Full citation

Canez, L., L Puig, R. Quintero, M. Garfias. (2007). Linking Technology Acquisition to a Gated NPD Process. Industrial Research Institute, 49-55.

Format: Peer-reviewed article

Type: Experience

Experience level of reader: Advanced

Annotation: The paper presents a structured approach for technology acquisition, that establishes more successful collaborations for technology-based NPD, while also encouraging organizations to regular scan available technologies in the marketplace before pursuing in-house technology development.

Setting(s) to which the reported activities/findings are relevant: Large business, Small business (less than 500 employees)

Knowledge user(s) to whom the piece of literature may be relevant: Manufacturers

Knowledge user level addressed by the literature: Organization

This article uses the Commercial Devices and Services version of the NtK Model

Primary Findings

Methods:

  • NPD that involves new to the world technologies or product components, needs to go through a stage of fundamental research before initiating the product development process. The fundamental research route involves a project proposal followed by the research activity. The research activity feeds its results into the scoping and business case stages.
    Literature review, author's industry experience with case study.
    Occurrence of finding within the model: Gate 2
  • Technology Acquisition — Companies have finite resources and cannot afford to pursue all technologies in-house. Hence, organizations face the dilemma of deciding whether to develop technologies internally or to acquire them from a third-party. Further, as technologies become more complex, acquisition is increasingly regarded as a principle path for delivering new solutions. Technology acquisition helps bridge the technology gap in areas of expertise where the organization lags behind.
    Literature review, author's industry experience with case study.
    Occurrence of finding within the model: Step 3.1, Step 4.1, Step 1.4

Tip: Alliances involving technology acquisition must ensure they have a sound business case where the purpose of the alliance is clearly defined and any Intellectual Property (IP) issues are carefully described and discussed. IP issues are particularly important when the acquired know-how needs to be customized to the NPD context. This may create co-invention scenarios where claims and ownership can become issues.
Literature review, author's industry experience with case study.
Occurrence of finding within the model: Step 3.9, Step 4.4, Step 7.8

Secondary Findings

Carrier: A Learning Alliance — The acquisition and exploitation of knowledge generated by others as a means to speed a firm's development capabilities, while minimizing the technological risk. Learning alliances are a a key factor in offering technology-based solutions. They are established to access the relevant skills and capabilities of the alliance partner — their know-how — which is difficult to communicate and capture through standard market mechanisms. (Grant and Baden-Fuller [2004])
Occurrence of finding within the model: Step 3.1, Step 4.1

Model: Stage-Gage is a widely accepted process for NPD. Most U.S. companies engaged in product development have adopted and applied some form of the Stage-Gate model. (O'Connor [1994]; Bigwood [2004]; Cooper [2006])