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Advanced Materials Research Vols 452-453 (2012) pp 491-495
© (2012) Trans Tech Publications, Switzerland
Online: 2012-01-24
Management of Innovation in Research
Bernard MONNIER1
Monnier Innovation Management, 40, rue Charles de Montesquieu, 92160 Antony, France
Keywords: Innovation, Research, innovation process, MIM©
Abstract. Innovation and Research have been associated for a long time. We use the term innovation
to mean the process that transforms ideas into commercial value. The innovation path is quite long,
difficult and complex from the production of new ideas to the final product. So, we need to define the
meaning of innovation in research in order to maximize the chance to take the right way to a
successful innovation. The association of the two words, innovation and research, is not really
relevant. This document explains what is innovation in research and how to manage it. A specific
doctoral training session is also described in order to improve innovation outcomes in
industry-research organizations.
Innovation has become a common word. It is used everywhere, every time in every speeches. The
meaning is not so clear for everybody. We need to share the same definition. Innovation is a process
that transforms ideas into commercial value. It means that the result is measurable only when you
have a supply in front of a demand. Research is the upstream phase of the process. Innovation is far
from this initial point. Therefore, in order to manage innovation at the early stage, this study gives a
general definition of innovation. It proposes a dedicated tool in order to manage innovation
strategically and then, it focuses on the upstream phase with the same tool.
MIM©: a strategic tool to manage open innovation
Innovation is the successful exploitation of new ideas. Creativity is the production of new ideas.
Innovation is about bringing new knowledge and processes into business and/or developing new, high
value-added products, processes and services [1, 5]. The main challenge is to find a right way to boost
innovation in new product developments. If the target is a disruptive innovation, you have no other
choice than to work in an open innovation form [2], because of the lack of fund to do all the tasks and
to take all the risks. This complex process is a way to use this method and tool in order to help partners
to succeed in such an organization. Our partners very often don't have the same vision, mission and
objectives. Our goal is to get them to share the same view of the business environment.
In order to objectively realize where we stand and what we want to provide for ours customers,
MIM© method proposes a metric for innovation, in seven levels [9, 10], depending on the maturity
level of the supply and demand. The vision of innovative success differs according to academic
partners, companies and industries. It helps people from different communities who do not speak the
same language to interact. The second role of the MIM© process is to determine the best strategy to
improve the initial innovation level.
This method defines seven levels of innovation:
Level 1: preliminary idea for a supply (product and/or service). The market has not been
considered. The solution to the problem doesn’t meet expectations, thus improvement is needed. It is
the lowest innovation level
Level 2: a technical idea, a concept, a product or a service exists but there is no demand. The
market is not yet identified
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Management, Manufacturing and Materials Engineering
Level 3: there is at least a potential market but no solution to answer this demand. The supply
doesn’t yet exist
Level 4: there is a demand and a supply; the company may launch its product and/or services
Level 5: there is a sophisticated supply and an identified market for it
Level 6: there is a supply and a market which may generate high revenues from it, there is high
potential for growth
Level 7: There is a sophisticated product/service and huge identified market/revenues from it. It
is the highest level of innovation; it should be the goal for all innovative projects (the “star”quadrant)
Fig. 1 : MIM© tool to manage innovation
Managing a research project consists in assessing each axis of this matrix by answering questions
through a questionnaire from an innovation scoring process. This evaluation refers to data from
different departments in a company: R&D, Sales & Marketing, Finance, Strategy, Purchasing, and so
on. As it was already said, this process helps to communicate between people who do not have the
same language and objectives but who need to work together to be more efficient. It also helps to link
SMEs with Industries, Research centres with Enterprises … by the communication which is
simplified using the tool.
This process is largely used inside companies for managing R&D (III-V Lab [11], Credit Agricole
Bank [12, 14], Thales Alenia Space [16]) or innovative suppliers [4, 6].
Innovation in Research
Research & Innovation are quite different. Creativity is more linked to research while innovation is
more dedicated for business management. If we use the term innovation to mean the process that
transforms ideas into commercial value, research is at the upstream phase of the product life cycle
while innovation is at the end of the process. The goal of research is not always to provide a product.
There are numbers of outcomes from research which are not commercially exploit. But the word
“innovation” is also used in this field. Therefore, we need to specify what is the meaning of
Innovation in Research?
This paper proposes to share a same vision of what could be innovation in research activities. If we
refer to the MIM© tool, the demand axis of the matrix is represented by the problem faced by the
private sector, and the supply axis refers to the technology and/or the knowledge managed by
academic partners. Innovation in research could be seen as the expectation from industrial or
enterprise for the private side, and the results from research studies for the academic side. Bellow you
will find a proposal for four main outcomes.
Technology transfer : knowledge transfer from research to industry, enterprise with a major
implication between scientists, researchers, engineers and managers for applying results in a new
Advanced Materials Research Vols. 452-453
Licensing : when a customer is ready to pay for a license of the outcomes from research.
Start-up : if the outputs from research could be delivered directly to customers, when a business is
possible, a company may born as a commercial exploitation of the research outputs.
Joint program of Research : if the results from research is not ready to be transferred, a joint
research program could be advised to the partners. When it needs some improvements like proof of
concept for example, a joint program could be a good solution to promote the ideas from research. A
consortium including academic and private partners has to be built to manage a future potential
transfer from universities to enterprises.
In this case, the seven levels of innovation are declined in order to evaluate the strategic ways of
managing the outcomes from research studies. The seventh level is reached when the project has
succeeded to go into the “star” quadrant. That means that the project has satisfied its main goals.
Thus, this project in the 7th level could be included in the first MIM© matrix dedicated for business.
It will be put in the first quadrant (MIM level 1) for the final road to the innovation paradise (MIM
level 7). It will be the case when a new product/service will be a major success on a market, based on
the research outcomes.
Fig. 2 : MIM© tool to manage innovation in research
This process is already used for managing European research studies [8, 13]. It gives the
opportunity to increase business returns from framework program.
Dedicated processes to challenge Innovation in Research
In order to maximize the potential innovation for research results, this paper presents two different
processes which could be used in engineering or business colleges and which is really well adapted
for Phd programs.
DRIM© (Défi en Recherche et Innovation avec MIM) is a specific process to link academic and
private sectors. This process is particularly well adapted to Phd programs. In five days it gives the
main activities that need to be known by an innovation project manager.
It differs from the Doctoriales® process which is more dedicated on how to create a start-up and all
processes that are needed before running a company. DRIM© is larger than that. It addresses a
start-up but also all the other outcomes from a research studies: technology transfer, licensing or joint
programs. It also proposes to consider a real case. It suggests to select a high potential research result
to be improved.
The program is based on main functions included in the process of innovation. Creativity [7],
marketing and risks management [3], finance and communication are mainly addressed. All these
activities are linked by the MIM© process for managing the strategic plan of the research project in
order to optimize the potential returns. This process has been used in the concept of the 24 hours of
innovation© by ESTIA engineers school [15] in Bidart (France).
Such a process has been initialized for a famous French University [17], and will probably be used
in a few months for a major French industrial actor.
Management, Manufacturing and Materials Engineering
PACTE© (Défi de Partenariat par une Acte Collaboratif pour un Tremplin Entrepreneurial) is a
specific process to provide entrepreneurial skills to high potential students.. This is organized around
a project of on one to three years. If the process is implemented at school, it can be done on one year
basis but tree years is recommended for PHD programs. It consists of choosing a company and to
define how to help it on innovation matters in order to be more efficient at the end of the process. That
helps local enterprises to increase their business and generating the jobs for tomorrow and this can
help students to deal with challenges and learn how to solve them. It is important for an entrepreneur
to have this skill.
It is important that PHD students have regularly meeting with experts and follow their advices if
they want the process to be efficient. This process has been proposed to Moroccan university at the
last international conference [18]. Students have to change their professional objectives from an
administrative career to one in a private sector. Academic institutes have a role to play to change
culture from secure jobs to challenging ones.
Innovation is mainly managed by business men. Research is generally managed by engineers, they do
not have the same objectives, goals and missions and obviously not the same strategic plan. They do
not use the same language. If you do not make any changes you will obviously obtain the same
outcomes. If your business does not need any changes, this does not apply for you. This paper is
addressed to those who need to make some changes to their business so as to be more innovative. The
aim of this paper is to propose dedicated processes for improving communication between different
communities, inside a company but also outside the organization. It simplifies project in open
innovation mode, it helps people, organizations to understand the situation and to evaluate the needs
for risks sharing but also the benefits sharing for each partners as an equitable process. This last point
is often forgotten by partners when they try to work together and is often the main reason why the
process is often fails.
This paper proposes two different processes to improve innovation in research projects and to give
the students the passion for innovation in their own life.
[1] J. Schumpeter, Théorie de l’évolution économique (1935)
[2] H. Chesbrough, Open Innovation: The New Imperative for Creating and Profiting from
Technology. Boston Harvard Business School Press (2003)
[3] P. Millier, L’Etude des Marchés qui n’Existent pas Encore Edition d’Organisation (2002)
[4] B. Monnier, A new tool to evaluate supplier’s level of innovation IPSERA International
Conference, Archamps, France (2005)
[5] B. Monnier, A New Process For Innovation Improvement SAM International Conference. Las
Vegas, USA (2005)
[6] B. Monnier, Supplier’s Innovation Management by Portfolio Model IPSERA International
Conference. San Diego, USA (2006)
[7] B. Monnier, Innovation Improvement Strategy Using TRIZ AMETRIZ International Conference.
Puebla, Mexico (2006)
[8] B. Monnier, FX. Josset, Innovation Measure through the European Project SERKET. SAFE
2007 International Conference. Ramla Bay, Malta (2007)
[9] B. Monnier, Innovative process to measure innovation - a decision making tool dedicated to open
innovation 1st ISPIM Innovation Symposium. Singapore (2008).
Advanced Materials Research Vols. 452-453
[10] B. Monnier, B. Scache, Managing R&D by Innovation Measurement 2nd ISPIM International
Conference, New York, USA (2009)
[11] D. Pons, Partnering along the chain of innovation: III-V lab example OCDE Symposium Global
Open Innovation Networks, Paris (2009)
[12] B. Monnier, Méthode de Mesure de l’Innovation Congrès International CIGI. Bagnères de
Bigorre, France (2009)
[13] B. Monnier, M. Zolghadri, Advanced in production management system Edition Springer, pages
538-544 Innovation Management in European Projects APMS International Conference.
Bordeaux, France (2009)
[14] B. Monnier, A. Bellaiche, B. Scache, Une méthode pour évaluer les projets d’Innovation Ecole
de Paris du Management, Paris (2010)
[15]J. Legardeur, B. Monnier, New projects evaluation method for the 24h of innovation® 3rd
ERIMA International Conference, Wiesbaden, Allemagne (2010)
[16] JD. Gayrard, B. Monnier, Measuring innovation: a new approach to the management of
innovation in the communication satellite business 61st International Astronautical Congress,
Prague, Czech Republic (2010)
[17]B. Monnier, Valorisation / Innovation de quoi parle t-on ? vers une vision partagée entre secteur
académique et secteur privé & Marketing des idées et stratégie : vers une valeur économique
de l’offre Journée Innovation pour les doctorants (2011)
[18] B. Monnier, Construire des relations pérennes Université-Entreprises via l’open innovation
Séminaire International sur les formations doctorales sous le thème : les nouveaux enjeux de la
formation doctorale, Faculté des sciences de Tétouan Université Abdelmalek Essaàdi, Maroc
Management, Manufacturing and Materials Engineering
Management of Innovation in Research