How Entrepreneurs do What they do
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How Entrepreneurs do What they do

Case Studies in Knowledge Intensive Entrepreneurship

Edited by Maureen McKelvey and Astrid Heidemann Lassen

How Entrepreneurs Do What They Do presents 13 case studies of knowledge intensive entrepreneurship. The book focuses on ‘doing’, in essence, what happens when entrepreneurs are engaging practically in venture creation processes.
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Chapter 12: Collaborative research in innovative food: an example of renewing a traditional low-tech industry

Maureen McKelvey, Daniel Ljungberg and Jens Laage-Hellman


This chapter presents a case study of how collaborative research can help renew a traditional low-tech industry, namely the agriculture and food industry. Low-tech industries imply that the industry spends a small percentage of sales on research and development (R & D) activities. Many low-tech industries, such as the food industry, are dominated by larger firms, often organizing a global value chain, but they also interact with smaller firms and cooperatives offering specific components in that value chain or specialized products and services. In low-tech industries, the renewal of the industries may come from start-up companies offering particular services, but large firms play a major role. Renewal also takes place through corporate entrepreneurship inside large firms and collaborative research between large firms, small firms and universities. This chapter therefore focuses on how collaborative research helps develop scientific and technological knowledge for innovative foods, and discusses how primarily the larger firms then develop those ideas into market and business knowledge through new products and services. Innovative food represents a way to develop higher value-added products and services, with trends in recent decades including areas like ‘functional foods’, ‘intelligent foods’, ‘ecological/green products’ and ‘nutritionals’. In this chapter, we use the concept of ‘innovative food’ to represent attempts by the industry, in collaboration with universities and public policy organizations, to stimulate more competitive products and goods. We focus on the effects of particular public policy initiatives to stimulate collaborative research in this area. They were designed to stimulate the development of a series of related products, competencies,

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