PATH - A Public Private Partnership for Advancing Housing Technology

October 6, 2005

What Do Manufacturers Need to Get Their Products to Market?

As the "idea" people in homebuilding, manufacturers have keen engineering and production skills. Sometimes, though, they need assistance in commercializing their products. PATH is responding to these needs through a new project launched this week with the NAHB Research Center known as the "PATH Commercialization Tools" project.

One of the critical areas that surfaced in PATH's "Overcoming Barriers to Innovation" Roundtables last fall was the critical difference in capacity and planning between large and small manufacturers of housing products and innovations. In general, large manufacturers have extensive analytical tools, financial resources, and industrial savvy to produce innovations that are predominately incremental in nature. Small manufacturers, on the other hand, usually produce the more radical innovations in the industry, yet they have few resources and, sometimes, no knowledge of the homebuilding industry's markets to successfully develop, deploy, and diffuse their ideas. This capacity-gap not only disproportionately biases the industry towards incremental change, but also results in a diminished innovation pipeline overall. By developing template tools and guides describing markets, regulations, and political processes in homebuilding, PATH can provide a source of readily accessed information for small manufacturers, based largely on large manufacturers' advanced skills.

Some of the issues for which manufacturers need assistance and for which tools might develop include:

PATH has already provided a variety of additional studies and tools for the manufacturing industry, including the PATH publication Getting Building Technology Accepted: Developing and Deploying New Building Technologies which focuses on how regulatory activities affect new building technology research, development, and deployment and how to apply regulatory information to develop and deploy building technologies.

All of these tools can be found on Preliminary tools from the Commercialization project will be available in the summer of 2006.

For more information:
Kate Fried

Content updated on 11/9/2005

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