1 Risø National Laboratory, Risø National Laboratory for Sustainable Energy, Technical University of Denmark2 Risø National Laboratory for Sustainable Energy, Technical University of Denmark
Scientific innovation takes two distinct paths. Sometimes, companies ask researchers to develop a solution for a specific business problem. This is a demand-driven, “PULL” method. In other cases, scientists develop a technology with new valuablecapabilities, and then search for commercial applications. This is a supply-driven, “PUSH” method. Whether innovation should be supply-pushed (based on the new technological possibilities) or demand-led (based on the social needs and market requirements)has been a hotly-debated topic. One point of view is that recognition of demand is a more important factor in successful innovation than recognition of technical potential. The alternative point of view is that the discovery of the new capabilities oftenleads to the more radical innovations. This paper explains the key differences between the two methods and suggests how to setup the supply-driven technology commercialization path to improve its efficiency. It answers the following questions: 1. PUSHversus PULL: which innovation method is better for RISO? 2. How RISO can improve the success rate of its current PUSH method? 3. How to implement advice from this report? The paper was written in March 2006.