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The generation of innovations

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  • 1. The Generation of InnovationsFrom the book: Diffusion of Innovations Everett M. ROGERS
  • 2. Chapter Content Past diffusion studies concentrated on the adoption and diffusion of innovation But... ... Relevant activities always occur before the diffusion begins.
  • 3. Innovation-Development Process Diffusion and Adoption Consequences
  • 4. Diffusion and Adoption TIME % ADOPTERS
  • 5. Innovation-Development Process Needs / Problems Research (Basic and Applied) Developmen t Commercializatio n Diffusion and Adoption Consequences Past Tracer Studies Past diffusion studies
  • 6. Defining terms Innovation: idea, practice, or object that is perceived as new to an individual or another unit of adoption. Innovation –development process: decisions and activities that occur from the recognition of a need, through research, development and diffusion of it.
  • 7. Innovation-Development Process Needs / Problems Research (Basic and Applied) Developmen t Commercializatio n Diffusion and Adoption Consequences
  • 8. 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
  • 9. Innovation-Development Process Needs / Problems Research (Basic and Applied) Developmen t Commercializatio n Diffusion and Adoption Consequences
  • 10. Basic and Applied Research Technology: is a design for instrumental action that reduces the uncertainty in the cause-effect relationships involved in achieving a desired outcome. It has a material aspect (hardware) and a software aspect.
  • 11. 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
  • 12. 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)
  • 13. Innovation-Development Process Needs / Problems Research (Basic and Applied) Developmen t Commercializatio n Diffusion and Adoption Consequences
  • 14. 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
  • 15. Development Skunkworks: Small and « subversive » units within an organization that develop creative innovation. Source of creativity outside the bureaocratic and large R&D departments.
  • 16. 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.
  • 17. 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.
  • 18. Innovation-Development Process Needs / Problems Research (Basic and Applied) Developmen t Commercializatio n Diffusion and Adoption Consequences
  • 19. 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
  • 20. Commercialization Technological cluster: two or more innovations market together to ease diffusion Ex: Xerox PARC (Palo Alto Research Center) – By 1977
  • 21. 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
  • 22. 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.
  • 23. 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.
  • 24. Innovation-Development Process Needs / Problems Research (Basic and Applied) Developmen t Commercializatio n Diffusion and Adoption Consequences
  • 25. 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.
  • 26. Innovation-Development Process Needs / Problems Research (Basic and Applied) Developmen t Commercializatio n Diffusion and Adoption Consequences
  • 27. 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
  • 28. 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
  • 29. Consequences: Tomato-harvesting example 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
  • 30. 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?
  • 31. Tracing the Innovation Process 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.
  • 32. 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.
  • 33. Thank you!