The Commercialisation and Adoption of Emerging Technologies: The Role of Professional Service Firms

The Commercialisation and Adoption of Emerging Technologies: The Role of Professional Service Firms

Rebecca De Coster (Brunel University, UK) and Colin McEwen (Brunel University, UK)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-8487-4.ch011
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Abstract

Professional Service Firms (PSFs) are organisations that may support technology firms and play a role in taking new or emerging technologies through the commercialisation process including developing competitive strategies and facilitating the business development activities. The focus of this chapter is how PSFs influence the commercialisation and adoption of new or emerging technologies which is examined through three case studies: Telemedicine; Wearable Technology and Mobile Services. They can either assist vendors through the commercialisation activities directly or indirectly by aiding with networking aspects. Further, PSFs may facilitate knowledge transfer from specialised research centres (either university or commercial centres) or spin-off firms (from established technology companies).
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Background On Emerging Technologies

Emerging technologies are defined as “science-based innovations that have the potential to create a new industry or transform an existing one” (Day et al, 2000, p2). The challenge for technology firms is to recognise the emerging technologies which may affect their sector and business and develop strategies to address this. Committing scarce resources can be difficult for firms particularly given the uncertainties typically associated with emerging technologies where there may not only be technology or engineering limitations but also uncertainties in terms of consumers and their perceptions of risk (Binder et al, 2011).

The importance of emerging technologies cannot be underestimated particularly in cases where they supersede the existing dominant technology in an industry sector. Firms that do not react to system changes or technological innovations may find their market position threatened as they lose competitiveness. This is the basis behind the pressure on firms to keep up with technological transitions and upgrade or modernise their processes and technologies. Established technology firms may recognise that emerging technologies have the potential to displace their existing technology base (and working practices), however there can be uncertainty over which potential emerging technology is likely to succeed (Srinivasan, 2008).

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