Columbia Sportswear is currently looking for an Innovation and R&D Commercialization Manager to help find or develop innovative technologies and bring them to market.
Columbia has historically been known as a product innovator. In 1982, they created the famous Interchange System which featured a weatherproof outershell and an insulating inner jacket. The same concept was then later applied to the Bugaboo ski parka which became one of the best-selling ski jackets in history. In 1991, the company developed their own proprietary waterproof, breathable coating- OmniTech – and they were one of the first companies to adopt Gore-Tex in their outdoor clothing line.
This is a smart move on Columbia's part as innovation is the key for sutainable advantage in such a competitive marketplace. I am excited to see how far they will take it- will they partner with or invest in smaller companies in the space? Will they look to acquire companies? Columbia is no stranger to acquisitions in order to access new markets. The company acquired footwear maker Sorel Corporation in 2000 and Mountain Hardware in 2003. Then in 2006, Columbia acquired Pacific Trail Outerwear and Montrail.
Being one of the bigger companies in the Outdoor Industry, they have an opportunity to make quite a difference.