Ove Granstrand has held the post of Professor of Industrial Management and Economics at Chalmers University of Technology since 1986. He holds an MSc in Mechanical Engineering, an MSc in Mathematics, an MBA at the Graduate School of Business in Gothenburg, an MSc at Stanford in Operations Research, and a PhD in the Department of Industrial Management and Economics at Chalmers. He has been a visiting professor at Wissenschaftszentrum in Berlin, MIT (Sloan), Science Policy Research Unit (University of Sussex), Stanford (Department of Economics), Japan, Academia Nauk, OSS, Hungary, and the Stockholm School of Economics. Ove Granstrand specialises in Economics and Management of Technology and Innovation.
Technology Management (TM) is a collective term covering the management and organisation of technology-oriented activities. It is an area that is not easily delimited, as technological development is involved in many different aspects of life. Nor is TM clearly demarcated by a specific management function in a company. It is the concern of many different functions and consequently also of the company´s senior management. He has conducted TM-research under the auspices of IMIT since its inception in 1979.
There is no doubt that the “technology factor” is of the greatest importance when it comes to creating opportunities for international competitiveness and economic growth in industry. Technology Management plays an important role in realising these opportunities; it is the intermediate “management factor” which in practice forms a link between technologies, markets, and economics.
IMIT, founded in 1979, can be regarded as a pioneering endeavour, since organised TM research was rare in the world at that time. Today, many disciplines are involved in TM, and work is carried out in the area in many universities of technology and business schools around the world. So far, however, this work is seldom in the form of institutionalised interuniversity co-operation, as offered by IMIT.
The emphasis of IMIT´s TM research is in areas where industry commands unique opportunities for enhancing its technical and economic performance by improving its TM capability. Some examples of such areas are the internationalisation of R&D, R&D productivity, the acquisition of technology-based companies, external technology procurement, the methodology for carrying out techno-industrial analyses, and the broadening of the technological competence and business base.
Several large projects have studied the largest industrial companies of Europe, Japan, and the USA, selected by panels of experts as “best practice” companies in terms of TM. Together, these companies account for a lion share of the total industrial R&D performed in the world. Strategically important TM issues have been identified and these issues are continually being examined in different projects. Several sets of interesting research results concerning the most important issues have been produced and published internationally. For example, results show that a diversification or broadening of the technological competence base is a crucial factor behind increases in R&D costs, external technology sourcing, technology trade and sales growth. An EC project has pursued the issues of technology, management and economic aspects involved. A new book was published 2004 on these issues – “The Economics and Management of Technological Diversification” (Routledge).
Another example indicating this transition is that traditional patent management has moved from the backstage of management attention into an area of strategic management concern under the umbrella of intellectual property (IP) management or intellectual capital management. This is the result of a gradual transition into what some call “the new economy” i.e. a new type of economy, dominated by intellectual capital, an economy which is here to stay according to a large number of strong indicators. The results of a large study on this issue have been published in the book “The Economics and Management of Intellectual Property Ð Towards Intellectual Capitalism”, Edward Elgar Publ. 2000. The whole intellectual property area is rapidly growing. A new book “Economics, Law and Intellectual Property” with papers from leading scholars of IP in economics and law was published 2003 by Kluwer. A new multi-year project on IP strategies also started in 2003. Other publications include “Evolution of Techno-Economic Systems – An Investigation of the History of Mobile Communications”, doctoral thesis by Sven Lindmark, 2002, tutored by Ove Granstrand and “Technology Collaborations in Corporate Innovation Systems”, Final Report to Vinnova, December, 2002, in collaboration with Sven Lindmark.