…Or so said, John Stayton, Executive Director of The Venture Green House and Professor in the GreenMBA at Dominican University of California. John had the unique opportunity to attend the Annual R& D Management Conference held in Grenoble, France this year to present his paper on Accelerating Performance: A Dynamic Capabilities Understanding of Speed in Innovative Venture Emergence in the Clean Tech Industry. He was the only scholar from an American University at the conference.
The Theme for the conference this year was Creating and Capturing Value through R&D Management and Innovation. John offered the following significant take aways from the experience that debunk American perception of Government, Innovation and Europeans.
1) The government can play a major positive role in innovation. Contrary to what many in the US believe, active investment by the government can lead to a vibrant technology sector. For example, the Minatec campus, which is a part of a government funded R&D cluster, conducts pure research as well as commercialization of research in micro and nanotechnology and includes photon research as well as clean tech development. “The scope of the cluster was astonishing,” said John, “and has generated thousands of high wage jobs.”
2) European R&D scholars are welcoming and collaborative. In general, Americans perceive Europeans to be reserved. John’s experience at this conference was the opposite. With few exceptions, he said the conference-goers were friendly, generous, and eager to share their work.
3) Applied research on start-up performance by an American attracts attention. John assumed that his presentation would have a very thin audience. He couldn’t have been more wrong. “The room was packed”. While he shrugs off whether or not they were there for his presentation in particular, his research did attract a lot of attention. “There is interest in real world applications (for research on innovation)”. Also, the US is still known for its technology start-up performance.
If The US is going to remain in a leadership position, we may have to take some cues from our European friends on collaboration, sharing and government funded R&D