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Pulp and Paper Industry Innovation Examined

A working paper describing the results of research funded in part by CPBIS has recently been posted on the Sloan Foundation’s Industry Studies Web site. The paper, Innovation in the Pulp and Paper Manufacturing Industry: Insights from the 2005 Georgia Manufacturing Survey, was authored by Jan Youtie, Phillip Shapira, John Slanina, and Erin Lamos, all of the Program on Science, Technology and Innovation Policy, Georgia Tech School of Public Policy. Here’s the abstract:

The need to enhance innovation capacities has received growing attention in recent years. This paper aims to profile innovation methods within the pulp and paper industry based on a survey of Georgia manufacturing establishments and inperson interviews. Pulp and paper survey respondents are compared with those in other industries in terms of their introduction of new or significantly improved products, processes, and organizational approaches; differences in form, size and type of pulp and paper operations are noted. Three unobserved dimensions of innovation – intellectual-property based, supply-chain based, and business-process based – are identified through exploratory factor analysis and differences by sector are highlighted. Pulp and paper firms are generally found to lead other sectors in supply chain and process innovation, but lag in intellectual-property based innovation. Qualitative in-person interviews suggested that innovation through the supply chain may reduce firm distinctiveness and offered approaches such as migration to different product types and relocating R&D to university campuses as examples of efforts to shift from traditional innovation practices.

The full text of the paper can be obtained via a link at http://www.industry.sloan.org/industrystudies/workingpapers/default.asp


About CPBIS: The Center for Paper Business and Industry Studies (CPBIS) is an internationally recognized academic research center providing business knowledge of relevance to the global forest products industry. The CPBIS is cosponsored by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech), and the Paper Industry.



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