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Identification and Commercialization of HighlyValuable Manufacturing Innovations: A case study of innovations in the solar energy market
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Industrial Economics and Management (Dept.).
2012 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The increasing pace of technological change is creating significant disruptions in the marketplace. In these markets, successfully managing innovation has become a key competitive advantage. Global trends of low-cost manufacturing and environmental sustainability have mademanufacturing innovations increasingly important. Many alternative manufacturing solutions are developed in not-for-profit institutions such as universities and research centers. This has created a gap between the owners of new technologies and the potential beneficiary of the technology.

Correctly asserting if an invention or technology has commercial potential is a challengingprospect.What methods can be used to evaluate the commercial potential of a new technology? Whatimportant considerations and delimitations must be made to provide a reliable value estimation?How should the commercial potential be communicated to stakeholders, financiers andcustomers? If there is commercial potential, how do you successfully commercialize thetechnology?

These themes are explored in this study. The question of how to estimate the value of a ninvention is investigated in the first section. Using a case-study approach and looking at a new manufacturing technology in the solar cell market an attempt to estimate the value is made. The results show that the innovation value can be estimated using a quantitative approach where benefits and costs are estimated using publicly available data. This approach was found to work well for technologies that are sustaining the current manufacturing paradigm but struggled to provide an accurate estimation for newer technologies. The process was found to require a diverse set of skills and to preferably be made by a co-founder team with technical and industry knowledge. The second section focuses on how an invention can be successfully commercialized. By interviewing firms who had developed and sold manufacturing innovations and were growing quickly. They were found to have started their companies together with their customers and having had a close working relationship with them throughout the process. Furthermore, they were found to have founding teams who were close friends prior to starting the company. The firms also stressed approved patents and timing of financing as key factors to their success. As technology transfer between universities and large industrial firms become increasingly important the questions of how researchers and inventors can commercialize their technologies will attract much attention. This study provides clear guidelines on how to approach the processof finding and commercializing new technologies from the perspective of the inventor.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. , 99 p.
Examensarbete INDEK, 2012:83
Keyword [en]
Manufacturing innovation, value proposition process, commercialization of technology, university innovation, high-tech startup, Cleantech commercialization
National Category
Energy Engineering
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-98565OAI: diva2:537841
Subject / course
Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management
Educational program
Master of Science - Industrial Engineering and Management
Available from: 2016-05-20 Created: 2012-06-27 Last updated: 2016-05-20Bibliographically approved

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