Date of Award

12-2011

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Legacy Department

Policy Studies

Advisor

Bodde, David L

Committee Member

Ulbrich , Holley M

Committee Member

Warber , Adam

Committee Member

Becker , Robert

Abstract

Innovation is a key driving force of economic growth in the United States and other developed countries. A wide range of public policies seek to stimulate growth while curbing its excesses. As the rate of innovation continues to slow across many industry segments, state and federal policy makers continue to look for new ideas to stimulate growth. Between the extremes of antitrust and industrial policy lies a fertile and mostly unexplored area where government and industry may collaborate. Industry-government collaboration so far has had mixed success. Innovations in organizational form that utilize networks to link entrepreneurs, publically funded research, and industry firms can provide a new way for policy makers to stimulate innovation. This research describes a new organizational design called an industry-scale open innovation network (OIN) that links the innovations of small firms with the systems integration, scaling, and distribution strengths of larger firms. The heart of the OIN design is a dynamic two-sided market for innovation with a specialized intermediary called a hub firm orchestrating the deal flow. Over time, the OIN is theorized to accelerate the rate, lower the cost, and improve the effectiveness of innovation in select industries. Clemson University and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) designed and demonstrated the anchor service for an open innovation network with the US automotive industry. This demonstration, called the AutoVenture Forum (AVF), marks the first time that an open-innovation service has been attempted at the industry level. The first demonstration of the AutoVenture Forum was held near Detroit, Michigan on 22 September, 2010. Key findings for managing open innovation at the industry level include (a) the tiered supply industry forms the essential link between the original equipment makers like GM (OEM) and the entrepreneurs because it solves the scale-up issue; (b) supply chain innovation builds job creation; (c) a high-quality flow of deal-ready entrepreneurs is essential to attract industry participation; and (d) industry leadership will be required to establish the complete innovation network.

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