ECIE Keynote Speakers

Keynote Outlines

The following are outlines for the Keynote Speeches which will take place at ECIE 2017.


How Technological Innovation Changes Entrepreneurship: The Case of 3D Printing Technologies

Thierry Rayna, Novancia Business School Paris, France

It is evident that digital technologies have had a positive effect on entrepreneurship. By lowering the barriers to entry, and costs of creation and diffusion, these technologies have created countless opportunities that entrepreneurs have been able to seize. Whilst such opportunities have so far mainly related to content (music, videos, images, software) and services (platforms and the “sharing economy”, distance learning and custom services), the advent of digital manufacturing technologies provides a new fertile ground for entrepreneurs. 3D printing is one such example.

However, in the same way as previous digital technologies, the impact of digital manufacturing technologies on entrepreneurship is often poorly understood, and in order to assess what the impact of these technologies actually is, it is important not to succumb to the hype. Indeed, the scale of the changes brought about by 3D printing technologies essentially depends on how they are used and, in particular, to what extent they are involved in the manufacturing and distribution processes.

In this respect, four different categories of usage of 3D printing technologies can be defined: rapid prototyping, rapid tooling, direct manufacturing and distributed manufacturing. Each of these types of usage enables the alleviation (albeit to a varying extent) of the main challenges faced by entrepreneurs: new product development issues (e.g. high failure rate of NPD due to of complexity), technological issues (e.g. lack of access to technical resources, failed products), market issues (e.g. poor market research, difficulties in understanding and meeting customer needs, delivery channels, scalability, timing of release), financial issues (e.g. lack of resources, equity gap) and business model issues. Furthermore, these different forms of usage can be combined to improve the scalability of the entrepreneurial project.

Another objective of this presentation is to show how 3D printing technologies, in particular because they enable “positive cash-flow models” and community innovation, give rise to new forms of entrepreneurship, such as ‘casual entrepreneurship’ and ‘community-based entrepreneurship’.

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Innovation, Sustainable Development and Regional Resilience: Approach to entrepreneurship policy when under crises

Jerry Courvisanos, Federation University, Ballarat, Australia

Crises are an endemic aspect of modern capitalism, whether economic (the Global Financial Crisis), social (refugees escaping war), political (failure of the Arab Spring), or ecological (climate change). Global in magnitude via an intense form of globalisation that has infected capitalism; these crises are being dealt with by socio-economic policies at a national level. International multilateral level solutions have continually failed.

Mark Rupert, in a prescient discussion published in 1997, wrote on how globalisation under capitalism is creating a contested space for innovation. That innovation space has narrowed very severely under mainstream neoliberal agenda, providing little respite to these multiple crises. Attempts to widen this innovation space in order to address more effectively these crises have resulted in alternative economic pathways being fought over by nationalist anti-globalisation forces from right-wing populism (of the Trump/Brexit/Le Pen variety) and left-wing idealism (of the Bernie Saunders/Jeremy Corbyn/Emmanuel Macron variety).

Paradigm shift is what is being debated, with politicians and businesspersons attempting to find new solutions to these unprecedented and unfathomable crises. Decisions are being taken now when the world is at the crossroads of economic development. The nature of the innovation space created by such paradigm shift needs to be analysed in order to understand the type of entrepreneurship policy this innovation space allows to flourish.

Thus, the talk focusses on this contested innovation space in the context of the…

  • limited innovation space offered by the mainstream globalisation economic paradigm in addressing current crises;
  • flawed alternative innovation spaces offered through the economic policies of both right-wing and left-wing anti-globalisation forces; and
  • need for a paradigm shift to create a holistic ecosystem innovation space with an appropriate entrepreneurship policy to address current crises.

These approaches to the contested innovation space are analysed using the two concepts of ‘sustainable development’ and ‘regional resilience’ to examine how these approaches address the current crises. They have been the core analytical concepts used in research undertaken on innovation over the last decade by the speaker. These two concepts will be explained and then applied to the existing and potential innovation spaces under the economic climate of crises.