In an uncertain economy where business risk is significant, the company tends to rely more on its environment than to invest, for example, in all steps of technological creation; This can be explained by the fact that investments in the acquisition (ownership) of production resources are less expensive than those implied in the formation of these resources; which also explains the attractiveness (in an open economy) of regions with abundant scientific and technical resources. To understand and analyze the innovation process in order to better design and launch new goods, services and technologies, one has to consider the creative dimension of the individual, the business and the organization in general. In new approaches to innovation, the entrepreneur and the company are analyzed through their skills, and their function of resource generation; Innovation thus becomes endogenous, gradual or radical, integrated in a complex process with many feedbacks and interactions. The innovative organization (small or large) is presented in this book as a dynamic system composed of specific and diverse skills (including those of the contractor, engineers or managers). By acquiring, combining and mobilizing these skills, the innovative agent (entrepreneur or company) can create technological resources and develop relations with its environment. Hence the importance of management in design, implementation, protection of intellectual property as well as of the development of new goods, services and technology, commercial and organizational models.
Innovation Engines: Entrepreneurs and Enterprises in a Turbulent World
The thesis that the competitiveness of an economy depends on the density and performance of its system of innovation is generally accepted by economists. Nonetheless, it is easy to defend the idea of a correlation between a company's innovation and production capabilities and the wealth of innovation resources in the (national or local) economy in which the business or entrepreneur has developed: namely, the availability of a highly qualified and skilled workforce, large investments in scientific research and technological development, buying markets with significant purchasing power and tendencies to reinvent themselves, suitable institutional frameworks and support, etc. The innovation system is studied like an R&D network made up of scientific and technical institutions, of laboratories for research and engineering with the aim of creating, producing, learning - of innovating. This concept of an innovation system has opened up several avenues for research, two of which have particularly grabbed the attention of political decision makers: the idea of localizing the innovation process, and that of the emergence of innovation networks with technology entrepreneurs acting as the main brokers. The creator of the business that has the knowledge capital is enhanced by the dual investment and (re)appropriation process [BOU 16].
It is not only the entrepreneurial aspects of innovation, but also the economic, financial and sociotechnical aspects that fall within the practices of creating and acquiring the capital and labor resources necessary for carrying out production. The issue of excludability is central to understanding the functioning (creation or development) of a business. Considering, for example, that activities producing scientific and technical information have a larger positive impact (in terms of creating wealth and profit) on a collective level (a large number of businesses) than for an individual business (this is still more frustrating in cases where the business producing information to serve its own innovation activities in fact benefits others), means defending the idea of pooling profits, risks and opportunities. In an economy marked by the asymmetry of information, this does not mean that the selection mechanisms of businesses are unable to operate. It means that external economies, which firms can claim to conquer, are guiding entrepreneurial strategies on localization, competition, spinning off and cooperation.
There is actually a trend for businesses to use their environments to their own advantage rather than to invest, for example, in all stages of technology creation and innovation. This can be explained by the fact that during the acquisition (appropriation) of production resources, all investments are less expensive than those made during resource creation. This, in turn, explains the innovation strategies of organizations and the appeal of a region with plentiful scientific and technical resources. The collective profitability of capital can prove to be greater, while its private profitability can become insufficient. The explanation for the superiority of the social yield from investments in business research and innovation, in comparison to individual capital, lies in the increase in the number of factors that determine the possibility for a given business to make a profit. These overarching factors (education, environment, health, finance, links between industries, communication, needs and aspirations, etc.) have an effect on the marginal cost of a business or activity and, all things being otherwise equal, influence the yield made on the capital invested. The idea of the "network" then emerges as essential to economic observation and analysis. In our economy based on knowledge and open information, the "network" is the industrial structure that brings technical change and guarantees the development of the mode of production and consumption [UZU 12, LIU 16].
The formation of innovation networks follows four paths: the multiplication of exchanges between public research and businesses; the creation of institutions for commercializing research; help for the creation of technology businesses; and the organization of the territory using scientific and technological "centers of excellence". The positive overall business climate ensures the emergence and spread of innovation. An innovative entrepreneur or even an innovative business that acquires scientific and technical knowledge to innovate therefore serves a crucial purpose within a group of interconnections and opportunities for innovation and profit.
To understand and analyze the conception and launch of the innovation process, it is essential to consider the creative dimension of the individual, the business and the organization in general. In new approaches to innovation, the entrepreneur and the business are used according to their skills and their function in the creation of resources; innovation therefore becomes endogenous, gradual or radical, and integrated into a complex process with abundant feedback and interplay. The innovative organization is presented here with a dynamic system made up of specific and varied skills. By acquiring, combining and mobilizing these skills, innovators are able to create technological resources and advance relationships with their environment. This is the reason that managing the conception, application and development is important in the implementation of an innovation process.
The organization (business, institution, spatial innovation system) has a set of knowledge and skills from learning processes, which are integrated into its memory (routines, according to the company's evolutionist approach). The company therefore creates its "knowledge capital" [LAP 16]. The coordination mode and modalities applied here are related to the efficiency and specific features of managing projects and processes. The organization develops and is subject to continuous external aggressions. These aggressions (competition, substitutability of products and technologies, regulation, etc.) are the product of the economic context and have an effect on innovation engines, and also act as a means of selection. Selection procedures are at the heart of the business climate, and include the nature of product markets, the availability of capital and labor, the pace of innovation, the effects of public policies and the protection of intellectual property [LAP 12]. They can, as a result, create alternatives to the mode of functioning, management and production of a given business (or a particular economic system), which is brought about through the market.
The business climate is, in all cases, the creator of either barriers or opportunities for organizations and individuals. The unpredictability of results and the possibility of alternatives are the main uncertainties inherent in innovation activities. On the other hand, just as the innovation process involves learning and development, the innovative organization must constantly make internal adjustments and review its relationships with its technological, economic and social environment.
At the macroeconomic level, innovation requires a continuous reassessment of the social relationships and institutional structures that characterize a given economy at a given time. Innovation is the result of close relationships between producers and consumers, of asymmetry in information or even of microeconomic and macroeconomic growth processes that are out of touch with reality. It is born of imperfection or imbalance, and contributes, in turn, to improving the economic order. It also has a stake in the dynamic growth model based on uncertainty, risk and profit. Innovation is born of uncertainty and risk and, at the same time, creates uncertainty.
The "flaws" that characterize an economic system are, however, a significant source of opportunities for investment, production and the spread of new market values. Yet to arrive at those opportunities, it is necessary for the economic mechanisms to be, at one time or another, in stages relative to each other. Time intervenes in the preparation, organization and, quite simply, the seizure of opportunities that the market offers to agents that are supposed to create new productive combinations.
This book is made up of eight chapters with the aim of discussing the conditions that ensure the implementation of innovation processes, and the launch and distribution of innovations. The two major engines of innovation are knowledge and entrepreneurial spirit [BOU 14]. These engines are initiated by the entrepreneur and the business. The success of the actions of the entrepreneur and the business is the result of norms, rules, traditions and institutions through which economic functions are organized, and thanks to which innovation activities become both individually and collectively profitable. These activities must be considered through the lens of entrepreneurial spirit and creativity, capabilities and strategies for interacting with businesses, consumers, and public authorities, as well as through the means of coordinating their actions with the aim of creating or organizing a market that must recoup investments, alleviate risks and guarantee, for a time, the vitality of business. But how can the entrepreneur use these networks for innovation? What are the factors for success that can turn an idea into an innovation and create value? How can the dissemination of innovation be organized? How can a business transform itself? How can it acquire and enhance the knowledge required for its development? How can...