopheon.




For further information:

For further information: Stage-Gate Inc. Michelle Jones, +1-905-304-8797
Executive Vice President michelle.jones@stage-gate.com www.stage-gate.com

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STAGE-GATE INC.

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