Challenges Facing New Firms Commercialising Nanomaterials

Centre for Technology Management (CTM) Working Paper, No. 2004/02

9 Pages Posted: 6 Sep 2011

See all articles by Elicia Maine

Elicia Maine

Simon Fraser University (SFU) - Management of Technology; Simon Fraser University - Policy Analysis

Elizabeth W. Garnsey

University of Cambridge - Judge Business School

Date Written: July 1, 2004

Abstract

This paper examines the industrial incentives for commercialising advanced materials and, in particular, nanomaterials with reference to issues raised in the technology strategy and technology entrepreneurship literature. We draw on longitudinal empirical data to show that smaller and newer firms are playing an increasing role in the commercialisation of advanced materials innovations. However, new technology based firms face substantial barriers to commercialisation, including access to the complementary assets of large firms and institutions. To illustrate these challenges, we examine a case study of a start-up firm commercialising carbon nanotubes. Through use of an open systems model, we characterize their alliances and interactions in attempting to commercialise their products in several markets. This analysis illustrates the daunting challenges facing start-up firms as they attempt to commercialise advanced materials innovations. The most difficult challenge appears to be one of prioritisation of development objectives and, subsequently, of alliance building. Proposed policy recommendations focus on supporting the entrepreneurial process of matching technology resources and alliance-building with market opportunities.

Keywords: Advanced materials, commercialisation, nanomaterials, carbon nanotubes, radical innovation, alliance building, market matching

JEL Classification: D21, L23, L69, M13

Suggested Citation

Maine, Elicia M.A. and Garnsey, Elizabeth W., Challenges Facing New Firms Commercialising Nanomaterials (July 1, 2004). Centre for Technology Management (CTM) Working Paper, No. 2004/02, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1923131 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1923131

Elicia M.A. Maine

Simon Fraser University (SFU) - Management of Technology ( email )

Segal Graduate School of Business
500 Granville Street
Vancouver, BC V6C 1W6
Canada

HOME PAGE: http://motresearch.bus.sfu.ca/index.shtml

Simon Fraser University - Policy Analysis ( email )

Burnaby, British Columbia V5A 1S6
Canada

Elizabeth W. Garnsey (Contact Author)

University of Cambridge - Judge Business School ( email )

Trumpington Street
Cambridge, CB2 1AG
United Kingdom
+44 (0) 1223 338183 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.jims.cam.ac.uk/people/faculty/garnseye.html

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