Working Papers - Engineering - Centre for Technology Management (CTM)

This series (ISSN 2058-8887) publishes outcome from research conducted by members of the Centre for Technology Management (Institute for Manufacturing, Department of Engineering) and its academic and industrial collaborators. Please get in touch with Frank Tietze (frank.tietze@eng.cam.ac.uk) if you intend to contribute or have any questions.

https://www.ifm.eng.cam.ac.uk/research/ctm/ctmpublications/ctmworkingpapers/

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  • ItemOpen Access
    The Role of Management in the Firm-Level Relationship between Green Innovation and Environmental and Financial Performance
    (2024-01-31) Ludwig Ehrlinger; Maximilian Elsen; Carolin Krieweth; Frank Tietze
    This study investigates the relationship between green innovation (measured by Y02 patent data), environmental performance (measured by GHG emissions), and financial performance (measured by Tobin's Q) in European companies for the years 2017 to 2021. Additionally, the study explores the moderating role of companies' top-level management characteristics, particularly board gender diversity in the aforementioned relationships. The findings reveal that green innovation is associated with a reduction in GHG emissions and an increase in Tobin's Q, indicating improved environmental and financial performance. Board gender diversity strengthens the negative relationship between green innovation and GHG emissions but does not exhibit a significant effect on the relationship between green innovation and Tobin's Q. The results contribute to the literature by offering insights into the impact of green innovation in European companies, highlighting the relevance of board gender diversity, and utilizing Y02 patent classification for identifying and measuring green innovation.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Roadmapping based toolkit for business process improvement: developing an approach for technology & innovation management capability assessment and development
    (2023-10-30) Duncan Hurlstone; John Saiz; Clemens Chaskel; Imoh Ilevbare; Clare Farrukh; Rob Phaal; Darrell Morris
    This paper describes the customised implementation of a roadmapping-based toolkit across the corporate function and six operating companies within a large technology-intensive UK organisation. The aim was to understand the current and desired performance levels of technology and innovation management capabilities across the organisation to identify potential areas of strategic focus for development and to explore potential initiatives to address these areas. Another key aim was to balance insights to support capability development priorities for each individual organisation with insights from across the six organisations to help the group overall. To achieve this, a recognised framework for technology and innovation management capability assessment was deployed together with roadmapping. This combination of assessment and roadmapping into a single toolkit extended the utility of the interaction for the organisation from one of effective and consistently structured assessment, to that of an exploratory and collaborative diagnostic and the initiation of pertinent capability development activities. This implementation was led by a corporate level technology manager in the organisation. The manager worked closely with external strategic technology and innovation management (TIM) facilitators from Institute for Manufacturing at University of Cambridge. Furthermore, the manager drew upon strategic technology and innovation management experience of other companies within an industry-academic consortium. The technology manager secured support from peers across the organisation to form a steering group. Guided by the external facilitators, the steering group customised the deployment of the diagnostic to align with the organisational context. They collaboratively managed the process including the workshops carried out for each organisation. All workshops were configured for remote delivery using established platforms and delivered as such. The main outputs over the three phases of work included a cross-organisational summary of current performance levels, issues to address and initiatives selected to address these. Furthermore, two top-level plans per operating company were defined for each of their selected initiatives as well as two additional top-level plans for group-level initiatives that had also been selected as a priority. Conclusions drawn include:  The importance of customising the method as appropriate to project objectives and organisational context  Further industry-academic collaborations should be proactively sought out and undertaken in the future so that further valuable innovations in toolkit design and delivery can be realised, shared and redeployed.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Advancing climate change adaptation technologies: Exploring patenting motives and barriers of low- and middle-income inventors
    Mognato, Marco; Elsen, Maximilian; Tietze, Frank
    Climate change adaptation technologies (CCAT) are critically needed in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC), which tend to be most affected by climate change. Inventors from LMIC (i.e. LMIC inventors) tend to possess valuable local knowledge for developing CCAT inventions. While previous research shows that IP rights regimes, such as patent systems, tend to be weak in LMIC, little is known about the motives for LMIC inventors that still apply for patents and the barriers they face. In this study, we focus particularly on LMIC inventors that develop CCAT inventions, investigating their patenting motives, benefits, and barriers. We identified CCAT inventions that originated from LMIC using the Y02A CPC patent classification. From an astonishingly small sample of 71 patents, we interviewed thirteen inventors using a semi-structured interview approach. From an inductive coding approach, six propositions emerged that we discussed subsequently with policy experts, such as from the United Nations Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN) and WIPO Green. Despite the fact that patent regimes in LMIC tend to be weak, our findings indicate the important role of patents for LMIC inventors to attract investments and facilitate technology diffusion. However, weak national patent systems and corruption in LMIC tend to limit the protection of inventions, which appears to be a barrier for inventors. The results also indicate that national and international organisations should consider better supporting LMIC inventors by providing more IP education and more effective technology matchmaking models. Findings also imply that the need for CCAT inventions represents an innovation opportunity for LMIC, with potential substantial economic benefits.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Strengthening industry-university collaborations: synchronising industrial opportunities with research capabilities using innovation roadmapping
    Athanassopoulou, Nikoletta; Farrukh, Clare; Khripko, Diana; Ilevbare, Imoh; Phaal, Rob
    The benefits of collaboration between universities and industry have been widely recognised, however, little practical guidance is provided as to how to establish successful strategic collaborations and support the different types of interactions between these two very different stakeholders. We have successfully adapted and used innovation roadmapping as a method to help these two heterogeneous partners to establish collaborations of common interest. The approach has been used twenty times to establish collaborations between firms and academia at various scales: a) the whole university, b) a large part of a university i.e. several departments, and c) specific academic groups. Feedback showed that roadmapping can be a powerful method for aligning the needs of the two communities, helping to identify common priorities and aiding communication and clarity in the collaboration activities. Overall, participants from both communities indicated that the method was simulating and provided new and useful insights.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Enabling the Circular Economy: An Exploratory Study on IP Challenges in Innovation Ecosystems
    Wangrin, Marc; Vimalnath, Pratheeba; Tietze, Frank; Vimalnath, Pratheeba; Tietze, Frank
    This exploratory study provides an overview of circular economy related intellectual property (CEIP) challenges that actors in circular economy innovation ecosystems (CEIEs) face. Therefore, findings from a literature review are combined with empirical evidence from semi-structured interviews with different actors in CEIEs, including original equipment manufacturers as well as end-of-life solution providers of different company sizes and manufacturing industries. The key contributions of this paper to the literature are: (i) a preliminary framework to study IP challenges in CEIEs, (ii) the CEIP challenges framework which extends findings from the literature by categorising CEIP challenges mentioned in the conducted interviews and (iii) a visual representation of CEIP challenges in the aerospace industry.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Social science in action through graduate student internships on industrial innovation projects – A literature review
    Stamati, Konstantina; Athanassopoulou, Nikoletta; Khripko, Diana; Farrukh, Clare
    The Cambridge Grand Challenges (CGC) initiative was set up in 2018 to foster collaboration between industry, government, and academia, and designed to help put the UK at the forefront of the industries of the future. As part of this, a program was set up to facilitate the process of Social Sciences doctoral students working with industry in short internships, to increase innovation and improve skills. In this literature review paper we aim to review the basis of this approach and the academic and industrial context. A contribution is made towards uniting three distinct areas of literature, starting with the underpinnings of academic-industrial collaboration, followed by the social science perspective on academic-industrial knowledge exchange, then considering the links between internships and learning. The review concludes with proposed implications for knowledge transfer within this specific context. The paper highlights the research questions needed to further investigate the benefits, barriers and enablers, and the processes which facilitate the value delivering mechanisms of engagement, to demonstrate how such programs make a contribution towards improving UK industrial productivity.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Roadmapping for formulating IP Strategies
    Tietze, Frank; Phaal, Rob; Bluemel, Jan; Wang, Tianyi
    The increasing relevance of intangible assets and intellectual capital for building, maintaining and growing competitiveness is causing intellectual property (IP) to take up an expanding share of a company’s resources. The direct impact of IP on the value and profit of a company means that companies need to develop strategic IP management skills. However, IP is largely poorly managed by addressing it operationally at lower hierarchy levels. There is usually a lack of understanding of IP strategies and approaches to their formulation. This problem is addressed by presenting a business-tool that first conceptualises IP strategy and provides support for the formulation of business-aligned IP strategies. Through an iterative business-tool development process, a roadmapping approach was developed, consisting of a five-step process and a corresponding template. The process starts with the identification of the strategic landscape for the alignment of the IP strategy, followed by a specific formulation of business objectives to be supported. Then relevant IP assets from the ecosystem and company are considered to identify their effective use. Operational IP strategies are then formulated for individual IP assets in accordance with the business objectives and strategic landscape. Finally, a time-dependent narrative for the IP strategy is created. The approach is realised by filling out a template in a workshop, which enables company-wide communication, visualisation and understanding of the IP strategy concept. Thus, this approach supports companies of different size and industry in formulating IP strategies to support business objectives and hence value maximisation.
  • ItemOpen Access
    SVEL – Introducing the Standardised Visualising Ecosystem Language for Temporally Capturing Competitive Dynamics in Evolving Innovation Ecosystems
    Moerchel, Alexander; Tietze, Frank; Urmetzer, Florian
    We propose a visual method, namely the Standardised Visual Ecosystem Language (SVEL), for capturing and analysing the static structure, structural changes, and dynamic forces and effects in evolving innovation ecosystems. SVEL closes a gap in the methods toolbox of researchers, practitioners, and policy makers that we identified from conducting a systematic review and evaluation of 32 relevant visual methods, namely the capture and analysis of processes affecting industrial organisation and interfirm alignment in evolving ecosystems. We demonstrate SVEL’s effectiveness and practicability by validating it in a case study from the commercial aircraft aftermarket sector. In this sector, manufacturers transform to offering services in a bundle with their products in a process called servitization, thereby triggering competitive tensions with established specialist services firms, which we label Incumbent Service Providers (ISP). Empirical data was collected from ten semi-structured, in-depth interviews with senior managers and decision-makers at one large, established, and leading OEM-independent ISP. The results of our study are two-fold. First, we introduce SVEL that consists of three clusters of standardised symbols: (i) structural elements, (ii) dynamic forces and effects, and (iii) structural changes. Second, using the SVEL we produce a set of four aggregated innovation ecosystem maps that visually capture the static structure of the commercial aircraft aftermarket ecosystem prior to servitization, and the dynamic co-evolutionary processes triggered by manufacturers entering as new competitors to ISPs during servitization. Thus, we contribute to the methodology literature by narrowing the gap in the methods toolbox for researchers and practitioners in the field of innovation ecosystems by proposing and demonstrating SVEL as a visual method for capturing and analysing changes to industrial organisation and dynamic co-evolutionary processes.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Chinese innovation system stakeholders’ perception of the importance and use of IP: Lessons from a field trip
    Tietze, Frank; Tang, Aocheng; Aristodemou, Leonidas; Elsen, Maximilian
    Innovation has an increasing role in the economic progress of China. With Chinese patent applications surpassing those of Western countries, we aim to understand what is the actual perception and understanding of the value and importance of intellectual property (IP)on the ground in China. This paper reports insights from a field trip across 3key innovation clusters in China (Beijing, Shenzhen and Shanghai). We conduct an ethnographic studyusing20semi-structuredinterviews with academics and researchers, representatives from enterprises and economic service firms as well as university leaders and policy makers. The results reveal a high level of IP awareness in China. Whether academics, governmental representatives, entrepreneurs or venture capital executives, all interviews reveal a strong understanding and visibility of the importance of IP. Governmental rules for subsidizing patent applications seems to be changing in China in order to move from quantity to quality. While at least the leading universities have established technology transfer offices (TTOs), there still a need for improve service offerings given that these are still offered by IP law firms. Moreover, leading universities offer occasional IP guest lectures and they are in the process of installing IP. In addition, investors seem to understand the importance of IP when making investment decisions. We identify a positive speed of which Chinese innovation system actors are becoming increasingly IP savvy. At the same time, China’s large market size makes it less attractive to consider international IP strategies in early stages of a business. After succeeding in China, companies tend to prefer expanding into other Asian markets first, before venturing into Europe or the US.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Intellectual Property Strategy Trajectory: A New Visualisation Approach
    Tang, Aocheng; Tietze, Frank
    Although data visualisation approaches have been extensively discussed in the literature, most visualisation tools are associated with quantitative data and lack the compound ability to collect data. The author’s PhD research needs a data collection tool that has the ability to present qualitative data on how and why companies change their intellectual property (IP) strategies and to allow visualisation of the companies’ IP strategy trajectories. Hence, in this paper, the authors created a bespoke set of tools, consisting of the IP strategy trajectory framework and the IP strategy trajectory map. With exercising this new approach with the data of a case study, the authors show that the framework offers a clear presentation of the path that a company takes with regards to its IP strategy openness, whereas the map help explain how and why a company change its IP strategy during three key transitions. The paper contributes theoretically by offering a definition for intellectual property strategy trajectory and contributes practically by creating a new visualisation approach which consists of the IP strategy trajectory framework and the IP strategy trajectory map.
  • ItemOpen Access
    What the United States (US) Intellectual Property (IP) waiver announcement tells us about patent values: A patent premium perspective on Covid-19 vaccine patents
    Tietze, Frank; Aristodemou, Leonidas
    Various innovation system actors, including government and policy makers have a long-standing interest in understanding the value of patent. The recent announcement of the US government to support waiving IP rights for Covid-19 vaccines provides a unique opportunity to learn better understanding the market value. With the announcement being specific to IP rights, respectively the patents protecting the Covid-19 vaccines, that announcement can be interpreted as a natural experiment from which we can directly observe effects. Immediately following that announcement, the stock price values of all four pharmaceutical companies with market-approved Covid-19 vaccines in the US and Europe dropped significantly. Comparing the pre- and post-announcement market capitalisation of the four companies, we can estimate the total value of Covid-19 vaccine patents to be B$37. Following the patent premium definition that value does not reflect the value of the actual vaccines, which is most likely to be much higher, but only the value of the patents protecting them.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Agile New Product Development in Not-Purely Software Projects
    Gerdes, Linus; Phaal, Rob; Lynch, Valerie
    In Agile new product development, the product is incrementally and iteratively developed involving the customer and cross-functional teams. As manufacturing companies increasingly face challenges with sequential processes in uncertain and fast changing conditions, Agile practices taken from software development have experienced traction. Although multiple isolated case studies exist, there is a gap between academic literature and industry practice regarding cross-industry implementations and the required adaption of Agile practices to the hardware context. This research aims to bridge that gap by focusing on when and how manufacturing companies use Agile practices in their new product development.
  • ItemOpen Access
    On-demand IP licensing for the digital economy
    Tietze, Frank; Di Francesco Maesa, Damiano; Theye, Julius
    The rise of the digital economy is causing a surge in Intellectual Property (IP) licensing as more and more IP assets are being incorporated into products and product service systems (PSS). Today’s IP licensing models possess rigid structures that put incumbent licensing parties at an advantage and imply large barriers to entry for innovative enterprises. This paper contrasts the traditional, predominantly lump-sum licensing models with fairer and more flexible models that could be enabled by automated licensing management systems. Thereby, we take a first step towards leveraging the potential of flexible IP licensing models to reduce the complexities, inefficiencies and trust issues inherent in IP licensing today. We discuss three different fixed and usage-based IP licensing models that we plan to test in a successive simulation study to more closely explore the economic implications of fixed versus usage-based IP licensing for the involved stakeholders.
  • ItemOpen Access
    The Maker movement and its impact in the fight against COVID-19
    (Centre for Technology Management working paper series, 2020-11-05) Corsini, Lucia; Dammicco, Valeria; Bowker-Lonnecker, Lin; Blythe, Robbie
    This study is an initial attempt to document the impact of the Maker movement in addressing the spread and prevention of COVID-19. During the early stages of 2020, extreme shortages of critical items led to an unprecedented global mobilisation of grassroots, community-driven Maker projects. The first part of this study reports on efforts to document Maker projects to tackle COVID-19 between March-June 2020. It analyses the characteristics of 158 projects with respect to project type, geographical region, manufacturing technologies and type of actor involved. The second part of the study provides a more detailed perspective of the challenges that Makers faced during this period, by looking at the UK case. It adopts a digital ethnographic approach, analysing a web-seminar organised and hosted by the authors in collaboration with Make:, one of the most widespread online communities of the Maker movement. The web-seminar took the form of a panel talk and discussion with representatives from four prominent COVID-19 Maker projects in the UK. This study reports on several cross-cutting themes that emerged in the panel talk. To maximise the potential impact of the Maker movement in a crisis, the findings call for: the development of a national network of Makers in the UK that is supported by policy and governance; the creation of a centralised database to manage demand and supply of critical items in times of crisis; and advancements to management of distributed quality control. This paper helps to document the impact of the Maker movement during the COVID-19 pandemic. It also underlines the potential impact of the Maker movement in addressing future crises via the development of distributed innovation actors.
  • ItemPreprintOpen Access
    Identifying Crisis-Critical Intellectual Property Challenges during the Covid-19 Pandemic: A scenario analysis and conceptual extrapolation of innovation ecosystem dynamics using a visual mapping approach
    (2020-10-20) Moerchel, Alexander; Tietze, Frank; Aristodemou, Leonidas; Vimalnath, Pratheeba; Tietze, Frank [0000-0002-2899-6415]; Vimalnath, Pratheeba [0000-0001-7556-778X]
    The Covid-19 pandemic exposed firms, organisations and their respective supply chains which are directly involved in the manufacturing of products that are critical to alleviating the effects of the health crisis, collectively referred to as the Crisis-Critical Sector,to unprecedented challenges. Firms from other sectors, such as automotive, luxury and home appliances, have rushed into the Crisis-Critical Sector in order to support the effort to upscale incumbent manufacturing capacities, thereby introducing Intellectual Property (IP)related dynamics and challenges. We apply an innovation ecosystem perspective on the Crisis-Critical Sector and adopt a novel visual mapping approach to identify IP associated challenges and IP specific dynamic developments during and potentially beyond the crisis.In this paper, we add methodologically by devising and testing a visual approach to capturing IP related dynamics in evolving innovation ecosystems and contribute to literature on IP management in the open innovation context by proposing paraground IP as a novel IP type.Finally, we also deduce managerial implications for IP management practitioners at both incumbent firms and new entrants for navigating innovation ecosystems subject to crisis-induced dynamic shifts.
  • ItemOpen Access
    How culture affects innovation in an organization
    Saiz, John; Saiz, Natalie; Denton-Misfeldt, Deborah; Wooten, Kevin
    Both technology and innovation are considered major contributors to the competitiveness of companies and in exploiting opportunities in the market; however, too often the people processes are not given enough attention in transformation efforts - they are viewed as "HR processes" and technical leaders may not see the value of examining these areas early on as accelerators for change. The innovation culture framework presented in this paper is based on three thematic elements of innovation culture in organizations: Transformational Leadership, Organizational Climate / Environment, and Organizational Practices & Processes. The project tested and refined the framework by conducting a set of interviews, focus groups and workshop-based trials with participating commercial organizations. By focusing on the culture within an organization and coupling with other technology and innovation management efforts, leaders will have a more systemic understanding of how to sustain and increase the innovation capabilities of their organizations.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Scenarios and roadmapping - how to navigate an uncertain future
    Ringland, Gill; Ilevbare, Imoh; Athanassopoulou, Nikoletta; Greenaway, Anna-Marie; Phaal, Robert
    Scenario planning and roadmapping are both well established processes for exploring possible futures. Roadmapping for technology foresight provides a framework for investigating technology developments, interrelationships and critical timescales. However it is increasingly important when new technologies and consumer adoption co-evolve that paradigm changes in the wider social and economic environment are taken into account. A strength of scenario planning is in exploring social and economic factors and hence scenarios can provide the futures context for a roadmapping exercise. Both processes are often used in group work modes over days or months, which allows for stakeholder consensus to develop. This paper describes how scenario planning and roadmapping were combined within a workshop to gather a wide range of external and internal inputs and to challenge organisational thinking. The paper discusses how the process was achieved in one day, the benefits of this arrangement and also its limitations and how to mitigate them.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Crisis-Critical Intellectual Property: Findings from the COVID-19 Pandemic
    (2020-04-06) Tietze, Frank; Vimalnath, Pratheeba; Aristodemou, Leonidas; Molloy, Jenny; Tietze, Frank [0000-0002-2899-6415]; Vimalnath, Pratheeba [0000-0001-7556-778X]
    Within national and international innovation systems a pandemic calls for large-scale action by many actors across sectors, to mobilise resources, developing and manufacturing Crisis-Critical Products (CC-Products) efficiently and in the huge quantities needed. Nowadays, this also includes digital innovations from complex epidemiological models, AI, to open data platforms for prevention, diagnostic and treatment. Amongst the many challenges during a pandemic, innovation and manufacturing stakeholders find themselves engaged in new relationships, and are likely to face intellectual property (IP) related challenges. This paper adopts an IP perspective on the COVID-19 pandemic to identify pandemic related IP considerations and IP challenges. The focus is on challenges related to research, development and urgent upscaling of capacity to manufacture CC-Products in the huge volumes suddenly in demand. Its purpose is to provide a structure for steering clear of IP challenges to avoid delays in fighting a pandemic. We identify 4 stakeholder groups concerned with IP challenges: (i) governments, (ii) organisations owning existing Crisis-Critical IP, described as incumbents in Crisis-Critical Sectors (CC-Sectors), (iii) manufacturing firms from other sectors normally not producing CC-Products suddenly rushing into CC-Sectors to support the manufacturing of CC-Products (new entrants), and (iv) voluntary grassroot initiatives that are formed during a pandemic. This paper discusses IP challenges related to the development and manufacturing of technologies and products for (i) prevention (of spread), (ii) diagnosis of infected patients and (iii) the development of treatments. We offer an initial discussion of potential response measures to reduce IP associated risks among industrial stakeholders during a pandemic.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Financing early stage innovation ventures – a value-oriented roadmapping framework
    (2019-11) Taminiau, Polle-Tobias; Phaal, Robert
    This practice-oriented paper describes a value-oriented roadmapping (VRM) framework, which helps entrepreneurs improve the investor readiness of their ventures through developing better business models. As investors tend to perceive risks where entrepreneurs only have eyes for the opportunities, this value-oriented roadmapping framework is a practical tool to help bridge the gap between investors and entrepreneurs. From the daily practice of the lead author as an IP value strategist the lesson has been learned how important it is that entrepreneurs develop a business case from the perspective of potential investors. The value-oriented roadmapping framework is a practical tool for entrepreneurs and was developed through a series of 8 case studies. The tool is a template-based approach, or so-called ‘canvas method’. In a workshop setting, led by an experienced moderator, participants critically assess the venture’s and or product’s market, capabilities, application, revenue model, capital investment, IP-position, from an investor’s point of view. Next, this qualitative assessment is translated into a quantitative assessment, incorporating finance and valuation theory and methodology. The end result is a roadmap for value creation, where in the end both investors and entrepreneurs require a reward for financial risks taken.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Motives for Patent Pledges: A Qualitative Study
    (2019-12) Ehrnsperger, Jonas Fabian; Tietze, Frank
    Patent Pledges are initiatives of patent owners in which they announce the free or reasonable availability of active patents. Many firms struggle to understand the rationales behind these strategies, making it difficult to decide whether or not to trust them. After all, respective patent owners could also let the patents lapse to make them available. So, what do patent owners hope to achieve through these initiatives? Existing literature suggests motives for patent pledges, but lacks academic rigor and empirical evidence. To further our understanding of patent pledges, we conducted 30 expert interviews, including people directly involved in the decision to initiate and to execute patent pledges. As a complementary data source, we qualitatively analysed 50 public patent pledge statements with respect to their underlying motives. We found 13 distinct motives belonging to three general categories, the primary motive being ‘Driving Technology Diffusion’. We contribute to existing knowledge by providing novel insights into the phenomenon of patent pledges and empirical evidence to what the literature has suggested. We argue that all motives of free patent pledges link to the overarching goal of fostering technology diffusion.