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Mozhdeh Taheri and Marina van Geenhuizen

This chapter investigates the extent to which university spin-off firms in new medical technology reach the market and create job growth, for example, in support in care-providing, minimally invasive surgery, tissue engineering (organs), and information and communications technology (ICT)-supported diagnosis. The study draws on a small selective sample and employs rough-set analysis to identify preliminary causal patterns. One of the strongest influences seems the subsector indicating diversity in technical complexity (risk) and regulation (testing and approval), while management experience and access to venture capital also have a role. Furthermore, drawing on in-depth case study analysis, the preliminary conclusion is drawn that spin-offs in complex and risk-taking fields are able to survive in close research collaboration with the ‘mother’ university and/or academic hospital, and through this link, with universities and hospitals in global networks. Others that lack such relationship tend to be much more vulnerable, particularly due to healthcare budget constraints and firm-specific lack of management experience.

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Danny P. Soetano, Mozhdeh Taheri and Marina van Geenhuizen

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Marina van Geenhuizen, J. Adam Holbrook and Mozhdeh Taheri

This chapter presents the theme, theoretical approaches and overview of the chapters in the book. The theme is the contribution of cities (their actors) to increased sustainability in social-technical systems, eventually by accelerating sustainability improvements. The selected systems are energy, transport and healthcare. Cities may act as the cradle of key inventions, as places of up-scaling and commercialization and as places of quick adoption, though few individual cities take up all these roles. Next, several urban innovation theories are introduced, including agglomeration and cluster theories, and the relational (collaboration) approach, with the aim to ‘position’ the chapters. Specific attention is given to the entrepreneurial ecosystem approach. Complementary approaches are institutional and governance perspectives, in particular with respect to cities acting as institutional innovators. A final approach is the evolutionary approach, as invention, up-scaling, commercialization and adoption of new technology are concerned with long time-lines and manifold uncertainties.

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Razie Nejabat, Mozhdeh Taheri, Victor Scholten and Marina van Geenhuizen

This chapter deals with small high-technology firms introducing sustainable energy inventions to the market. The focus is on university spin-offs, which typically show weak skills in management and marketing, but strong technology skills – in this chapter, solar photovoltaics, wind energy, biomass and hydro-power. A simplified conceptual model is explored by focusing on institutional aspects (countries) and network access as well as firms’ entrepreneurial orientation. The exploration of time to market draws on a selected sample of spin-offs in northwest Europe using rough-set analysis. The results show that the highest probability for quick market introduction occurs in an ‘innovation leader’ country (Sweden, Denmark, Finland) and among spin-offs’ involved in multiple networks, followed by those with a practical orientation and access to substantial investment. There are no differences between entrepreneurial ecosystems in metropolitan areas and remote/small urban places. Rather, the results indicate a trend for compensation in ‘thin regions’ through long-distance networks and ‘workplace learning’.

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Cities and Sustainable Technology Transitions

Leadership, Innovation and Adoption

Edited by Marina van Geenhuizen, J. Adam Holbrook and Mozhdeh Taheri

This enlightening book elucidates the leadership challenges of various cities in emerging transitions towards higher levels of sustainability. It examines elements of three socio-technical systems, energy, transport and healthcare, while addressing technology invention, commercialization, mass-production and adoption. The book breaks new ground in the analysis of topical issues such as local ‘cradle’ conditions, incentive schemes, niche-development, living labs, impact bonds, grass-roots intermediation and adaptive policy making. It offers a broad coverage of global systems of cities, with a particular focus on Scandinavia, Germany, the Netherlands, China, Korea, Japan, the US and Canada.