Creating value with innovation: From centre of expertise to the forest products industry

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1 Creating value with innovation: From centre of expertise to the forest products industry Authors: Constance Van Horne* Jean-Marc Frayret Diane Poulin FORAC Research Consortium Pavillon Adrien-Pouliot Université Laval Quebec City (QC) G1K 7P4 Canada Tel: (418) ext: 6838 Fax: (418) C. Van Horne is a Research Professional with the FORAC Research Consortium, Université Laval J.M. Frayret is a Professor with the Faculty of Forestry and Geometrics, and Associate Director of Research of the FORAC Research Consortium, Université Laval D. Poulin is a Full Professor of Management at the Faculty of Administrative Sciences and Executive Director of The Network Organisation Technology Research Center, Université Laval 1

2 Abstract The specific missions and objectives of forestry centres of expertise vary according to the sources of their funding and their targeted audience. However, we believe that even given the diversity of centres, a common objective can be extrapolated: that is to create value using research and innovation, in order to achieve sustainable development and growth. The great number and varied nature of centres of expertise in the forest products industry illustrate their importance for the diverse actors of the industry. Their role, previously explored by the authors (Van Horne et al., 2004), is analyzed further in this paper from the perspectives of innovation and value. Through an exploratory study of two centres of expertise dedicated to the industry, a generic innovation value network model is proposed. This model includes findings from other authors and proposes a new perceptive related to the value perceived and effected by the actors involved in an innovation process. Through this study of two centres of expertise, the authors examine the different actors understanding of innovation and value. We believe that, by improving the understanding of the concept of value creation from innovative knowledge, centres of expertise can develop a better understanding of their own processes and in turn develop better tools to transfer knowledge so that it is used to create effective value for the forest products industry. Key words: Centre of expertise, innovation, innovation value network, knowledge management, sustainable growth and development Introduction Currently, the global forest products industry finds itself faced with many challenges. These challenges are multifaceted and complex, and the need for the application of innovative ideas and solutions is obvious. However, the process from innovative knowledge to implanted or consumed innovation is not clear. There are many sources of innovative knowledge, from internal R&D departments to universities and centres of expertise. In particular, centres of expertise, financed by public and private sectors, have a large role to play in the creation of innovative knowledge and the process of turning that knowledge into innovation. The first part of this paper presents the challenges currently faced by the industry in general and the forest products industry in Quebec, Canada in particular. Following this the roles of centres of expertise are discussed. Next, a brief review of the literature in the fields of knowledge management and innovation is given. The fourth section of the paper presents a generic model of the innovation value network. Following this, the results and discussion of an exploratory study of two centres of expertise working in the forest products industry are reported. On the basis of personal interviews, the innovation processes used by these centres are explained and compared to the proposed model. Finally, the conclusion will present the future directions of the authors. 2

3 Industrial context The forest products industry is an active player in the knowledge revolution that has changes the structure of many economies (Simard, 2000). Moreover, sustainable growth and development, both in ecological (Innes, 2002) and economical terms, have become priorities. Economic, environmental and social considerations have become the basis of future plans of industry players (De la Roche and Dangerfield, 2002; McDonald and Lane, 2004). Juslin and Hanen (2002) have identified four major trends facing the industry: restructuring, consolidation and search for profitability cost reduction through production optimisation and technological innovation customer orientation, centred on differentiation and adding value confrontation of environmental challenges. World wide overcapacity and low prices led to the consolidation and restructuring of many companies. Larger companies have emerged that are integrated along the supply chain. Network thinking and collaborative methods are replacing information and operations silos. This has encouraged research in the fields of supply chain management, industrial engineering, operations planning and new communication and information technologies to support e-business endeavours (Epstein et al., 1999; Frayret et al., 2004). Much research has been done and resources invested to optimise production and implant technological innovations (Haarla, 2003). These hardware oriented technologies have allowed companies to reduce costs and increase productivity (Juslin and Hansen, 2002). However, progress still needs to be made to integrate these technological innovations that optimise production with software oriented technologies and the overall coordination of value added networks. Following other industries, the forest products industry is increasingly focused on the end customer. To improve customer service levels the industry needs to innovate to better manage its value creation network. Knowledge management practices also need to be developed (Simard, 2000; Innes 2002; Van Horne et al. 2004) in order to pull information from customers so as to develop new products and services that meet, or even create, the needs and desires of an increasingly demanding customer base. Finally, the environment has become a key issue for all stakeholders of the forest products industry. In fact, environmental management (including harvesting and forest operations), forest certification, and environmental labelling (Juslin and Hansen, 2002) are inescapable issues for the industry. There are numerous centres of expertise working on these problems around the world. The following section first proposes a definition of a centre of expertise. Then, it discusses the roles that these centres play in the creation and implementation of innovation knowledge. 3

4 Centres of expertise and their roles A centre of expertise is a centre, whether virtual or physical, that regroups experts from multiple disciplines to study complex and multidimensional problems in a team environment, in order to create new knowledge and insights. According to their sources of their funding, their mission may serve various purposes and customers/audience (Van Horne et al., 2004). However, the authors believe that even given the diversity of centres, a common objective can be extrapolated: that is to create value using research and innovation. All this is done to achieve sustainable development and growth. Moreover, centres (such as Forintek, the Centre de Recherche Industrielle du Québec (CRIQ), FERIC or do more than research. Extension activities play a vital part of their role in the industry. The transfer of innovative knowledge and the implementation of innovations to create effective value is an important part of their work. Seminars, training, e-learning courses, student internships, presentations and working in collaboration with companies are just a few of the activities that centres of expertise use to manage and transfer knowledge (for further explanation, see Van Horne et al., 2004). However, few studies have been done to analyse and understand the factors of success and the effectiveness of these activities. Moreover, the process that centres of expertise use to create value from innovation has never fully been studied. The authors believe that by improving the understanding of the concept of value creation from innovative knowledge, centres of expertise can develop better tools to transfer knowledge so that it is used to create effective value for the forest products industry. Knowledge management and innovation Knowledge is information that has been read, understood, interpreted and applied to a specific work function (Lee and Yang, 2000). There are two types of knowledge, tacit and explicit, although absolutes are rare. Tacit knowledge, also called procedural knowledge, is personal and difficult to formalise. It is our hunches, insights, know-how and cognitive knowledge and is based on our beliefs, ideals, values, schemata and mental models (Nonaka and Noboru, 1988; Nonaka, 1991; Schmoldt and Rauscher, 1994). Explicit knowledge, also referred to as declarative knowledge, can be expressed in words and numbers and shared in the form of data, equations, specifications, manuals, reports, etc. The literature on knowledge management is vast but still needs a common definition. A useful definition is provided by Simard (2003): knowledge management is developing organizational capacity and processes to capture, preserve, share, and integrate data, information, and knowledge to support organizational goals, learning and adaptation. Consequently, knowledge management is not simply organising information or sharing it. In fact, the goal of knowledge management is to create value from organisational and individual knowledge. This value could then be a part of the sustainable development and growth strategy adopted by the industry. The benefits derived from good knowledge management are multiple, and include: reduced duplication of effort, creation of new knowledge, and increased efficiency and 4

5 productivity. Furthermore, innovation is one of the many by-products of knowledge management. In fact, some authors consider innovation as the greatest payoff of knowledge management (Majchrzak et al., 2004). Baldwin and Hanel, (2003) argue that innovation is the dynamic force that changes the economy and it is at the heart of entrepreneurship. Moreover, knowledge and innovation are the building blocks of sustainable competitive advantage (Porter, 1985), and therefore are a source for sustainable development and growth for enterprises. Edvinsson et al. (2004) define innovation as the reuse of existing insights and knowledge combined with new knowledge which is then commercialised or used by a company. Thus, an innovation is the use of innovative knowledge so as to create effective value for the stakeholders of the industry. There are two types of innovation, incremental and radical. Incremental innovation is the most common type of innovation and consists in incremental changes to current products or processes. This type of innovation is often pulled from customers (Darroch and McNaughton, 2002). In contrast the same authors have defined radical innovation as one that tends to make certain skills and knowledge redundant and is often the result of new technology and is science based. Both are needed by the forest products industry to create value and sustainable development and growth. An important problem faced by the industry is the implementation of new and innovative knowledge into its processes and products. This problem is faced by both companies and the centres of expertise that develop knowledge. Even more, given the great importance of forestry for national economies and the Earth s biosphere (McDonald and Lane, 2004), turning innovative knowledge into value is a concern of everyone. Innovation value network 1. From centre of expertise to innovation The innovation value network is a generic model (see Figure 1) which aims at analysing how the value of knowledge and innovation, perceived by the many actors of the innovation process, is tied to the process of turning innovative knowledge into an innovation. This model is generic in the sense that the roles identified in the model are not specific to any particular type of organization. In other words, any one organization can play any role. 2. Roles (Figure: Innovation value network) The actors of a process of innovation may have different roles with regard to their involvement in that process. This model identifies three main roles: the producer of innovative knowledge, the consumer of innovative knowledge and the consumer of the innovation. An example taken from a centre of expertise (the Research Consortium), dedicated to the management of forest supply chain operations, is used throughout this description to illustrate these roles. 5

6 The producer of innovative knowledge From the perspective of the industry, this role can be played by an actor within or outside the organization. Culture (scientific rather than business), language (technical rather than practical) and vision (long-term rather than day-to-day) are all aspects that create a physical and mental separation between the producer of the innovative knowledge and the consumer of the innovative knowledge. Our illustrative example concerns the development of a generic algorithm to optimize drying operations at a soft-wood lumber sawmill. With the help of practitioners to describe the true nature of the problem, researchers are able to combine all the necessary information and constraints related to the process and create a new algorithm that can be tested through simulation. However, researchers are not capable of applying the algorithm to the processes themselves. The consumer of innovative knowledge The consumer of the innovative knowledge can be an organization or an internal unit of an organization (such as a sawmill in our example) that takes the innovative knowledge (the new algorithm to optimize drying operations) and uses the new knowledge to invent a new product or a new use of that knowledge (e.g., develop in-house an operations management system based on the algorithm). This role can also be filled by a third party business organisation (e.g., a software company) that exploits the innovative knowledge to produce a prototype of an innovative product or service. This can be later on developed into a marketable product (i.e., the innovation) to be consumed by the market. The consumer of the innovation The consumer of the innovation is the organisation or individual who purchases, uses or directly benefits from a new product or service. In our example, the sawmill is the consumer of the innovation because it exploits the operations management system. From the innovation process perspective, it can be argued that the individual or organization that indirectly benefits from the new product or service could also play that role. For example, a client of our sawmill can play a significant role in pulling the development of specific knowledge and innovation to satisfy particular needs (e.g., improved customer service and lower prices). An important characteristic of this model is that a single actor organisation can play many roles in any particular process of innovation. For instance, a company that creates an invention with its own knowledge, developed in-house, and then commercialises it themselves, plays the three mentioned roles. Furthermore, each role can be played by many actor organisations. For instance, a company that uses its own knowledge to propose a new idea or use to a centre of expertise, to either investigate the feasibility of the idea or validate and develop further the concept, shares the role of producer of the innovative knowledge with the centre of expertise. This example could be pushed even further if the company develops and exploits its idea, in-house and then asks a centre of expertise to further develop the innovation. The company would then commercialise the innovation developed by the centre of expertise. In this case, the company is also a consumer of its own innovation. 6

7 3. Outcomes of the innovation process From the initial idea which triggers the development of the innovative knowledge to the consumed innovation, the proposed model builds on the literature and defines three main outcomes of the innovation process: innovative knowledge (new knowledge and ideas), new-use of knowledge and invention (application of the innovative knowledge) and the innovation itself (exploitation and new-use of innovative knowledge). Innovative knowledge Innovative knowledge is built from an initial idea or problem which may come from any actor of the innovation process. However this paper emphasizes the new knowledge which usually derives from the theoretical research of a centre of expertise. Rogers (1983, 2003) describes the innovation development process as a six-phase progress. Innovative knowledge is the outcome of Roger s first two phases (i.e., recognizing a problem or need and basic and applied research). Using the previous example, innovative knowledge results from the reviewing of the literature, the modelling of the problem, the development of the algorithm, and its test in an academic-like context for improvement and validation. In the particular context of operations planning, the modelling phase of the problem is crucial to the transfer of the knowledge. Indeed, in order to gain the confidence of the industry, and continue the innovation process, it is sometimes necessary to model artificial planning constraints related to cultural decision rules, which are later relaxed when confidence is established, to slowly introduce new approaches to operation management. New-use of knowledge and invention New-use of knowledge and invention represents applied research, and application of the innovative knowledge. Once research has been applied, or old knowledge has been used in a new way, there is invention. This invention often takes the form of betasystems, prototypes or applied concepts. Rogers (1983, 2003) refers to this as the outcome of the development phase of the innovation. In our example, it is the phase where the algorithm is implemented within a beta-system of an operations management system and tested from a more practical and ease-of-use point-of-view. Innovation Innovation results from the exploitation of the invention. Rogers (1983, 2003) refers to this as the outcome of the commercialization, diffusion and adoption phases. The consumer of the innovation can now make use of the innovation. Returning to our example, the innovation is the operation management software that is made available for regular use. 7

8 4. Creating and perceiving value For the transfer and transformation of the innovative knowledge to a commercialized or exploited innovation, the value of the outcome of each phase must be evaluated in order to trigger the continuation of the innovation process. Perspective of the innovative knowledge producer From the point-of-view of the innovative knowledge producer, the innovative knowledge found in articles, presentations, seminars, etc., has scientific value as it is a source of ideas, understanding and methods to address issues and solve problems. When an invention or a new use is produced using this innovative knowledge, the innovative knowledge producer learns a great deal about the exploitability of a particular innovative knowledge. This implementation value can then be used to improve the innovative knowledge and its exploitability. Once the invention is turned into a consumed innovation, the innovative knowledge producer learns from the relevance and performance of the innovation and uses this to address real life issues. This value is referred to as application value. Perspective of the consumer of innovative knowledge From the point-of-view of the consumer of innovative knowledge, the innovative knowledge has an opportunity value as it is a mid-term business opportunity to be seized or not. When an invention or a new use is produced, the consumer of innovative knowledge perceives a potential business value that is in direct link with the potential service value (see further) perceived from the perspective of the potential consumer of the invention. Once the invention is turned into a consumed innovation, she can benefit from the commercialisation of it. This value is referred to as effected business value. However, it can be noted that not all inventions are commercialised. It is particularly true in this industry where many incremental innovations, or inventions, are developed by the original consumer of the innovation. Perspective of the consumer of the innovation From the point-of-view of the consumer of the innovation, innovative knowledge has social value which refers to the general value of the creation of new knowledge, but the practical significance is hard to judge. When an invention or a new use is produced from it, the consumer of the innovation then perceives a potential service value which represents a potential use or service she can gain from it. Once the invention is turned into a consumed innovation, the consumer of the innovation can benefit from the direct exploitation. At this stage, she perceives a direct effective service value related to the extent the innovation satisfies her needs. 5. Innovation decisions The generic model of the innovation value network identifies the nature of the perceived value of the knowledge, the invention and the innovation throughout the process of 8

9 innovation. This value can take many forms with regard to the nature of the actors involved. However, whatever the form of innovation process, several strategic investment decisions usually need to be made for the innovative knowledge to become an innovation. In order to decide whether or not to continue the process of innovation, the value of the current outcome of the process must indeed be somehow evaluated by the actor(s) in charge. The passage of the innovative knowledge to the consumer of the innovative knowledge rests in the ability of the producer of the innovative knowledge to sell or demonstrate the value of the innovative knowledge. The decision to exploit the innovative knowledge and to turn it into an invention lies in the hands of the consumer of the innovative knowledge. Then, the passage from invention to innovation requires the potential business value of the invention to be recognised by the consumer of the innovative knowledge. The decision to go from prototype to commercialisation is made by considering the potential service value that the invention could have for the consumer of the innovation. If no potential service value is recognised, then the considered process of innovation is either stopped or pulled back to an earlier phase in order to increase this potential value. The successful passages from innovative knowledge to innovation require several elements. First, a network (Poulin et al., 1994) of financial and material support is necessary. This network needs to be composed of several actors that will act as allies (Akrich et al., 1988; Poulin 1988, 1991, 1994), who will support the passage from one phase to another. Second, a spokesperson or agent of the innovation (Rogers, 1983, 2003; Akrich et al., 1988; Poulin 1988, 1991, 1994) is needed to speak with the diverse actors and sell the value of the innovation (from knowledge to commercialisation). Networks, allies and spokespeople are vital for the successful passage of the phases of innovation. Spokespeople support the translation of scientific language into technical language. They also support the transformation of the explicit knowledge of the centre of expertise into the tacit knowledge of the enterprise. Allies ensure that financial and technical support is in place when and where needed. Established networks make these efforts easier. Exploratory survey To test the validity of the proposed model, the authors conducted interviews with two centres of expertise (the CRIQ and Forintek) working in the industry. 1. Methodology Personal and semi-guided interviews with the director of Equipment Development, from the CRIQ, and the vice-president of the Eastern Division of Forintek were conducted. Several questions were asked regarding their processes of innovation and many examples of technology development and transfer were discussed. During each interview, we were able to draw a parallel between the different concepts of the model and the discussed examples of innovation process. Moreover, these interviews were used in order to improve our model and to identify its limits. 9

10 2. Results and discussion The first interview was conducted with the Centre de Recherche Industrielle du Québec (CRIQ). The CRIQ is an industrial research centre, funded by the government of Quebec. It was created in 1969 and is a source of innovation and expertise in the areas of manufacturing technologies, the environment, industrial information and standardization. A large portion of their R&D efforts is concentrated in the forest products industry. In particular, the CRIQ develops equipment used in the timber and pulp and paper industry. The interviewee oversees the entire value network, from the creation of the innovative knowledge, to the development of the beta systems and prototypes to the transfer of the technology to specific industrial partners. At the CRIQ, the innovation process often begins with industrial companies (referred to as project industrial partners) whom arrive with a problem to fix or an idea to develop. In other words a real need is pulled from the industry and reflects the actual situation of companies. Because of their ability to do things differently, the interviewee explained that such companies often possess a certain amount of technological dexterity which allows them to be on the margin of the industry. Therefore, the first task of the CRIQ is to evaluate the technological potential of the initial idea. Then, to advance to the next step the CRIQ must assess the value of that technological potential for the client and the industry as a whole. According to the interviewee, the technological potential is easier to evaluate than measuring its actual or effective value. Once the decision to go further with the idea is made, researchers of the CRIQ search for available solutions to the problem, or technologies to develop the idea. Networking at this stage is very important as additional competencies may be required to adapt a technology to fit the particular problems of the company. After the research is completed, a prototype is built and used. Again, this step is only taken if there is a potential for value, which is usually confirmed by the interest of the industrial partner of the project. The use of the prototype by the partner allows the CRIQ to adjust and modify the technology. Then, if effective value can be demonstrated (e.g., productivity increases, cost reduction, waste reduction or energy savings) then the new equipment or process could be made available to a wider audience. However, commercialization is not systematic as the technology can be a source of competitive advantage for the original company. Several factors for success were noted by the interviewee. In particular, the importance of a network of researchers and people working in the industry was highlighted. These relationships allow competencies (both theoretical and practical/industrial) to be effectively combined. They also help the industry be ready to accept new technologies. During the interview, it was noticed that there is often an intermediary between the researcher and the industrial partner. This spokesperson can popularize scientific language and can also translate the needs of the partner into potential research directions. Furthermore, because the value of a project is often subjective, especially during its early stages, the need to develop a network of allies to support the project is crucial. This support comes in many forms. Financial support must follow the process, from innovative knowledge to the implementation of the innovation. Funds must be made 10

11 available for the research, for the prototype and for training the employees. Indeed, industrial partners need to be prepared for the innovation, before its implantation. The interviewee also explained that technology development and adoption is also facilitated when someone argues on behalf of the technology or project. Such a spokesperson plays a vital role in the success or failure of a project. It is often this person who is capable of seeing the value for each actor in the process. The second interview was conducted with Forintek Canada Corporation. Forintek is Canada's wood products research institute. It is a private and non-profit organisation funded by public funds and member fees. Forintek carries out a variety of research on such topics as: value-added product development, resource assessment and characterisation, market research and much more. The interviewee is responsible for the Eastern Division of Forintek and is actively involved in ensuring the efficiency and effectiveness of Forintek s innovation processes. At Forintek, the innovation process also often begins when an industrial partner (a member company from the industry) comes to Forintek with a problem. At this point, if the problem is one that is common to the industry, the research process begins with Forintek funds. If it is not, the process can still begin through a contractual agreement between Forintek and the partner, and research is funded by the partner (results are not shared). Next, if Forintek does not have the internal competencies to solve the problem, they look to other centres of expertise, universities, other institutions and their other members, to see if the required knowledge has already been developed. The interviewee mentioned that knowing where to find competencies and knowledge is a strategic competency for a centre of expertise such as Forintek. As an example of a typical and successful innovation process at Forintek, the interviewee described a well known problem common to certain mills in Quebec. This problem concerns the distinguishing of fir and spruce planks in sawmills when logs are not sorted. Up to this point, highly trained employees have been used to make the differentiation. However, with a lack of skilled employees this is not an efficient way to solve the problem. In order to solve this problem, Forintek proposed the initial technological idea and developed it to distinguish between the two species. A chemical detector changes color to distinguish between the two species. An industrial partner was involved early in the innovation process and finally resulted in a technology made available to industry through a partnership with a company that produces and distributes the innovation. Once again, the interviewee mentioned the importance of having a project champion, to follow and sell the project through the various stages. The importance of collaboration and having close working relationships with their members and other centres of expertise was also highlighted. This appears to further validate the importance of the roles of spokesperson, allies and networks. However, the interviewee mentioned that a process of innovation may have different entry points in the proposed model. Often, industrial partners go to Forintek with the idea of a new use of an existing technology. Similarly, they can come with an invention that they have developed in-house (often an improvement of existing knowledge and practices), but which they do not know how to implement and most efficiently exploit, or how to reproduce it. This invention or idea is 11

12 sent to researchers to analyze whether or not the idea is exploitable or the invention is reproducible. At this stage, the value of the idea or invention for the industry is assessed in order to decide whether or not Forintek funds should be used to push the innovation process further. Finally, the interviewee described the customer-centered innovation trend Forintek is facing. The industrial partners of Forintek are currently asking Forintek to look into their customers needs to propose new innovative ideas. This has led Forintek to become more involved in marketing studies. On the basis of these interviews, we were able to recognize and validate the main concepts proposed in the model. The concept of role played by the actors of the innovation process, the concept of value perceived by the different actors according to their role, and also the concepts of ally and spokesperson were mentioned during the interviews. However, the use of the proposed model to represent specific innovation processes needs further investigation. Innovation processes are indeed not linear and the relationship between the different perceived values and the innovation process needs to be more analysed. Along the same line, the concept of trigger of the innovation process is not clear and deserves more attention. Similarly, the customer-centered innovation trend should be more explicit in the model. Consequently, many research directions are emerging from the model proposed in this paper. Conclusion and further research directions Sustainable growth and development is the goal of all the actors of the forest products industry. It is generally accepted that innovative ideas, processes and products are needed to obtain sustainability. However the process from innovative idea and knowledge to an implanted innovation has not been adequately studied in the context of centres of expertise. This paper presented a generic model of the innovation value network, to improve our understanding of the many complex mechanisms involved in the process of innovation. This model emphasises the roles played by the actors of the innovation process, the go-no-go decisions involved in allowing the innovation process to proceed to the next step, and the values that are perceived by the actors to make these decisions. We believe that, by improving the understanding of the concept of value creation from innovative knowledge, centres of expertise can develop a better understanding of their own processes and in turn develop better tools to transfer knowledge so that it is used to create effective value for the forest products industry. The proposed model, though it has already been useful to better understand how a centre of expertise can contribute to the process of innovation, is still in its infancy. Many aspects need to be investigated. In particular, the role that governments and government agencies play in the network needs to be further researched. In effect, in Canada governments create both the environment and the impetus for much of the research carried out in the industry. Governments also provide some of the necessary connections 12

13 with the industry through regional public development agencies to foster technological transfer. It thus seems pertinent that their role be analysed. Acknowledgments The authors would like to thank Yves Dessureault of the Centre de Recherche Industrielle Québec and Jean-Claude Mercier of Forintek Canada Corporation for their collaboration and helpful insights during the exploratory study. Bibliography Akrich, M., Callon, M. and Latour, B., 1988, A quoi tient le succès des innovations? 2 : Le choix des porte-parole, Gérer et comprendre, Annales des Mines, 12, Baldwin, J. and Hanel, P., Innovation and Knowledge Creation in an Open Economy: Canadian Industry and International Implications, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. Darroch, J. and McNaughton, R., Examining the link between knowledge management practices and types of innovation. Journal of Intellectual Capital 3 (3), De la Roche, I.A. and Dangerfield, J.A., The power of partnerships in research and development. The Forestry Chronicle 78 (1), Epstein, R., Morales, R., Seron, J., Weintraub, A. (1999). Use of OR Systems in the Chilean Forest Industries. Interfaces 29: January-February, Edvinsson, L., Dvir, R., Pasher, E. (2004). Innovations: the new unit of analysis in the knowledge era-the quest and context for innovation efficiency and management of IC. Journal of Intellectual Capital 5(1), Frayret, J.-M., Boston, K., D Amours, S., Lebel, L., to appear. The E-nable Supply Chain The future for forest business. in: ICT in the forest Sector, Nilsson, S., Hetemaki, L. (eds). IUFRO occasional series. Haarla, A., Product Differentiation: Does it Provide Competitive Advantage for a Printing Paper Company? PhD thesis, Helsinki University, Helsinki, Finland. Innes, T., Sustainability, Forestry and Knowledge Management: Examining the International, Canadian and British Columbian Context. Master s thesis, Athabasca, Canada. 13

14 Juslin, H. and Hansen E., Strategic Marketing in the Global Forest Industry, Authors Academic Press. Corvallis, Oregon. Lee, C. and Yang, J., Knowledge value chain. Journal of Management Development 19 (9), Majchrzak, A., Cooper, L., Neece, O Knowledge reuse for innovation. Management Science, 50(2), McDonald, G.T. and Lane. M.B Converging global indicators for sustainable forest management. Forest Policy and Economics, 6(1), Nonaka, I., The Knowledge-Creating Company. Harvard Business Review, 69 November-December, Nonaka, I., and Noboru, K., The Concept of Ba : Building a Foundation for Knowledge Creation. California Management Review, 40 (3), Poulin, D., L introduction et la diffusion d une innovation technologique en milieu hospitalier en France : Le processus décisionnel. PhD thesis, École Polytechnique de Paris, France. Poulin, D Technological Innovation and the Winning Combination of Phenomenon: The Case of the Extracorporeel Lithotriptor. International Journal of Technology Assessment in Health Care, Cambridge University Press, USA, 17(1), Poulin, D., La coopération inter-firme : une synthèse de la literature. Université Laval, Quebec City, Canada. Poulin, D., Montreuil, B., Gauvin, S., L entreprise réseau. Bâtir aujourd hui l organisation de demain. Publi-Relais, Montréal. Porter, M.E. (1985), Competitive Advantage: Creating and Sustaining Superior Performance, The Free Press, New York. Rogers, E. (1983). Diffusion of Innovations. 3rd ed. The Free Press, New York. Rogers, E. (2003). Diffusion of Innovations. 5th ed. The Free Press, New York. Schmoldt, D. and Rauscher, M., A knowledge management imperative and six supporting technologies, Computers and Electronics in Agriculture 10 (1), Simard, A., Managing Knowledge at the Canadian Forest Service. Natural Resources Canada. Ottawa, Canada. 14

15 Simard, A., Managing Knowledge as an Asset. Presentation to Leadership Development in the Public Sector, Natural Resources Canada, Ottawa, Canada. Van Horne, C., Frayret, J.-M. and Poulin, D., submitted. Knowledge Management in the Forest Products Industry: the Role of Centres of Expertise. Computers and Electronics in Agriculture. 15

16 Figure 1: The innovation value network 16

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