University of Twente Student Theses


Structuring open innovation in the advanced materials sector

Leoné, N. (2013) Structuring open innovation in the advanced materials sector.

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Abstract:Introduction:AMMON is a business network that develops products by combining the core competences of firms in the east of the Netherlands. The network is new, it still has to reach its full potential. Creating successful radical innovations is difficult within innovative collaborations. Combining available technologies and facilities can be faster and cheaper for all the firms involved. However, collaborations introduce problems: sharing intellectual property (IP), trust, communication issues and more. Research Setup: This research is concerned with how AMMON can optimize their projects. This is done by finding current bottlenecks, their origins and potential solutions. By using literature and past documentation, interviews were created that asked participants about the theoretical concepts, AMMON in general and two specific projects within AMMON. The two cases were used to obtain additional factors that are specific for AMMON-projects. There were three groups of participants: partners, AMMON-managers and external stakeholders. The results have been combined into a toolkit that aims to measure commitment, trust and expectations of the partners involved. This toolkit can be used alongside existing tools, because it does not include market research and technological feasibility. The tool is tailored to AMMON, it focuses on factors within projects that up until now were not measured. Results & Conclusions: The three groups of participants showed variation on which factors they thought were of importance for collaboration projects. The external stakeholders (which were mostly government-instances) thought subsidies were much less important than companies and AMMON regarded them. External stakeholders and the AMMON-team favoured external guidance of projects, while companies resisted this idea. There were other gaps between theory and practice: according to the theory and AMMON spin-offs and starting in smaller collaborations are essential for large projects success, partners thought this was not needed. There were differences in opinions on the optimal size of AMMON. The AMMON-team aims for a large network, whereas partners stated they wanted to keep it small and effective. The sample unanimously stated trust, speed and concrete results are most important. Partners had slightly more focus on personal contacts. The AMMON-team should consider how partners feel about their strategy, since it could affect the effectiveness of the network. The toolkit aids in finding and comparing these priorities for optimizing AMMON. Practical & Theoretical Implications : In total six network-level recommendations have been provided. AMMON should focus on developing a clear structure for creating contracts and spin-offs within projects, look into the levels and type of communication (network-level, firm-level and updates to external stakeholders), develop a venturing fund, stimulate smaller collaborations within AMMON and negotiate their own position compared to other initiatives. The Network Theory debates on an optimal size and heterogeneity for a network, this same debate is needed within AMMON. Open Innovation focuses too little on stakeholder effects, the region of Twente and competing networks have a large effect on the performance of AMMON.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Open Innovatie Centrum Advanced Materials OICAM, Nijverdal, the Netherlands
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:85 business administration, organizational science
Programme:Business Administration MSc (60644)
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