Turning new ideas into wealth: SMEs in the era of disruptive technologies
Vancouver, June 5-6, 2003
Disruptive technologies upset the status quo, and do so in many different ways. The accelerating pace of discovery gives us new opportunities, but it also means that technologies, and the investments behind them, have become perishable items. A new, chaotic, economic environment is created in which we see, simultaneously, overcapacity and price erosion in 'old' technology, and shortages at high prices for new technologies. Moreover, this change all takes place in a borderless trade environment in which the next surprise can seemingly come out of nowhere.
Small and medium enterprises are at the center of the chaos. They have the apparent energy and agility to adapt to new conditions, to work in asymmetric markets. Paradoxically, their success often lies in what happens when they fail. It is then that we see the entrepreneurs regroup to form something new. What we call SMEs is really a network of innovators and entrepreneurs. The companies they form are just the external description of what the network is at a fixed point in time.
The conference in Vancouver looked at how SMEs grow, die, and re-cycle themselves in this chaotic environment. In meeting unpredictable external challenges, they often respond in unconventional and paradoxical ways. The conference challenged participants to look deeply into an innovation process that goes beyond the normal discovery-investment-ROI view of the world, and where the center of focus is no longer the enterprise but the emergent behaviour of a network of entrepreneurs.
Documents for download
Disruptive technologies, firms' strategies and government policy by Professor Yves Doz, INSEAD, Fontainebleau, France (Europe campus) and Singapore (Asia campus)
Identifying science and business issues: The case of nanotechnology by Dr. Danial Wayner, Director General, National Institute for Nanotechnology (Edmonton) & Steacie Institute for Molecular Sciences (Ottawa), National Research Council, Canada
The relationship between nanotechnology and quantum computing by Dr. Geordie Rose, President and CEO, D-Wave Systems, Canada
Canada's innovation strategy: The innovation engagement process and follow-on actions by Ms. Lois Stevenson, The Innovation Secretariat, Policy Sector, Industry Canada
Innovation, disruptive technologies and SMEs: Constraints and policy by Professor Alan Hughes, Centre for Business Research, University of Cambridge, UK
National innovation system and the role of the national institute by Professor Otto C.C. Lin, Hong Kong University of Science & Technology, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Innovation in Canada: Photonics at NRC by Dr. Richard Normandin, National Research Council, Canada
Importance of science, technology, and innovation to Canada by Dr. Martha Piper, President and Vice Chancellor, University of British Columbia, Canada
Improving Government-SME partnerships for the development of new technologies by Dr. Charles Wessner, Director of Innovation and Technology, National Research Council, United States
A summary of the workshop proceedings, prepared by Mr. Raymond Bouchard, President, Drachma Denarius, Canada
Reports and other related information
Summary & assessment report, submitted by Angie Hsieh and Elena Surcheva, Simon Fraser University, Canada