Tackling the Critical Hurdles: Revising Technology-Based Ideation Processes





technological innovation, technology application selection, entrepreneurship, technology-push


Technological innovations are crucial for a country’s economic growth as they often have radical innovation potential. Although recognized as a key role in the innovation process, lots of technologies remain unexploited. University spin-offs (USOs) have the potential to transfer technologies into technological innovations. Often though, in universities there is a lack of consideration of potential implementation right from the start. The so-called fuzzyfront end (FFE) stage is crucial for successful innovation, as no commercialization can be achieved without the identification of a suitable application. This represents a critical hurdle, as of to date appropriate approaches for a successful systematic identification and validation of technology applications are missing. Furthermore, most investigating studies rely on data from spin-offs that are already operating successfully on the market and have therefore survived the critical initial stages of development, without highlighting the FFE of their process. This fact makes the pre-development activity of opportunity recognition appear to be a scientifically neglected topic.

In this research a mixed-method approach is conducted to investigate the critical hurdles in the technology application selection (TAS) process of technologies, consisting of an extended literature review, completed by interviews with stakeholder involved in the USOs ecosystem. Striving to uncover the black box of the FFE, the study aims to specify and operationalize requirements for application identification of technologies. These findings are of relevance for researchers and practitioners which like to facilitate the exploration of potential technological innovation.