O'Reilly logo

Encyclopedia of Technology and Innovation Management by Gina Colarelli O'Connor, V. K. Narayanan

Stay ahead with the world's most comprehensive technology and business learning platform.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required

Chapter 21. The Generations of R&D and Innovation Management

William L. Miller

4G Innovation LLC

The understanding of R&D and innovation can be greatly improved by reviewing human history, which has evolved through four ages: Hunter/Gatherer, Agriculture, Industrial, and Information (Grove, 1997). A fifth age appears to be emerging now as the Age of Innovation that will be dominant the 21st Century. Each age was enabled and driven by the evolution of a new radical core capability which was centered on a new integrated collection of knowledge, tools, technology, and processes. The Agricultural Age was enabled by the new radical capability for farming that began to emerge about 7000 bc without the benefit of "modern" R&D organizations and labs—"modern" R&D only appeared in the latter part of the 19th century. The Industrial Age was enabled by the new radical capability for manufacturing that began about 1770 in England—again without the benefit of "modern" R&D. However, the acceleration of the rate of innovation since 1900 has been largely due to the existence of "modern" R&D organizations and methods that have accelerated the development of technology. As an example, the Information Age was enabled by a radically different and improved capability for information processing that began with the first computer in 1946 and has rapidly evolved in economic value driven by the capability of information technology such as microprocessors and other electronic integrated circuits. The value ...

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, interactive tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required