What is it about?

We discuss two main points: 1. How innovation search is conceptualised especially now that firms increasingly use innovation intermediaries, and what processes it involves. And 2. the role do intermediaries or surrogates in different stages and methods of innovation search process. Concept of innovation intermediary: the type of organization located between the source and the seeker of knowledge and resources needed for innovation. These organisations can help the formation of relationships that combine complementary knowledge and resources from different organisations involved in innovation, providing a range of services for the search and selection of possible partners, covering the whole spectrum of the innovation process from basic research through to final, ‘off the shelf’ innovation solutions. They could be technology brokers, regional technology centres, technology transfer offices and private innovation agencies. Concept of innovation search: defined as a search activity involving the seeking of an innovation or partner in the innovation process. This may range from a novel idea or new knowledge right through to a final ‘off the shelf’ solution in the form of a new product, service or process.

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Why is it important?

Previous studies have tended to treat innovation search as a solitary, dyadic process by a firm or organisation, ignoring or reducing the role of external support and partners in the innovation search process, namely the role of search surrogacy. This is important because innovation intermediaries are becoming increasingly involved in the innovation process. In fact, the innovation search process is much more complex, iterative process than previously conceptualised. The research showed that innovation intermediaries are undertaking new, more extended roles in the search process, through, for example, combining new active search procedures with online digital platforms.

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This page is a summary of: Innovation search: the role of innovation intermediaries in the search process, R and D Management, May 2022, Wiley, DOI: 10.1111/radm.12534.
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