Leveraging Private Enterprise: Incubation of New Industries to Address the Public Sector’s Mission-Oriented Grand Challenges

50 Pages Posted: 18 Feb 2021 Last revised: 18 Mar 2021

See all articles by Rajshree Agarwal

Rajshree Agarwal

University of Maryland - Robert H. Smith School of Business

Seojin Kim

University of Maryland, Robert H. Smith School of Business

Mahka Moeen

University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill - Kenan-Flagler Business School

Date Written: March 17, 2021

Abstract

We examine how mission-oriented grand challenges—formed to address the public sector’s unmet needs through development of new technologies and products for high potential impact—originate and catalyze industry incubation. Our analysis of six prominent cases identifies the incubation process, consisting of: identification of unmet needs as a grand challenge, championing and articulation of a mission, leverage of private enterprise, and success or failure of the mission for subsequent industry emergence. The resulting conceptual model highlights key similarities and differences of industry incubation stemming from the public sector’s mission-oriented grand challenges relative to industries triggered by scientific discoveries or unmet user needs where the public sector is not as salient. The analysis reveals successful outcomes are associated with the public sector’s goal setting and carrying out “market functions” pertaining to selection, coordination, and knowledge sharing. We also provide cautions and caveats regarding fault lines that may arise in public-private partnerships.

Keywords: nascent industries, industry incubation, grand challenge, public-private partnerships, uncertainty

JEL Classification: L32, L53, O31, O33

Suggested Citation

Agarwal, Rajshree and Kim, Seojin and Moeen, Mahka, Leveraging Private Enterprise: Incubation of New Industries to Address the Public Sector’s Mission-Oriented Grand Challenges (March 17, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3769182 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3769182

Rajshree Agarwal (Contact Author)

University of Maryland - Robert H. Smith School of Business ( email )

College Park, MD 20742-1815
United States

Seojin Kim

University of Maryland, Robert H. Smith School of Business ( email )

College Park, MD
United States

Mahka Moeen

University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill - Kenan-Flagler Business School ( email )

McColl Building
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3490
United States

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