Developing New Technology Platforms for New Business Models: Syngenta's Partnership with the University of Manchester: The University Innovation Center Offers a Model for Industry-University Collaboration That Explores Both New Technologies and the Business Models to Support Their Commercialization

By Malik, Khaleel; Georghiou, Luke et al. | Research-Technology Management, January-February 2011 | Go to article overview

Developing New Technology Platforms for New Business Models: Syngenta's Partnership with the University of Manchester: The University Innovation Center Offers a Model for Industry-University Collaboration That Explores Both New Technologies and the Business Models to Support Their Commercialization


Malik, Khaleel, Georghiou, Luke, Grieve, Bruce, Research-Technology Management


Open innovation is now generally accepted as providing companies with a broad, long-term strategy for developing new technologies and exploring new markets. Frequently, an open-innovation program includes efforts to reach out to external researchers, in some cases by partnering with research-intensive universities. These partnerships may be aimed at solving specific problems or at providing windows on emerging technologies. While they can offer fruitful ground for identifying and developing innovations, these relationships do require careful management to ensure both parties' goals for the partnership are met.

Syngenta AG, a global agribusiness company that markets seeds and pesticides, has developed a useful and effective mechanism for managing its university partnerships. Syngenta-sponsored university innovation centers (UICs) work to develop new technology platforms that can help move the company into new business opportunities. Since 2007, Syngenta has established six UICs across six universities or research institutes and three countries, each focused on a different set of technology opportunities. The UICs offer Syngenta another route for acquiring external technological capabilities, in addition to other, more traditional acquisition mechanisms, such as licensing technologies and collaborating with other kinds of external partners. At the same time, the UICs enable Syngenta to exploit these capabilities more readily by exploring different routes to market early in the development process. Where acquired technologies must usually then be fitted into a business model, Syngenta-sponsored UICs work with the company's business development teams to identify and validate a business model for the proposed technology before significant resources are invested in technical innovation. The technical work can then be shaped in development to match the requirements of the validated business model. The benefit of this approach is that the company can move its technical innovations in the most innovative and lucrative directions and minimize risk associated with developing business models to fit technology.

Syngenta's first UIC, established in partnership with the University of Manchester (UK) in 2007 to study the possible use of sensors in agribusiness applications, offers an example of a successful strategic partnership between business and academia. Known as the Syngenta Sensors Centre (SSC), the UIC has helped Syngenta explore new technologies, manage risk, and generate innovation.

Accessing University Knowledge

Various indicators suggest that knowledge transfer between universities and commercial firms is accelerating. This includes a rising numbers of patents filed by universities, increasing numbers of university researchers engaging in academic entrepreneurship, growing numbers of university spin-off companies, the growing share of industry funding in university income, and the diffusion of technology transfer offices and other knowledge transfer activities initiated through national or regional innovation support measures (Nelson 2001; Shane 2005). There is also abundant evidence to suggest that the process of knowledge transfer between universities and industry occurs through multiple channels, including informal contacts, personnel mobility, consulting relationships, and joint research projects (Arundel and Geuna 2004).

At the same time, recent changes in corporate R&D models from centralized R&D functions to R&D divisions tied to particular products or businesses--have led to a shift in the nature of university-business relationships (Coombs and Georghiou 2002). Moving away from large portfolios of relationships with individual academics, many firms now establish long-term relationships with entire university departments; these arrangements typically cover equipment provision, staff posts, and graduate student recruitment. For example, Rolls-Royce Aero Engines has consolidated about 300 small, dispersed university projects into 28 large "university technology centers" (UTCs). …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Developing New Technology Platforms for New Business Models: Syngenta's Partnership with the University of Manchester: The University Innovation Center Offers a Model for Industry-University Collaboration That Explores Both New Technologies and the Business Models to Support Their Commercialization
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.