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The Generation of Innovations

The Generation of Innovations

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The Generation of Innovations

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  1. The Generation of Innovations From the book: Diffusion of Innovations Everett M. ROGERS Roberta Campos April 2008

  2. Innovation-Development Process Diffusion and Adoption Consequences

  3. Diffusion and Adoption % ADOPTERS TIME

  4. Innovation-Development Process Past diffusion studies Past Tracer Studies Needs / Problems Development Diffusion and Adoption Research (Basic and Applied) Commercialization Consequences

  5. Innovation-Development Process Needs / Problems Development Diffusion and Adoption Research (Basic and Applied) Commercialization Consequences

  6. Need or problem • Starting point of the process • May be a future problem foreseen by a scientist. • Ex: Labor shortage for tomato farmers • May rise as a priority on a system’s agenda • Ex: Shift from an individual-blame perspective to a system-blame view on traffic safety

  7. Innovation-Development Process Needs / Problems Development Diffusion and Adoption Research (Basic and Applied) Commercialization Consequences

  8. Basic and Applied Research • Basic research: original investigations for the advancement of scientific knowledge without specific objectives. • Applied research: scientific investigation that are intended to solve practical problems. • Technological innovation: result of an interplay of scientific methods and practical problems. • Measure of success of research is the number of patents

  9. Serendipity • Sometimes, one invention is made while pursuing a different innovation • Accidental discovery of a new idea. • Ex: Post-it!, Rogaine (hair-restorer) / Viagra • Innovation may be developped by users as well as by manufacturers. • Innovation occurs when information is exchanged on needs and technological solutions. • Ex: Warfarin (p. 150 / 151)

  10. Innovation-Development Process Needs / Problems Development Diffusion and Adoption Research (Basic and Applied) Commercialization Consequences

  11. Development • Process of putting a new idea in a form that is expected to meet the needs of an audience of potential adopters (p. 137). • Technology is shaped by social patterns, it is influenced by social norms and values. • Ex: Gas refrigerator X Electric refrigerator

  12. Development • Skunkworks: Small and « subversive » units within an organization that develop creative innovation. • Source of creativity outside the bureaocratic and large R&D departments.

  13. Development: technological transfer • Traditional view of technological transfer: one-way process through which (basic and applied) research results are put into practice. (Technology mainly seen as hardware) • Technology transfer: « exchange of technical information between the R&D workers who create a technological innovation and the users of the new idea » (p. 140) • It is a two-way exchange and communication process. • Implies the arrival of practical information to the research and development moment.

  14. Development: technological transfer US X Japan • US R&D leader in creating technological innovations. • Japan: more effective in the transfer of technologies into commercial products. Ex: VCR • 1950’s: Ampex clients were TV stations. • Ampex R&D suggested a miniaturized VCR for home use => Management sold the rights to Sony Corp. • Today, no American company produces the VCR.

  15. Innovation-Development Process Needs / Problems Development Diffusion and Adoption Research (Basic and Applied) Commercialization Consequences

  16. Commercialization • It is the conversion of an idea from research into a product for sale in the marketplace. Production, manufacturing, packaging, marketing, communication, distribution, pricing

  17. Commercialization • Technological cluster: two or more innovations market together to ease diffusion • Ex: Xerox PARC (Palo Alto Research Center) – By 1977

  18. Commercialization:The PARC Example • Xerox PARC (Palo Alto Research Center) • In 1970, it was created to develop the office of the future. • By 1977, the PARC had developped: • The world’s first personnal computer • The mouse • Icons and pull-down menus • Laser printing • Ethernet technology - network

  19. Commercialization: The PARC Example • What generated this amazing performance? • Outstanding R&D personnel sourced from: • the US Dep. of Defense’s Advanced Reserch Agency and Universities (MIT, Stanford, etc) • a nearby computer company that failed • SRI International led by a visionary computer scientist (invented the mouse) • PARC management style encourages innovation (favorable organizational culture) • Employees used innovation in their daily work • Microprocessor (crucial prior innovation) just invented in the early 1970’s.

  20. Commercialization: The PARC Example • But why Xerox was unable to commercialize this technologies in the market place? • Company sees itself as in the office copier business. Only the laser printing fits this business mission. • No effective mechanism was created for technology transfer from PARC to the commercialization divisions in Xerox. • PARC in Palo Alto, CA and the Manufacturing center in NY. • Technological transfer happened when Steve Jobs hired several PARC engineers.

  21. Innovation-Development Process Needs / Problems Development Diffusion and Adoption Research (Basic and Applied) Commercialization Consequences

  22. Diffusion and Adoption • Innovation gatekeeping concept: controls whether or not an innovation should be diffused to an audience. • Role of the diffusion agencies in agricultural and medical sectors. • National Institute of Health (1978) => consensus development: process that gathers scientists, practitioners, consumers, and others to reach agreement on the safety and effectiveness of an innovation. • Clinical trials conducted in the commercialization phase: evaluate the innovation under real life conditions.

  23. Innovation-Development Process Needs / Problems Development Diffusion and Adoption Research (Basic and Applied) Commercialization Consequences

  24. Consequences • Changes to an individual or a community as a result of the adoption (or rejection) of an innovation. • Initial needs / problems are solved or not. • Socioeconomic impact of innovations • Ex: Tomato-harvesting

  25. Consequences: Tomato-harvesting example • Motivation for mechanical harvester developement: • Risk of labour shortage: end of the bracero program in 1964 • Intented to save the tomato industry • Development of large harvesters to cope with the size of the tomato production in California

  26. Before the technology (1962): 4,000 farmers 50,000 farmworkers, mostly Mexican men immigrants Soft tomatoes (bruises easily in mechanical harvesting) After the technology (1971) 600 farmers 1,152 machines and 18,000 workers (80% women / a few Mexican) Hard tomatoes (do not bruise easily) – fewer vitamins Consequences: Tomato-harvesting example

  27. Consequences: Tomato-harvesting example • Consequences: • 32,000 former hand pickers out of work • Reduction of the number of producers • Industry concentration • What if the scientists had developed a smaller machine, affordable for small famers? How the social impact would differ?

  28. Key learnings from tracer studies: Applied research contributes more directly to creation of an innovation than does basic research. Major technological advances require a cluster of innovations (Ex: The mechanical harvester and the harder tomato type). A relatively long period (10 to 20 years) is needed between an innovation in basic research and its practical application. Basic research results « need to age ». Reserch is often conducted without a practical application to a certain problem in mind. A considerable degree of serendipity may occur. Tracing the Innovation Process

  29. Weakenesses of tracer studies • All retrospective • Focus on important technological innovation: the heart pacemaker, oral contraceptives. How it works for less important innovations? • Should we trace non-successful innovations? • Accidental aspects are less likely to be fully reported on data available.

  30. Thank you!