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From Micro to Nanosystems: An Exploratory Study of Influences on Innovation Teams

Authors: Norbert Burger, Thorsten Staake


What influences microsystems (MEMS) and nanosystems (NEMS) innovation teams apart from technology complexity? Based on in-depth interviews with innovators, this research explores the key influences on innovation teams in the early phases of MEMS/NEMS. Projects are rare and may last from 5 to 10 years or more from idea to concept. As fundamental technology development in MEMS/NEMS is highly complex and interdisciplinary by involving expertise from different basic and engineering disciplines, R&D is rather a 'testing of ideas' with many uncertainties than a clearly structured process. The purpose of this study is to explore the innovation teams- environment and give specific insights for future management practices. The findings are grouped into three major areas: people, know-how and experience, and market. The results highlight the importance and differences of innovation teams- composition, transdisciplinary knowledge, project evaluation and management compared to the counterparts from new product development teams.

Keywords: Microsystems, Nanosystems, Innovation teams, early phases, technology developments

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