PATH - A Public Private Partnership for Advancing Housing Technology

September 28, 2005

How Do Manufacturers Successfully Innovate?

How are new ideas transformed from notes on paper to marketable products? Does the process work in the same way for large and small manufacturers? What barriers exist within the industry to hamper this activity?

PATH will explore these questions through a new project launched this week. The study will track the internal innovation processes of manufacturers and examine how they develop and market new products. It will also seek to determine how small manufacturers, who often lack the resources of their larger counterparts, can overcome the challenges of this process to gain acceptance and adoption of their products. Factors explored by the project will include:

The study evolved from concerns that red tape and unique market barriers inhibit manufacturers from introducing their products to the homebuilding marketplace, even when the innovation is clearly superior to existing products. This is especially true among small manufacturers who often lack resources to perform major development, prototyping, commercialization and market research analysis. Many independent industry analysts and marketing experts suggest that research is needed to determine how small manufacturers can overcome these challenges. This project will seek to understand how the successes of large (and small) manufacturers can inform the research, development and marketing process of their smaller counterparts. The results of the study can be used to create models and resources for bringing products past the idea stage, through the proper research and development phases to enjoy widespread implementation.

PATH has conducted additional studies of challenges to innovation in the building industry. Previous studies have focused on homebuilders and consumers. Preliminary results from this project will be available in winter, 2006.

For more information:
Kate Fried

Content updated on 11/22/2005

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