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Taking Technical Risks: How Innovators, Managers, and Investors Manage Risk in High-Tech Innovations Hardcover – February 19, 2001

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Editorial Reviews


Taking Technical Risks provides a unique description of the many scientific and technical risks new companies face, the challenges that exist, and how they can be managed. The book is excellent reading for anyone interested in the process of bringing technology from the lab to the marketplace.

(Robert S. Langer, Germeshausen Professor of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering, MIT, Recipient of the Lemelson-MIT Prize for invention and innovation, and holder of 350 patents)

Taking Technical Risks breaks new ground in helping us understand the systematic issues in capitalizing on radical innovation. By focussing on the elusive boundary between invention and innovation the book reveals not only the technical but alos the cultural and institutional barriers that must be surmounted. I highly recommend this insighful, authorative, and encompassing book.

(John Seely Brown, Former Director of Xerox PARC and Coautho of The Social Life of Information)

"An intelligently conceived, informative book. Examples are carefully chosen, and the precepts are thoroughly outlined." Financial Executive

This is a timely study on a key topic that is poorly understood but central to understanding the U.S. innovation system. The book's analysis hihglights the need for concerted efforts to improve policy makers' appreciation of the innovation process and the government's contribution to it. It should be particularly useful to members of the new administration.

(Charles W. Wessner, Director of Project on Technology and Competitiveness, National Research Council; former Director, International Technology Policy, U.S. Department of Comerce)

There is plenty of insight, empirical evidence,a dn food for thought to make this highly worthwhile reading for policy makers, corporate leaders, and academicsians. They will learn that serious needs remain for further innovation in the nature of their own organizations.

(Charles M. Vest, President, MIT) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Lewis M. Branscomb is Aetna Professor in Public Policy and Corporate Management, Emeritus, at Harvard University.

Philip Auerswald is Director of the Center for Science and Technology Policy and an Assistant Professor at the School of Public Policy at George Mason University. He is co-editor of Innovations: Technology | Governance | Globalization and author or co-author of numerous books, reports, and research papers, including Taking Technical Risk: How Innovators, Executives, and Investors Manage High-Tech Risks (MIT Press, 2001) and Seeds of Disaster, Roots of Response: How Private Action Can Reduce Public Vulnerability.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 220 pages
  • Publisher: The MIT Press (February 19, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 026202490X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0262024907
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,051,260 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Robert Morris HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 7, 2001
Format: Hardcover
At the outset, I must say that this is one of the most intellectually challenging books I have read in recent years. The subtitle suggests that it examines "How Innovators, Executives, and Investors Manage High-Tech Risks" and indeed the authors of the assembled essays do indeed (collectively) provide that examination. The material is organized within six sections: Between Invention and Innovation, Defining Risks and Rewards, Institutional Differences: Large, Medium-Sized and New Firms, Overcoming Barriers, and finally The Changing Landscape. Lewis M. Branscomb and Philip E. Auerswald co-author the Introduction and then a discussion of each of the section subjects. As co-editors, they also include essays contributed by George C. Hartmann and Mark B. Myers in Part I), Henry Chesbrough and Richard S. Rosenbloom ("The Dual-Edged Role of the Business Model in Leveraging Corporate Technology Investments in Part II), James C, McGroddy ("Raising Mice in the Elephants' Cage" in Part III), F.M. Scherer and Dietmar Harhoff ("Technology Policy for a World of Skew-Distributed Outcomes" in Part IV), and finally, Mary L. Good ("Will Industry Fund the Science and Technology Base for the Twenty-First Century?" in Part V. Branscomb and Auerswald also provide an excellent "References" section as well as a brief but informative section "About the Contributors" in which the reader is guided to additional reference sources.
As Branscomb and Auerswald explain in their Preface, this book is the result of a joint Harvard-MIT Project on Managing Technical Risk sponsored by the Advanced Technology Program (ATP) of the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST). There were two workshops (on June 22, 1999 and then on September 17, 1999).
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