Developing technology intelligence strategy to access knowledge of innovation clusters.
Rani Jeanne Dang
Kodak,Innovation,Clusters,Technology Intelligence,Knowledge Management
Current times are characterised by a knowledge-based economy and fast technological change. In this difficult environment, companies compete to maintain a relevant position through innovation. In response to these challenges, many companies are currently adopting an open approach to innovation, pursuing innovation by combining internal and external resources. Technology intelligence (TI) activities support the implementation of open innovation with the systematic capture and delivery of information about threats and opportunities arising from new developments in science and technology. A popular choice for TI is to establish ‘listening posts' in areas of intense innovative activities, for example in regional clusters where technical information flows are known to be particularly intensive. In fact, literature suggests that in clusters vertical interactions along the value chain and horizontal interactions between competing companies help companies to capture the regional market trends and preferences and take relevant decisions concerning their future technological focus. As companies cannot afford to setup a technology outpost in every single geographic area where innovation and technological development are intense and relevant, they need to develop a TI strategy to explore remotely the science and technology that is being developed across long geographic distances. This chapter illustrates through a detailed case study of Kodak European Research (KER), how companies can organise and implement TI activities to leverage the knowledge and existence of regional clusters. It integrates two domains of research on TI and regional clusters, giving insights into how TI activities are strongly influenced by location. Through the experience of KER, this chapter explores i) the pros and cons of becoming embedded within a cluster to take part in the ‘local buzz'; ii) the strategy to access knowledge of other clusters; iii) the communication strategy to manage the TI activity within and outside of the cluster.