The role of academics, users, and customers in industrial product development
Kunttu, Leena; Neuvo, Yrjö (2020-03-01)
Talent First Network
Julkaisun pysyvä osoite on
©2020 the Authors. The Technology Innovation Management Review is published under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/. Authors retain full copyright to their individual works.
Industrial research and development (R&D) is often adopted as a leading strategy for innovation in high-technology firms. It has been recognized that collaboration with external actors has become increasingly crucial for R&D practices in a world where product and service innovation are increasingly challenging for companies involved in knowledge-intensive technology areas. Thus, high-technology firms are increasingly engaging in collaborative relationships with external stakeholders to transfer valuable new knowledge for industrial purposes, or to create new knowledge through a joint learning process. These external stakeholders may include research institutes such as universities, customer firms, or end users of the firm's products or services. Academic involvement in industrial innovation projects has traditionally focussed on the early stages of a product's development process, when new ideas and innovations are being developed. On the other hand, the interaction between a firm and its customers takes place during the final stages of the R&D process, when innovations are brought to market. In this paper, we explore how users and customers can be involved in university-industry collaboration projects from the beginning of the product development process. Based on a case study comprising five long-term university-industry collaborations in Finland, this paper presents collaborative practices through which academic actors, users, and industrial customers may actively take part in the industrial innovation processes.
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