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Innovation and Commercialization Strategies for Three-Dimensional- Bioprinting Technology: a Lean Business Model Perspective

Prakash C Thakur, Dario D Cabrera, Nathan DeCarolis, Arthur A Boni

Abstract

We examine and analyze the elements important for developing a commercialization strategy for an emerging technology of great relevance to biopharma: three-dimensional bio-printing (3DBP). We begin with a technology overview, identification of multiple, potential end-user market segments, then examine the key forces driving the competitive landscape of the emerging industry. The ability to print engineered 3D tissues advances innovations for human health and 3DBP is a transformative and disruptive technological breakthrough with high commercial potential for both short-term and long-term market applications. The near-term research markets include drug discovery research and development and the long-term markets focused on printing of organs and organoids for regenerative medicine. We include a mini-case study on the emergence of one potential innovation, the FRE SH printing technology being developed at Carnegie Mellon University. The case study includes extensive market research made possible by published data, and our customer surveys. The commercialization pathway to innovation is framed in terms of combining two popular innovation frameworks: The Disruptive Innovation and the Blue Ocean strategic frameworks for market entry, growth, and expansion spanning from early adopters to mainstream market segments. We also advocate open innovation as an approach to building the “lean” business model and collaborative ecosystems through strategic alliances with noncompeting firms having overlapping interests in 3DBP. This collaboration in parallel enables faster and more capital efficient validation of the process: product development, market development, validation of product/market fit, and market /customer development across the product life cycle spanning short, medium, and long-term visions for the technology. A platform strategy is framed to maximize the power of the technology and development of a sustained competitive advantage through complementary products, services, and partners in the emerging ecosystem.

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