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Different Stages of Technological Innovation – 8 Major Stages | Management of Technology

Different Stages of Technological Innovation

Technological innovations comprise new products and processes and significant technological changes of products and processes. Technological innovation is a complex set of activities that transforms ideas and scientific knowledge into physical reality and real-world applications.

It is a process that converts knowledge into useful products and services that have a socioeconomic impact. It requires the integration of inventions and existing technologies to bring innovation to the marketplace.

Technological innovation is a part of the total innovation discipline. It focuses specifically on technology and how to embody it successfully in products, services, and processes.

Technology as a body of knowledge might thus be seen as a building block for technological innovation, serving as a cornerstone to research, design, development, manufacturing, and marketing.

The technological innovation process consists of a series of phases necessary to implement improvements or develop a new production process, product, or service. Different Stages of Technological Innovation are as follows:

1. Basic research:

This is research for the sake of increasing our general understanding of the laws of nature. It is a process of generating knowledge over a long period of time. It may or may not result in a specific application.

2. Applied research:

This is research directed toward solving one or more of society’s problems. An example is research conducted to develop a drug for treating a known disease.

Basic and applied research advances science by systematically building knowledge on previous knowledge. Successful applied research results in technology development and implementation.

3. Technology development:

This is a human activity that converts knowledge and ideas into physical hardware, software, or service. It may involve demonstrating the feasibility of an idea, verifying a design concept, or building and testing a prototype that must be tested, preferably with the help of the public that will use it.

Two interesting approaches to this stage of the technological innovation process can be used:

  • Design thinking, which takes into account how people interact with innovative products and services
  • Scrum, which promotes small iterations, incremental advances in the prototype, and the rest of the innovation process, is always based on the needs of those who will use it.

4. Technology implementation:

This is the set of activities associated with introducing a product to the marketplace. Technology implementation involves the first operational use of an idea or a product by society.

It entails the activities associated with ensuring the successful commercial introduction of the product or service such as cost, safety, and environmental considerations.

5. Production:

This is the set of activities associated with the widespread conversion of design concepts or ideas into products and services. Production involves manufacturing, production control, logistics, and distribution.

6. Marketing:

This is the set of activities that ensures that consumers embrace the technology. It entails market assessment, distribution strategy, promotion, and the gauging of consumers’ behavior.

With the product or service ready to be released, it’s time to do concept tests, market research, and market testing to see if any adjustments are still required depending on how their acceptance and distribution is taking place in test markets.

7. Proliferation:

This is the strategy and associated activities that ensure the widespread use of the technology and its dominance in the marketplace. Proliferation depends on methods of exploiting the technology and on the practice used for marketing the technology.

For example, Microsoft spreads the use of its Internet browser technology by including the browser with its popular Windows software. Once the market tests are done, the product or service is launched nationally or globally, depending on the markets the company serves.

8. Technology enhancement:

Once launched, both the product or service and the process flows used to produce and deliver them to end customers are constantly measured and analyzed, with the aim of looking for ways to improve them even more, adding even more perceived value to the final customers.

This is the set of activities associated with maintaining a competitive edge for the technology. It entails improving the technology, developing new generations or new applications for the technology, improving quality, reducing cost, and meeting customers’ special needs. Technology enhancement increases the life cycle of the technology.


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