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The Innovation Continuum: Moving Promising Technologies off the Shelf Genome Canada GPS Policy Brief Canadian Science Policy Conference Calgary, November 5, 2012. Professor Jonathan Linton Power Corp Professor for the Management of Technological Enterprises,

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The Innovation Continuum: Moving Promising Technologies off the ShelfGenome Canada GPS Policy BriefCanadian Science Policy Conference Calgary, November 5, 2012

Professor Jonathan Linton

Power Corp Professor for the Management of Technological Enterprises,

Institute for Science, Society and Policy,

University of Ottawa

Editor-in-Chief

Technovation: the Journal of Technological Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Technology Management

Professor Jeremy Hall

Beedie School of Business

Simon Fraser University

Editor-in-Chief

Journal of Engineering and Technology Management

context
Context
  • Increased emphasis on publically funded research for invention, leading to commercialization for societal benefits
    • How can new scientific endeavours be commercialized to provide societal benefits?
    • How can we get promising technologies from public research off the shelf?
  • Science-based innovation is a complex process involving different individuals throughout cycle, where individuals variously enter and exit (Langford et al, 2006)
  • High heterogeneity in knowledge; heuristics to exploit opportunity (Hall and Martin, 2005)
context1
Context
  • Scientific/technical knowledge migrate across institutional boundaries through (Reamer et al, 2003)
    • Cooperative research and development
    • Licensing or sale of intellectual property (IP) and spin-offs
    • Technical assistance
    • Information exchanges
    • Hiring skilled people
  • Idiosyncratic, context dependent
  • Currently available indicators for university research outcomes ‘blurs’ the idiosyncrasies and unique path dependencies (Langford et al, 2006)
context genome canada research
Context: Genome Canada Research
  • Increasingly moving beyond discovery research towards “translation of discoveries” for the global bioeconomy(Halliwelland Smith, 2011)
    • Not just medical but also industrial applications – including: manufacturing, chemicals, bioremediation, biomonitoring tools and biofuels (Sheppard et al, 2011)
    • More integrated GE3LS research
  • Consistent with recent discourse on more reflexive , interactive approach to innovation rather than linear “technology push” (Nightingale, 2004; Guena et al, 2003)
  • Costs of greater integration?
key issue a need to understand heterogeneous idiosyncratic features of innovation
Key issue: A need to understand heterogeneous, idiosyncratic features of innovation
  • Heuristics, incentives differ among key technology developers, users, other stakeholders
    • Insights from wide range of stakeholders needed, but…
    • Adds complexity; ambiguity, e.g. difficult to identify salient stakeholders, their interests, heuristics (Matos and Hall, 2007.
  • Industrial setting plays key role in whether a public technology will be sought out and commercialized by firms
    • Some actively monitor, engage with university researchers (e.g. pharmaceuticals), most industries more passive
  • Are technology transfer offices, scientists, early developers adequately prepared to manage relationships with passive industry players?
theoretical underpinnings the challenges of new product development clark and wheelwright
Theoretical UnderpinningsThe Challenges of New Product DevelopmentClark and Wheelwright

Number of new ideas

Concept

Commercialisation

the challenges of new product development clark and wheelwright
The Challenges of New Product DevelopmentClark and Wheelwright

Ability to influence outcome

Number of new ideas

Concept

Commercialisation

the challenges of new product development clark and wheelwright1
The Challenges of New Product DevelopmentClark and Wheelwright

Actual management activity

Ability to influence outcome

Number of new ideas

Concept

Commercialisation

contemporary development funnel clark and wheelwright
‘Contemporary’ Development FunnelClark and Wheelwright

Technology Strategy

Technology Assessment & Forecasting

Development goals & objectives

Post-project learning & improvement

Aggregate project plan

Project mgmt & execution

Market Assessment & Forecasting

Product/Market Strategy

tcos framework
TCOS Framework

Exogenous technological developments, market trends, global financial conditions, etc. that affect cognitive legitimization processes

Technological Uncertainties

Commercial Uncertainties

Post-project learning & improvement

Development goals & objectives

Project management & execution

Aggregate project plan

Organizational Uncertainties

Social Uncertainties

Social trends, legal issues, controversies etc. that affect socio-political legitimization processes

typology of innovative uncertainties hall and martin 2005 matos and hall 2007 hall et al 2011
Typology of Innovative UncertaintiesHall and Martin, 2005; Matos and Hall, 2007; Hall et al, 2011
  • Technological uncertainty:
    • Does it work?
    • Domain of scientists, engineers
  • Commercial uncertainty
    • Is it commercially viable?
    • Domain of marketing, business analysts
  • Organisational uncertainty
    • Will your organisation accept/adopt the technology and

appropriate the benefits?

    • Domain of the strategists, business development experts
  • Social Uncertainty
    • Is it acceptable to civil society?
    • Domain of ??
organizational and social uncertainty
Organizational and Social Uncertainty
  • Organizational uncertainty: can organization appropriate the benefits of the technology (e.g. Teece & Teece et al):
    • Org. capabilities, complementary assets, legal/institutional settings for IP protection (appropriability regime) determines who profits from the innovation
  • Social uncertainty: how diverse secondary stakeholders may affect, or be affected by technology development
    • Differ from TCO uncertainties: more interacting variables (more stakeholders beyond value chain, some which may be difficult to identify - complexity and ambiguity)
    • Require different heuristics
taiga forest health forest pathogen detection and monitoring
TAIGA Forest Health: Forest Pathogen Detection and Monitoring
  • Early detection/prevention best strategy for managing forest health, using new genomics-enhanced pathogen detection & monitoring tools for rusts, cankers leaf spots, root diseases
  • Reg. agencies rely on visual inspection for known pathogens; proposed technology faster, more accurate
  • Nurseries another potential market
  • Potential market size unknown; certification regulations in flux
  • While good for industry and society (socio-political legitimacy), may be resisted by individual stakeholders
    • Some firms may be proactive; others reactive
biocatalyst lignin transformation technology
Biocatalyst Lignin Transformation Technology
  • Forest biomass can replace petroleum through lignin-based polymers for aromatics, resins, carbon fibers, biofuels
    • Renewable; can reduce env. impacts
    • May affect forestry, chemicals, energy industries
  • More efficient lignocellulose degradation via genomic/metagenomicapproaches such as manipulating naturally occurring metabolic diversity of forest soil communities
  • But… “You can make anything from lignin except money”
    • Regulatory pressures, increased concerns over non-renewable feedstocksprovide socio-political legitimacy
  • Promising products include lignin-based vanillin andresins
implications
Implications
  • Early Scanning
  • Key for innovative success: early scanning of industry features and market dynamics, firm capabilities and appropriability issues, and potential social/env. impacts.
    • Gatekeepers’ link between research team & environment:
      • Technological gatekeepers
      • Market gatekeepers
      • Stakeholder gatekeeper
  • The Role of Technology Transfer Offices:
  • Passive versus active role, depending on industry
  • Must move beyond medical (active) if translational model is to engage the bio-economy
  • Training for heterogeneous skills?
implications1
Implications
  • Opportunity Identification
  • Early interaction reduces risks, plus identifies opportunities
  • Enroll unanticipated users for future applications,identify opportunities otherwise beyond scope of initial project
    • The role of the ‘gate-opener’
  • Temporary project structure/ short term funding, versus long term potential applications needed for translational model
  • Learning Levers for Legitimization:
  • New technologies compete against well established incumbents with scale economies (cognitive legitimacy)
  • Effect of learning (Linton and Walsh, 2004)
  • Social/env. attributes as lever - different value proposition based on social legitimacy, which can provide developers with time to improve technological and commercial attributes.
implications2
Implications

The Cost of Translation

  • While benefits are promising, there are also costs:
    • Increased transaction costs (finding industry partners, potential customers, consultations with more stakeholders)
    • IPM legal & admin costs
    • Increasingly demanding accountability/research ethics
  • Individually all provide utility, but also time-consuming, requires skills, heuristics peripheral to lead researchers
  • Schumpeterian vs. Kirznerian entrepreneurship - researchers creating new knowledge expected to take on larger share of the risks, admin under translational research, but currently not clear if rewards go to them or others
  • Are we expecting too much from our scientists?
acknowledgements
Acknowledgements
  • TCOS Lab Contributors
  • Senior Researchers (and co-authors of this brief): Drs. Stelvia Matos; Vern Bachor& Robin Downey
  • Adjuncts: Dr. Mike Martin (retired); Dr. Bruno Silvestre (UofW)
  • Students: Deb Farias; John Prpic
  • Research Projects
    • Genome Canada and Genome BC Studies
      • Genomics-based forest health diagnostic and monitoring (PI: Richard Hamelin, UBC)
      • Harnessing microbial diversity for sustainable use of forest biomass resources (PIs: Lindsay Eltis and Bill Mohn, UBC)
    • SSHRC & others: Brazil studies on innovation & entrepreneurship in poor communities
  • We would also like to acknowledge our colleagues Professors Edna Einsiedel and Cooper Langford, and special thanks to Karine Morin for organizing this session