How do entrepreneurial mindsets, diversity in research teams and open innovation processes contribute to the commercialization success of breakthrough technologies?
Project at a glance
ATTRACT phase 2 aims to push R&D&I projects over the “valley of death” towards commercialization and application. We take up this opportunity to investigate individual- and team level factors that increase the chances for the commercialization of breakthrough technologies. We specifically address the following key aspects:
Entrepreneurial mindsets, diversity of research teams, and open innovation practices. First, entrepreneurial mindsets are of special importance. Many ATTRACT phase 1 projects had university and/or research institution partners which might not be experienced, trained or even interested in commercializing technologies beyond scientific discovery.
Second, enhancing diversity in research outcomes through diversity in research teams is one of the key priorities of the Horizon 2020 program. We analyse whether ATTRACT phase 2 groups that are more diverse regarding gender, geography and work background are also more innovative and more often succeed in commercializing their technologies. Third, the ATTRACT project calls require implementing concepts of innovation ecosystems, linking organizations of various kinds. The degree of openness represents one of the key elements of ecosystems that rely on scientific co-creation processes and may even comprise other external stakeholders, the public, or ATTRACT project groups. We analyse how effectively these innovation ecosystems are structured and whether they enable the commercialization of breakthrough technologies.
To analyse the three components of commercializing breakthrough technologies, we follow a mixed-methods approach. First, we review the compositions of all approved ATTRACT phase 2 R&D&I projects and conduct interviews with several liaisons to identify the archetypical compositions of project groups. We then select one showcase project for the archetypical ecosystem and generate three case studies. Based on the outcomes from the qualitative research, we design a questionnaire addressing the entrepreneurial mindset, diversity and open innovation practices. We also assess whether ATTRACT phase 2 projects managed to overcome “the valley of death”.
In addition to attending and providing inputs at all three ATTRACT workshops and the ATTRACT conference, we organize workshops and write publications to disseminate our results among all stakeholders. First, we organize an interim workshop that allows ATTRACT phase 2 project groups to learn from our intermediate results and to increase their chances of succeeding with their commercialization. Second, we conduct three workshops on each of the researched topics (entrepreneurial mindset, diversity in research teams, open innovation practices) to highlight best practices and benchmark standards for future breakthrough innovation research and applications. Third, we put together a final workshop with policymakers and representatives of funding organizations to provide better infrastructure for future applicants to overcome “the valley of death”.