New models and best practice in accelerating innovation for high-value nanotechnology

T.A. Wilkins
University of Leeds,
United Kingdom

Keywords: nanomanufacturing, new innovation ecosystem models, EU research and innovations policy, high-value applications, examples of best practice, nanosafety & emergent technology innovation management


From the beginning of the 21st Century new models of open innovation based on the work of Chesborough et al have appeared. These have concentrated largely on practices within large industry. The author's extensive industrial experience in nanotechnology innovation from 1982 together with his research and innovation policy advisory work for the European Commission from 2002 has informed the development of: a) Europe's € multi-billion nanotechnology collaborative research and innovation (R&I) programs and b) the development of a a new theory of multiple & interacting innovation ecosystems This paper describes the evolution of Europe's nanotechnology R&I policy within a value-chain continuum of nano-, bio--, Materials- and production- technologies. It also addresses the important issue of how Europe's nanosafety R&I program has been actively managed together with its future direction. Within this paper, the EU's Nanotechnology R&I Policy is located with the author's new theory innovation ecosystems. 3 open innovation ecosystems are described. The first being Chesbrough's large industry model. The other 2 are distinctly different types of smart regional innovation ecosystems. Throughout, the focus is on (high) added-value nanotechnology manufacturing, defined by %RETURN ON NET ASSETS (RONA). In this context business applications yielding RONA >200% are regarded as high-added value. From the models, theory and practice for accelerating and de-risking innovation can be deduced. Lastly, the author's experience in applying the above principles to the Nanomanufacturing institute he founded in 2005 will be described including applications in medicine, industrial materials, nanoelectronics, nanosafety & innovation management