Marketing public research: between practical application and social impact

23 May 2018

Technological innovation is representing, in an ever-greater form than in the past, a hope for the economic recovery of the so-called First World and of development for countries that have only progressed in recent decades. Consequently, we are witnessing to the multiplication of the efforts of various national and supranational institutions to bring the intensification of innovation processes to the center of intervention practices. Understanding how to effectively transfer scientific knowledge and inventions into practical applications that have a significant positive impact on society is therefore the key to benefiting from public investment in scientific research.


An important mechanism for obtaining significant practical applications based on research is the commercialization of science, or the process of converting scientific knowledge into new or improved products or services made available on the market. Examples of these processes range from the creation of research-based startups to licensing an invention or innovation to an established company.

According to the results of a research conducted by Riccardo Fini, Director of the Global MBA in Innovation Management / Mechanics & Automation of Bologna Business School, together with Einar Rasmussen (Nord University, Norway), Donald Siegel (Arizona State University, USA) and Johan Wiklund (Syracuse University, USA), theoretical and empirical evidence on the link between the commercialization of public science and wider social impacts is still lacking. However, it is clear that the transition from basic to applied research is a crucial point in which companies insert themselves as the element that can translate investments into an effective growth engine for themselves and the society at large, bringing innovation at the top of business decisions through the action of qualified managers.

If until a few years ago innovation involved separate and sequential activities, today it includes both the creative phase of generation and selection of ideas and the management of all the other phases of the innovation process: from market analysis to the development phase and validation up to industrialization and marketing. The management of innovation must therefore integrate processes, techniques and tools that allow research and development personnel, commercials and company management to develop a common vision to introduce innovation into the company’s production processes or to introduce it on the market as a final product.

Managing innovation today also means being able to act as an intermediary between national and international institutes and research centers, university spin-offs, innovative startups and companies. To this end it is necessary to train managers able to move within the company and in relationships with the actors of scientific research, combining theoretical and practical knowledge with the themes of innovation. Bologna Business School trains aspiring managers from all over the world and helps them to guide industrial transformation in an international logic. The Global MBA in Innovation Management / Mechanics & Automation, created in collaboration with Italian and international leading companies in advanced mechanics and automation, develops the ability to manage change in areas with high technological content and enhances the managerial skills needed for the automotive, food technology, precision mechanics and packaging markets.

“Understanding the determinants of frontier innovation, the ethical implications that characterize it and therefore its impact on society are fundamental aspects that managers and entrepreneurs of today must be able to appreciate in their entirety,” adds the Scientific Director Riccardo Fini.“The Global MBA in Innovation Management is designed to develop and enhance the skills needed to address these important challenges.”


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