06+Models+of+Innovation

06+Models+of+Innovation - SOSC111 Science, Technology &...

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SOSC111 Lecture 6 Innovation Models
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From Understanding How Technology Functions… The previous lectures gave us two conceptual frameworks for understanding technological change: Technological networks that described artifact/knowledge inputs (interdependence), complements, feedbacks, and ultimately path dependency. Socio-technical systems that described social lag, negotiation space, and closure These concepts are extremely useful for dissecting (taking apart) technological change.
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… to How New Technology is Created Our task is slightly different now. We are interested in the ingredients for developing new technologies. What EXACTLY do we need to get new ideas? The previous models suggest only that: New technologies will probably depend on old artifact and knowledge inputs New technologies will probably be the result of a negotiation (or competition) between individuals and groups.
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Invention vs. Innovation In this class we make a distinction between invention and innovation. Invention is the idea behind a new technology. Innovation is an invention that has been developed into a usable product (artifact or knowledge). People often use these terms as if they were the same – but we need to distinguish them in order to analyse how technology is created
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This distinction is important We live in a world full of new inventions . Every week there are hundreds of new patent applications. Yet most of these inventions will never be made into a usable product. Inventions can lead to innovations, but they are clearly not sufficient for innovations. We thus want to know how innovations (of which inventions are a component) come about.
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US Patents for Useless Inventions US4344424: Anti-eating face mask US4809435: Eating utensil
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Supply or Demand? Two competing models had been proposed to show why innovation happens 1. Innovation is based on the supply of new discoveries or inventions 2. Innovation is based on the demand for new technologies The US government wanted to know which model was correct. They phrased the question as follows: Should they invest in long-term scientific research (new discoveries) or invest in short-term engineering research (to meet the demand for technology)?
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“HINDSIGHT” In the late 1960s, the US Department of Defense funded a study of the development of 20 weapons systems in the US. The study attempted to identify where innovations originated , and divided the 20 weapons systems into 710 discrete scientific- technical “ events .” The events were classified into three categories undirected scientific research (Basic science) directed scientific research (Applied science) engineering development .
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HINDSIGHT Conclusions % of Events Non-mission oriented research 0.3% (Basic science) Mission oriented research 8.7% (Applied science) Engineering development 91%
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Limitations of “HINDSIGHT” The HINDSIGHT study angered many
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This note was uploaded on 07/30/2011 for the course SOS 111 taught by Professor Bark during the Summer '08 term at HKU.

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06+Models+of+Innovation - SOSC111 Science, Technology &...

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