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The stage-gate innovation process and its impact on the innovation culture of large companies

During this masterclass, the session will be split into 3 defined sections:

The first section will start with a brief definition of a commercial innovation that will be used throughout the different sessions of the course. Then, from the perspective of large companies, the difference between sustainable and radical / disruptive innovations (Clay Christensen) is presented and explained using specific examples. At the end of the first session we will have a brief look at the search for innovations. As we will see different approaches are required for sustainable and radical / disruptive innovations.

In the second section, the industrial stage gate process is presented and discussed using material development as an example. The focus will be on idea creation, invention and market introduction, market diffusion will be touched on briefly. By comparing the strengths and weaknesses of the stage-gate process it will become clear that it has great strengths for sustaining innovations but is not really suitable for radical or disruptive innovations. This is one reason why large companies are bad at radical/disruptive innovations.

The third section together with  Karl, participants will investigate other factors that prevent large companies from being disruptive.  What large companies can do about this and how they could become disruptive (again) using specific industry examples will be briefly discussed. It turns out that these insights are relevant for large companies as well as start-ups. 

Finally, the group will discuss why (excellent) universities are potentially ideal incubators for radical innovations and what it takes to make them so.

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