From Research to Manufacturing, Entrepreneurial Implications for a Scientist in a Research-Based Young Venture Moving Towards Serial Production – A Case Study
Sammanfattning: “This final goal for a researcher is to get an acknowledgementfor his or her research in the academic community, whereas for a businesspersonthe primary driving force is profit and financial benefit”(Siegel, Waldman, & Link, 2003)Traditionally, university research and business have widely been considered separated interms of actors involved in each field. Scientists and researchers on the one side, businesspeople and manufacturing managers on the other. With the ongoing rise of academicentrepreneurship through which university knowledge is transferred into businesses, thoseboundaries have become blurry. Researchers do not only find value in understanding, but thecommercialisation and creation of wider societal impact becomes a more and more attractivegoal. Thus, some researchers become active entrepreneurs involved in commercialisationprojects.Arguably, having pursued a career in academia has strong influence on the individual and itsbehaviour. Throughout this case study, I find that the main challenges for the scientist/entrepreneur in a specific venture context (strong dependence on researcher in technologyand manufacturing, lack of market knowledge, limited time capacity of the scientist,simultaneous development of R&D and production/market). Consequently, it is shown howthe scientist’s past is related to the effectiveness of transforming research to production(more explorative mindset, strong scientific and weak industrial network, perception of therole of manufacturing for the future business). Finally, based on the research, I give guidingtowards overcoming the challenges in the specific case and the scientific past of the scientist/entrepreneur: creating structure, strengthening communication, understanding of customerdemand, separation of leadership and management, focus on internal learning within theorganisation to use existing human resources, and to integrate external knowledge throughpartnerships, new employees and so forth in order to fill knowledge gaps inside of theorganisation.As such, this in-depth case study of a Swedish venture founded on scientific knowledgecontributes to the understanding of the role of the scientist/ entrepreneur in the context oftransferring explorative R&D processes to exploitative manufacturing, a field to beinvestigated more broadly in future research over time.
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