An Integrative Model for Technology-Driven Innovation and External Technology Commercialization

An Integrative Model for Technology-Driven Innovation and External Technology Commercialization

Johan Henk Maarse (University of Southern Denmark, Denmark) and Marcel Bogers (University of Southern Denmark, Denmark)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61350-341-6.ch004
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This chapter proposes an integrative model for internal and external commercialization of technology-driven innovation. It particularly addresses how firms can practically use external technology commercialization, which is a type of open innovation that is not yet fully understood by academics and managers alike. The chapter first reviews dominant literature and frameworks in the areas of innovation, technology-driven innovation, and external technology commercialization. It subsequently develops an integrative model of technology-driven innovation and external technology commercialization, which combines various extant frameworks of internal and external commercialization of internal technologies and thereby provides a holistic understanding of what it takes to successfully commercialize technology. The model presents various phases in the process from technology to commercialization, such as divergence, convergence, technology transfer, development, validation, commercialization, and product line expansion, and presents the relevant intersections and the alternative commercialization paths. Hereby, this chapter provides a holistic perspective and a practical tool for managers seeking viable commercialization opportunities inside or outside of their firm boundaries.
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Models Of Innovation

While some innovation projects are driven by latent, unsatisfied customer needs (market-driven innovation), others are driven by the creation of a new technology or scientific breakthrough (technology-driven innovation). These two models have very distinct implications for how companies can and should manage the innovation process, not only in terms of creating new technologies but for finding viable commercialization opportunities as well.

One of the first known innovation models is Rothwell’s (1994) Linear Technology Push Model (Figure 1). Developed in the 1950s during a period of rapid industrial expansion, this model suggests that all innovation stems from scientific breakthroughs.

Figure 1.

Linear technology push model (adapted from Rothwell [1994])


In the early 1970s, many markets were reaching maturity and overall competition among companies increased. In order to capture market share in mature markets, organizations were spending more resources on marketing. It became important to meet the client’s demands better than the competition and this could be realized by analyzing customer requirements. New products were still being developed, but these were more often based on existing technologies. Market demand rather than technological breakthroughs started to dominate product development (Figure 2).

Figure 2.

Linear market pull model (adapted from Rothwell [1994])


This paradigm shift gave rise to the linear market pull model. According to this model, innovation is based on market demands rather than on technological change.

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