Managing Bioplastics Business Innovation in Start Up Phase

Pornpun Theinsathid, Achara Chandrachai, Suwimon Keeratipibul


Fostering innovation in a mature company can often seem like a swim upstream—the needs of the existing business often overwhelm attempts to create something new. Mature companies understand that to compete today they need to innovate. But finding sources of innovation while still paying attention to the current business can be a struggle. Open innovation has played an important role to drive the new business in 21th century. Academic research commercialization may be challenged by the faculty members’ academic routines, institutional priorities, and faculty retention. In order to undertake applied research, university scientists must spend a certain amount of time each period to keep up with the latest scientific developments and absorb new ideas. Because almost all faculty members have teaching responsibilities, many of them fear that participation in the protection and commercialization of Intellectual Property Rights is time consuming. There are lots of basic researches focuses on polylactic acid (PLA), the most promising bioplastics, however that is still far behind the commercialization step. The close innovation system may take longer time to achieve excellence in its technology under fierce competition environment. This study illuminates the complexities and challenges involved in managing innovation toward specific results. These challenges seem to result, in part, from the multidisciplinary nature of R&D work, it associated with risks, uncertainty and non-linear processes. One of the finding in this study is that many of the factors that drive innovative bioplastic industry are derived in collaboration with technology push and demand pull. The study’s findings contribute to our understanding of consumer attitudes towards ‘Green’ products such as bioplastics. Most critical in this respect is whether such products make economic sense for a company. This study may provide some guidelines to support development of a concrete direction for PLA under open innovation atmosphere.

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