Managing the Fuzzy Front End in Research Organizations
This paper stresses the role of the early phase of innovation the fuzzy front end (FFE) in professional research organizations (PROs), an aspect that is academically understudied. The paper particularly attends to the life sciences in Germany where increasing competition for third-party makes the commercialization of research results and technologies an ever-crucial form of knowledge transfer and where potentials for increased innovations often remain unattended. Based on literature analysis and semi-structured interviews, the paper offers concrete suggestions for a systematic implementation of the different phases of the FFE in order to bridge the valley of death of potential innovations. The paper is thus beneficial for research organizations, their TTOs and policy makers interested in strategies to increase the commercial activities of universities. The paper thus aims to trigger new discussions on policy implications for the entrepreneurial university and thereby bridges discussions between science and innovation studies.