Innovation and Entrepreneurship: Choice and Challenge


Authors : Otto Chui Chau Lin (The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong)

Publisher : World Scientific

ISBN : 978-981-3146-60-0

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This book discusses practical issues of innovation and entrepreneurship. It first outlines the basic factors contributing to economic growth in the knowledge-based economy. Portraying wealth creation as taking scientific research results from lab to market, it identifies two interlinking components of the innovation process: turning scientific research to industrial technology and nurturing an eco-system conducive to technology business. Thus, it clarifies the position and role of four institutional players of the national innovation system: university (U), technology institute (T), government (G) and business (B). Making these players interact synergistically provides a fertile environment for innovation and entrepreneurship. The development of Silicon Valley, Hsinchu, Shenzhen and Singapore are illustrated as examples.

For the technology entrepreneur, having a novel technology or unique product does not guarantee commercial success. It requires an effective business model, ability to execute business plan and entrepreneurial culture, all related to the soft power attributes of the entrepreneur team. The competitiveness of innovation and management of entrepreneurship are analyzed based on the concepts of Laozi and Confucius.

Every entrepreneurship must learn to manage the challenges brought about by the changing business environment. The competitiveness and sustainability of a business is reflected by its ability to manage the change, both in bad and in good times. Every choice it makes will bring about new challenge. This is a definite, continuous and cyclic phenomenon occurring to all types of business. Some case examples of success or failure in managing challenges are given. They include: Alibaba Group, Ardentec IC testing, Cisco Systems, Delta Electronics, Eastman Kodak, Epistar HBLED, Fairchild Semiconductors, General Motors, GIANT carbon fiber bicycles, Tencent Holdings, TSMC, Volkswagen and others.

This book is based on the author's practice and observation in technology and economic development especially in the Asia Pacific region during the post-1990s period. It is intended to be a reference of best practices for entrepreneurs, corporations and countries striving to make its mark in the knowledge-based economy.
Prof. Otto Lin was President (1988–94) of Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI), the largest institution dedicated to development and transfer of industrial technology in Taiwan. During his tenure, ITRI completed commercialization of many hightech products including VLSI, notebook pc, optoelectronics, industrial automation, common automobile engine, carbon fiber composite materials, specialty chemicals, and others. These have helped the transformation of Taiwan to a technology-based economy. The Institute also supported SMEs and contributed to the vigorous growth of the middle class in the Taiwan society.

In 1997, he was appointed Vice President for Research and Development of the newly established Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST). He focused on building research infrastructure and guiding technology outreach which has contributed to making HKUST a fast-rising world class university.

Currently, he serves as Senior Advisor to the President of HKUST with an emphasis on knowledge transfer and technology cooperation with the Chinese Mainland.

He received his BS (Chem Eng) from the National Taiwan University (1960) and MA and PhD from Columbia University (1963 and 1967). He completed the Advanced Management Program of the Harvard University Graduate School of Business (AMP 101, 1987). His industrial experience in the USA totals 17 years with the E. I. Du Pont Company at many R&D capacities in polymer science and technology and the Westlake Group as Senior Vice President (CTO).

His research interests include management of technology and innovation, national innovation system, science and technology policy, knowledge transfer, and more recently, soft power in innovations and entrepreneurship. He has published and delivered over 100 technical papers, book chapters, key-note lectures, invited speeches and plenary speeches in subjects of his research interest.
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