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Commercialising Science and Technology-enabled Innovation

Camels, Tigers & Unicorns: Rethinking science and technology-enabled innovation

Camels, Tigers & Unicorns: Rethinking science and technology-enabled innovation

By Uday Phadke & Shai Vyakarnam

Popular enthusiasm for commercialising science and technology is unfortunately not matched by a clear understanding of the structures, processes and mechanisms which actually drive this transformation. This gap is serious because it affects all those involved in generating ideas, transforming them into viable products and services, and funding the process.

The objective of this book is to directly address this challenge, using new data-driven concepts and analytical frameworks. The key building blocks of this new approach are:

  • Modified Technology Readiness Levels which enable the market-readiness of technologies to be characterised more explicitly
  • The Triple Chasm Model, which defines the commercialisation journey, identifies chasms and describes diffusion-driven changes in trajectory
  • Twelve Commercialisation Vectors, which draw on Schumpeterian thinking in meso-economics, combined with a rigorous analysis, to explicitly define vectors and their sub-vectors which shape the journey
  • The Commercialisation Canvas which integrates these concepts into a canvas on which we can ‘paint’ trajectories, roles and interventions; it also provides a systematic framework to assess the maturity of a product or service, the drivers affecting progress, and the interventions needed to cross the next chasm.

The results described in the book highlight, in particular, the importance of Chasm II, where prototypes are converted into products with clearly defined customers and business models.

The contents of this book should be of interest to a range of audiences including entrepreneurs; leaders and managers in technology firms; scientists and technologists engaged in innovation in academic institutions and corporate environments; lone inventors; groups of scientific entrepreneurs operating outside recognised structures; business and strategy consultants; managers of public and private 'intervention agencies' such as incubators and accelerators; investors; and, policy makers.

The book compares the relative contributions and performance of different types of intervention agencies, including technology transfer offices, incubators and accelerators, on the commercialisation journey. It also provides a blueprint for developing an effective Industrial Strategy, explaining barriers to how firms grow and signposting how both governments and businesses can develop strategies to accelerate growth.

To read more, and to order a copy of this book, go to

17 Jan 2019