|Title||Assessing convergence processes at the intersection of the food and pharmaceutical industries in functional food innovation using different perspectives|
|Source||University. Promotor(en): Onno Omta; Stefanie Broring. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789462576599 - 129 p.|
|Publication type||Dissertation, internally prepared|
|Keyword(s)||functional foods - innovations - food industry - non-food industries - pharmacology - functionele voedingsmiddelen - innovaties - voedselindustrie - non-food industrieën - farmacologie|
Assessing convergence processes at the intersection of the food and pharmaceutical industries in functional food innovation using different perspectives
The worldwide growing functional food market (e.g. Menrad, 2003, Ding et al., 2015) is based on the convergence of the food and pharmaceutical sectors (Omta, 2004, Bröring, 2005), since functional foods incorporate a nutritional as well as a health benefit (Spence, 2006, Hasler, 2002). Several studies provide a comprehensive overview of convergence definitions and their different emphases (Bröring, 2005, Curran, 2010, Hacklin, 2008, Preschitschek, 2014), mainly following the common idea summarised by the Organisation for Economic Co‐operation and Development as follows: ‘the blurring of technical and regulatory boundaries between sectors of the economy’ (OECD, 1992). On the one hand, this emerging segment offers a plethora of innovation opportunities. On the other hand, companies focusing on this emerging segment have to employ knowledge and technologies outside of their traditional expertise. The importance of innovation increases, since the emergence of the functional food market implies an intensification of competitive pressure. Due to high failure rates, there is an urgent need to improve the food innovation process (Stewart-Knox and Mitchell, 2003).
The convergence process is considered to follow the consecutive steps of science, technology and market convergence, leading to a complete industry convergence in which companies or whole industry segments fuse (Curran et al., 2010, Hacklin, 2008). Linking these steps to the simplified innovation process, the comparative perspective on the innovation and convergence processes delivers a framework with which to analyse innovation processes in converging industries using different perspectives. Therefore, the present thesis aims
Ø to evaluate convergence processes using different perspectives in order to derive an assessment framework of the innovation process in converging industries.
This study deals with the functional food sector emerging between the food and pharmaceutical industries while using certain functional ingredients as units of analysis.
The present thesis comprises two parts. It first focuses on the procedural perspective of convergence processes in order to deliver a comprehensive analysis of the complete convergence process. This is then complemented in the second part by a focus on the later steps of market and industry convergence.
In the first part, this study delivers quantitative (Chapter 2 – life cycle approach) and qualitative (Chapter 3 – perspective of innovation value chain) measures for the comprehensive analysis of the complete convergence process. While the life cycle approach focuses on the development showing the movement of complete industry sectors, the innovation value chain perspective delivers insights into the underlying strategic cross-industry activities on a company level. Next to the comprehensive analysis of the convergence process, this study delivers two levels with which to analyse the later phases in converging industries: first, the analysis of cross-industry collaborations on a company level (Chapter 4), and second, the analysis of ingredient awareness on a consumer level (Chapter 5). While the analysis on a company level delivers an approach to analyse cross-industry innovation using the resource-based view, the consumer perspective sheds light upon the consumers’ perception of the products delivered in the convergence areas.
In summary, convergence implies a changing competitive environment. The evaluation of this phenomenon is therefore of high importance for researchers and practitioners alike. This thesis enhances the research field of convergence by delivering an overall assessment framework that integrates different perspectives to screen convergence processes and to analyse converging competences. The scope and the unit of analysis, along with the adaptation of theoretical concepts, extend already existing convergence assessment approaches. Besides the analysis of the early phases of convergence processes used to anticipate industrial developments (e.g. Curran et al., 2010), the elaboration of the complete convergence process delivers an approach to face the multifaceted challenges during the innovation process in converging industries. The practical implications of this study is that it provides companies in convergence areas different measures to evaluate convergence processes in order to identify relevant convergence areas. Depending on the phase of the convergence process, the appropriate method or mixture of methods can be used to substantiate strategic corporate decisions such as for instance product positioning.