This line of research regards both the "exploration" and "exploitation" of industrial R&D. A combination of methods are used to investigate a broad range of issues regarding industrial R&D, in particular: (1) the internationalization of production and investments in innovation and (2) the open innovation paradigm.
In the "Open Innovation" paradigm, the industrial R&D lab is the hub of a complex network, that seeks input for innovation from a variety of sources and through both private and public partnerships. Firms try to leverage their investments through different channels such as direct commercialization, spin-off activities and transactions on technology markets.
At the same time, large and small corporations are leveraging (and relocating) their R&D investments worldwide. Companies seek access to new markets, new pockets of knowledge and cost advantages. Firms must therefore completely rethink R&D network infrastructures, lines of communication and expertise.
In this context, the fundamental question for understanding “exploration” and “exploitation” focuses on how firms manage their resources and results.
In particular, the groups looks at how small and large companies:
- decentralize and control their R&D investment;
- manage, retain and give the right incentives to their R&D scientists;
- get access to, appropriate, manage and commercialize their intangible assets;
- seek and form alliances with both industrial and public partners.
- Particular attention is also given to the strategic management of Intellectual Property, a crucial issue which is Open Innovation and globalization, and to "traditional" topics in R&D Management, such as the behaviour of individual researchers and the organization of their work in the laboratories.
Various collaborations have been established in this area of research. Researchers work in collaboration with Loccioni and Ansaldo Energia on internal and external technology valorisation projects. In 2012-2014 a postdoctoral study on "Toscana Open Innovation" was co-financed by Confindustria Toscana and Regione Toscana. The research team is also collaborating with Intel, in the promotion and impact analysis of their global business plan competition, as well as with Telecom.