Title: How to match technological and social innovation: insights from the biomedical 3D printing industry
Authors: Lamberto Zollo; Giacomo Marzi; Andrea Boccardi; Micaela Surchi
Addresses: University of Florence, Via delle Pandette, 9 – 50127, Italy ' University of Florence, Via delle Pandette, 9 – 50127, Italy ' University of Florence, Via delle Pandette, 9 – 50127, Italy ' University of Florence, Via delle Pandette, 9 – 50127, Italy
Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to understand the transition from technological innovation to social innovation by analysing insights from the biomedical context. Specifically, the study investigates how entrepreneurs manage such a transition focusing on their motivations and awareness about social innovation. The study adopts a qualitative approach, in the form of multiple case studies of Italian firms that produce and use 3D printing in the biomedical field. Data was collected through in-depth interviews with entrepreneurs, backed by available documentary evidence and observation. This study points to the need for further investigation providing researchers with new information about the transition from technology innovation to social innovation. The transition has been studied from an exploratory perspective, considering 3D printing as a recent phenomenon in the biomedical field. Main results refer to social benefits resulting from the transition of technological innovation to social innovation, particularly focusing on the origin of such a transition.
Keywords: social innovation; technological innovation; biomedical industry; 3D printing; 3DP; entrepreneurship; entrepreneurial motivations; social outcomes; social framework; social entrepreneurship; additive manufacturing; healthcare innovation; Italy; transition; social benefits.
International Journal of Transitions and Innovation Systems, 2015 Vol.4 No.1/2, pp.80 - 95
Received: 29 Apr 2015
Accepted: 11 Sep 2015
Published online: 10 Feb 2016 *