Unit 8 Innovation and Commercialisation

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This unit aims to equip students with a comprehensive understanding of innovation and commercialisation.In today’s competitive landscape it is critical that organisations continually innovate both their product offering and processes to ensure that they remain competitive in the market. Furthermore, adopting a more commercially driven approach is vital to maximise the Return on Investment (ROI).In this unit, we will look at a number of tools and techniques organisations use to drive innovation and become more commercial in their approach. The aim of the unit is to give students cutting-edge knowledge as well as practical application of the key ways organisations become more innovative while remaining commercially driven.

Learning outcomes

LO1 Explain the context for innovation and determine the difference between invention and innovation

Innovation vs invention:

  • Definition of innovation and commercialisation, taking into consideration the challenges this creates for small businesses.
  • Definition of invention and how invention is created.
  • Turning invention into innovation and sources of innovation.

Innovation management:

  • Creating a structure and culture of innovation; getting the organisation to know the difference between invention and innovation.
  • Developing innovation vision and leadership, entrepreneurial teams and innovation networks.

LO2 Explain the different types of innovation

Processing different types of innovation:

  • The use of the innovation funnel to manage new solution/idea development.
  • Overview of the different types of innovation with a focus on disruptive and incremental innovation, and exploring pros and cons of each approach.
  • The 4Ps and innovation space strategy.
  • The development of frugal innovation in response to necessity vs market driven innovation.

LO3 Discuss the process required to commercialise innovation

Commercialisation of innovation:

  • Adopting the New Product Development (NPD) and commercialisation funnel to drive new products to market; building the Innovation Business Case, in-market testing and iteration routes to market and market launch.

Planning innovation:

  • The impact of advanced technology and information management on research, testing and developments methods.
  • Consideration of big data and cognitive systems to predict behaviours and future trends, social media and constructing multimedia platforms for promotion and distribution.

Accessing funding and resources:

  • The reasons why an organisation would want to access funding (e.g. product development, marketing) and the different types of funding sources available.
  • Consideration of resources a small business may require to commercialise their offering (e.g. office space, etc.)

LO4 Evaluate the range of methods for protecting ideas and understand their advantages and disadvantages

Intellectual property:

  • The definition of intellectual property (IP).
  • Exploiting knowledge and intellectual property rights.
  • Overview of key IP tools including copyrights, trademarks, design rights and patents.
  • The role of branding in protecting the innovation and the limitations of IP in an international context.
  • The implications of growth of open source and open innovation platforms upon IP.


  • BESSANT, J, and TIDD, J. (2015) Innovation and Entrepreneurship. 3rd Ed. Oxford: Wiley.
  • DRUCKER, P. (2006) Innovation and Entrepreneurship. London: Harper Business.
  • MATTHEWS, C and BRUEGGEMANN, R. (2015) Innovation and Entrepreneurship: A Competency Framework. London: Routledge.

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