Saturday, June 02, 2012

Innovation and Strategies

Innovation: Technology and Development Strategies

Wacław A. Kasprzak and Karol I. Pelc

Book in Polish: Innowacje – Strategie Techniczne i Rozwojowe, Oficyna Wydawnicza Politechniki Wroclawskiej, Wroclaw University of Technology Press, Wroclaw, Poland,  2012, pp. 291. ISBN 978-83-7493-670-5.


The book is addressed to the readers interested in development of innovation strategy at different levels ranging from individual companies to regions and nations. The role of education system and universities in creation and strengthening of innovative potential is also presented. National innovation and technology policies are illustrated by examples of European Union, U. S., and Japan. The book is intended to be a useful source of knowledge on innovation and technology strategies of corporations and small- and medium- size companies. It also covers several important topics related to regional development strategies. Knowledge of forecasts is of essential value for planning and managing innovation at all levels. Hence the authors devoted two chapters of the book to forecasting: one is focused on methods and techniques of forecasting, another is presenting a selection of current forecasts. The book consists of four parts.
Part I is focused on innovativeness and strategies of companies. The opening chapter of this part (Chapter I.1.) presents technological and economic heritage of the 20th century. It includes description of production systems and their development in conjunction with organizational trends. The most important phenomena that influenced the living conditions of societies (computer technology and information systems, globalization, knowledge-based economy, growth of service sector) are also reviewed in this chapter. The following chapters (Chapters I.2., I.3., and I.4) present systemic solutions and experiences of corporations as well as small-and-medium size companies in formulating technology and innovation strategies, and in initiating and managing the R&D programs. Open innovation systems and networks are presented in Chapter I.5., including description of global innovation networks as a phenomenon of growing importance.
Part II presents different aspects of innovativeness of a society (Chapter II.1) and the role of education system in building the innovative capabilities. A model of the university of the future is described (Chapter II. 2) in combination with a review of international data on academic research and transformation programs intended for improvements in that domain in Poland (Chapter II.3).
Part III is a review of three major innovation policy systems. National innovation systems of the European Union, the U. S. and Japan are shown in historical perspectives. The respective three chapters (Chapters III. 1, III.2, and III.3) provide data on governmental R&D programs, and on financial, legal and institutional solutions concerning collaboration between academic, governmental and industrial partners.
Part IV presents methodological aspects of innovation projects and strategies in their relation to technology forecasting and assessment. Technological pursuit strategies are described in Chapter IV.1, which also discusses issues of maintaining the leadership position by a corporation. Development of innovation and technology strategies is linked with forecasting and systematic assessment of potential and probable changes in social, economic and technological environment. Chapter IV.2 introduces the reader to methods and techniques of forecasting. Emphasis is placed on the need for long-term oriented research projects aimed at development of new technologies. The chapter presents methods of hypothesis formulation, developing of time estimates and building consensus in a panel of experts. A review of potential technological breakthroughs, in the period until 2020, is given in Chapter IV.3. Elements and methodological issues of development of strategies at the regional, national and international level are reviewed in Chapter IV.4. Finally, Chapter IV.5 addresses methodological problems related to technology assessment as well as analysis and evaluation of innovation projects.
Bibliographical list of sources cited or references to literature on the subject are included in each chapter. Their purpose is to facilitate further studies on the problems and issues presented in the book.