With over 600 delegates, drawn from academic and industry, the R&D Management Conference (http://www.rnd2018.polimi.it/) is one of the world’s preeminent conferences on innovation. This year the conference was held in Milan (July 2nd-4th) and included sessions from the editors of all the ranking journals in the innovation field. It also included some keynote presentations from the SVP’s of commercial and R&D for Microsoft and other innovation-intensive firms. Also on the agenda, closing the conference, was a presentation from Maynooth University’s Dr Peter Robbins who showcased some original research on the impact of Design Thinking on innovation in R&D in Ireland. Design Thinking is a growing force, globally, in the R&D and innovation fields and Maynooth University is leading the charge for Ireland in this crucial topic.