Simon Ford joined the Centre for Technology Management in January 2004. The majority of his research falls within two areas: the organisation of innovation, and the emergence and evolution of industries and technologies. His research interests also include 3D printing, entrepreneurship, serious games and sustainability.
Current research includes:
- Exploring the effects of 3D printing and additive manufacturing on the manufacturing landscape in the RCUK-funded ‘Bit by bit: Capturing the value from the digital fabrication revolution’ project with Tim Minshall and Letizia Mortara, and acting as the Network Coordinator for '3DP-RDM: Defining the research agenda for 3D printing-enabling re-distributed manufacturing'. Visit the project blog to read about what we're doing.
- Development of serious games as part of the the Centre for Technology Management’s Strategic Technology and Innovation Management (STIM) Consortium.
Previous research projects include:
- Research into how companies organise the front end of innovation, one of seven projects run during the first year of the Strategic Technology and Innovation Management (STIM) Consortium.
- Work with Nicky Athanassopoulou on the European Commission FP7 project Road2SoS that saw the development of system-of-system roadmaps in the four domains of multi-site manufacturing, multi-modal traffic control, distributed energy generation and smart grids, and emergency and crisis management.
- Development of the Type 23 Fleet Upkeep Planning Tool with Clive Kerr as part of the 'Delivering through-life capability' project in the KT-Box project.
- 'The managing creations and transitions project', part of the Emerging Industries Programme (EIP) with Michèle Routley, Rob Phaal and Eoin O'Sullivan, which included a detailed study of the emergence of the commercial inkjet cluster in Cambridge.
- The ‘Early stage technology acquisition and protection’ project with Letizia Mortara.
- An investigation into how established firms generate breakthrough innovations, part of the Innovation and Productivity Grand Challenge (IPGC).
Prior to joining CTM as a researcher, Simon also completed his PhD at the centre on the subject of technological obsolescence in the PC industry.
As outputs from previous research projects, the following reports provide guidelines on how practices can be improved.
- Reducing the risk of failure in new product development: getting it right at the front end of innovation (Published March 2016)
- Technology acquisitions: A guided approach to technology acquisition and protection decisions (Published January 2012)
- Organising for breakthrough innovation: Rejuvenating the established firm (Published July 2011)
The following reports are summaries of research and workshops organised with industry.
- China's Energy Futures: Report on the China Power Pathways Technology Roadmapping Event of 21-23 October 2013 at the Tsinghua-BP Clean Energy Centre (Published January 2014)
- The emergence of commercial inkjet: Barriers and enablers in the development of new technologies and markets (Published June 2011)
Simon contributes to undergraduate, postgraduate and executive teaching on topics including industrial and technological evolution, new product introduction, the front end of innovation, technology acquisition, technology protection, and technology evaluation. He is a Visiting Associate Professor at the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, where he teaches module ISE559 Technology Audit and Assessment.
For the 2017-18 academic year he is a Visiting Associate Professor at the Beedie School of Business at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver. There he is teaching BUS 238 Introduction to Entrepreneurship and Innovation; BUS 338 Foundations of Innovation; and BUS 450 Managing Emerging Opportunities.
Previous students supervised:
- Tom Lawson Serious Games - Corporate Venturing (ISMM MPhil, 2015).
- Bethan Richmond Digital and Sustainability - The role of the teacher in the digital inclusion of students in the UK (CISL MSt, 2014-15).
- Adrian Moskala How has the adoption of 3D printing affected the structure of the dental implant industry? (ISMM MPhil, 2014).
- Debbie Thackray The disruptive effects of 3D printing in the sports industry (ISMM MPhil, 2014).
- Zahin Othman The adoption of 3D printing by luxury fashion brands (ISMM MPhil, 2014).
- Clémence Aubert Removing the fuzziness of the fuzzy front end of new product development through customer involvement (ISMM MPhil, 2013).
- Emmanuelle Ryckewaert Supporting innovation through computer-based idea management systems (ISMM MPhil, 2013).
- Supharat Ridthichai Enablers and barriers to the adoption of renewable energy technologies for power generation: an analysis of energy storage systems in the UK (ESD MPhil, 2013).
- Winatsanan Chaiwitwiwat The decarbonisation of power generation: analysis of the enablers and barriers of bioenergy technology adoption in the UK (ACE MPhil, 2013).
- Chris Walsh How can renewable energy aid the transition to low carbon vehicles? (CISL MSt, 2012-13).
- Cyrille Maunoury Defying product obsolescence: How can a product defy obsolescence? (ISMM MPhil, 2012).
- Fabian Franzen The effect of university entrepreneurship on new venture creation: Insights from the start-up scene around the RWTH Aachen (ISMM MPhil, 2012).
- Anna-Marie Greenaway Engineered enquiry for enhanced system efficiency: Application of technology emergence roadmapping techniques to explore carbon capture and storage development prospects for China (CISL MSt, 2011-12).
- Arul Kandiah-Maheshvaran Intellectual property management strategies for protection in collaboration: An investigation of long life-cycle industries (ISMM MPhil, 2011, with Letizia Mortara).
- Jae Ho Kwak A strategic make vs buy decision for production software in manufacturing companies (ISMM MPhil, 2011, with Letizia Mortara).
- Manuel Jaeger Open Innovation in multinational corporations: Idea competitions as a mechanism for technology acquisition (ISMM MPhil, 2011, with Letizia Mortara).
Below you can find a list of journal articles and book chapters to which Simon has contributed. Along with these publications, Simon has also been a reviewer for a number of journals, including the European Journal of Innovation Management, the International Journal of Technology Management, the Journal of Cleaner Production, the Journal of Industrial Ecology, the Journal of Product Innovation Management, and Technovation.
In development and under review
- Simon Ford and Tim Minshall (2016) 3D printing in education: a literature review.
- Mélanie Despeisse, Simon Ford and Anna Viljakainen (2016) Product life extension through additive manufacturing: The business model implications.
- Sarah Lubik, Simon Ford and Mélanie Despeisse (2016) Commercialising advanced material processing technology for additive manufacturing: the case of Metalysis, R&D Management Conference, 3-6 July, Cambridge.
- Mélanie Despeisse, Martin Baumers, Phil Brown, Fiona Charnley, Simon Ford, Alysia Garmulewicz, Scott Knowles, Tim Minshall, Letizia Mortara, Felix Reed-Tsochas and Jonathan Rowley (2016) Unlocking value for a circular economy through 3D printing: a research agenda, Technological Forecasting & Social Change, 115, 75-84 [Publisher - Open Access | ResearchGate]
- Simon Ford and Mélanie Despeisse (2016) Additive manufacturing and sustainability: an exploratory study of the advantages and challenges, Journal of Cleaner Production, 137, 1573–1587 [Publisher - Open Access | ResearchGate]
- Jagjit Singh Srai, Mukesh Kumar, Gary Graham, Wendy Phillips, James Tooze, Simon Ford, Paul Beecher, Baldev Raj, Mike Gregory, Manoj Kumar Tiwari, B. Ravi, Andy Neely, Ravi Shankar, Fiona Charnley and Ashutosh Tiwari (2016) Distributed manufacturing: scope, challenges and opportunities, International Journal of Production Research, 54(23), 6917-6935 [Publisher | ResearchGate]
- Simon Ford, Letizia Mortara and Tim Minshall (2016) The Emergence of Additive Manufacturing: Introduction to the Special Issue, Technological Forecasting & Social Change, 102, 156-159 [Publisher | ResearchGate].
- Simon Ford and Tim Minshall (2015) Defining the research agenda for 3D printing-enabled re-distributed manufacturing, in Umeda, S., Nakano, M., Mizuyama, H., Hibino, H., Kiritsis, D. and von Cieminski, G. (eds) Advances in Production Management Systems: Innovative Production Management Towards Sustainable Growth, Berlin: Springer, 156-164 [Publisher | ResearchGate].
- Mélanie Despeisse and Simon Ford (2015) The Role of Additive Manufacturing in Improving Resource Efficiency and Sustainability, in Umeda, S., Nakano, M., Mizuyama, H., Hibino, H., Kiritsis, D. and von Cieminski, G. (eds) Advances in Production Management Systems: Innovative Production Management Towards Sustainable Growth, Berlin: Springer, 129-136 [Publisher | ResearchGate].
- Frédéric Thiesse et al (2015) Economic Implications of Additive Manufacturing and the Contribution of MIS, Business & Information Systems Engineering, 57(2), 139-148 [Publisher | ResearchGate].
- Simon Ford (2015) Co-evolutionary processes and positive feedbacks in the growth of the Ultimate Fighting Championships, Sport, Business, Management: an International Journal, 5(1), 31-49 [Publisher | ResearchGate].
- Simon Ford, Michèle Routley, Rob Phaal and David Probert (2014) The industrial emergence of commercial inkjet printing, European Journal of Innovation Management, 17(2), 126-143 [Publisher | Winner of Emerald Award for Excellence 2015 | ResearchGate].
- Elizabeth Garnsey, Simon Ford and Paul Heffernan (2014) The evolution of industries in diverse markets: a complexity approach, in Strathern, M. and McGlade, J. (eds) The Social Face of Complexity Science, Litchfield Park: Emergence Publications, 159-189 [Publisher | ResearchGate].
- Simon Ford, Simone Ferriani and David Probert (2014) Overcoming the innovation barrier: A search-selection model of breakthrough innovation in large firms, in Pfeffermann, N., Minshall, T. and Mortara, L. (eds) Strategies and Communications for Innovations, 41-62, Heidelberg: Springer [Publisher | ResearchGate].
- Letizia Mortara, Simon Ford and Manuel Jaeger (2013) Idea Competitions under scrutiny: acquisition, intelligence or public relations mechanism?, Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 80(8), 1563-1578 [Publisher | ResearchGate].
- David Probert, Simon Ford, Michèle Routley, Eoin O'Sullivan and Rob Phaal (2013) Understanding and navigating industrial emergence, Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part B: Journal of Engineering Manufacture, 227(6), 781-793 [Publisher | ResearchGate].
- 2012) Disentangling the complexity of early stage technology acquisitions, Research-Technology Management, 55(3), 40-48 [Publisher]. (
- 2012) Capturing past experience: the Expert Scan visual mapping process, International Journal of Technology Intelligence and Planning, 8(1), 47-59 [Publisher]. (
- Rob Phaal, Eoin O’Sullivan, Michèle Routley, Simon Ford and David Probert (2011) A Framework for Mapping Industrial Emergence, Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 78(2), 217-230 [Publisher].
- Letizia Mortara, Johann Napp, Simon Ford and Tim Minshall (2011) Open innovation activities to foster corporate entrepreneurship, in Cassia, L., Minola, T. and Paleari, S. (eds) Entrepreneurship and Technological Change, Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar, 287-315 [Publisher].
- Elizabeth Garnsey, Nicky Dee and Simon Ford (2011) Market failure, market dynamics and entrepreneurial innovation by environmental ventures, in Wüstenhagen, R. and Wuebker, R. (eds) The Handbook of Research on Energy Entrepreneurship, Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar, 21-37 [Publisher | Google Books].
- 2011) Business Ecosystem Co-evolution: The Ultimate Fighting Championships, in Dolles, H. and Soderman, S. (eds) Sport as a Business: International, Professional and Commercial Aspects, Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke. (
- 2010) Evolving Corporate Entrepreneurship Strategy: Technology Incubation at Philips, R&D Management, 40(1), 81-90. [Publisher] (
- 2010) Trial by Market: The Brightstar incubation experiment, International Journal of Entrepreneurial Venturing, 2(2), 185-200. [Download PDF | Publisher] (
- 2008) Obstacles to commercialization of clean technology innovations from UK ventures, in Sharma, S. and Starik, M. (eds), Sustainability, Innovation and Entrepreneurship: New Perspectives in Research on Corporate Sustainability, Edward Elgar, Cheltenham. [Publisher | Google Books] (
- 2007) Failing to Disrupt: The Case of the Network Computer, International Journal of Technology Intelligence and Planning, 3(1), 6-23. [Download PDF | Publisher] (
- 2006) Afterword, in Garnsey, E.W. and McGlade, J. (eds), Complexity and Co-evolution: Continuity and Change in Socio-Economic Systems, Edward Elgar, Cheltenham, 204-212. [Publisher | Google Books] (
- 2006) Diversity and uniformity in the evolution of early information and communication technologies, in Garnsey, E.W. and McGlade, J. (eds), Complexity and Co-evolution: Continuity and Change in Socio-Economic Systems, Edward Elgar. Cheltenham, 177-203. [Publisher | Google Books] (
CTM Working Papers
- 2007) Development and Commercialisation of Eco-Innovations by New Ventures, CTM Working Paper 2007/02, ISBN 1-902546-55-5 [PDF] (
- 2006) Clean Technology Ventures and Innovation, CTM Working Paper 2006, ISBN 1-902546-53-9 (
- 2005) Complex Dynamic Processes in the Evolution of Early Information and Communication Technologies, CTM Working Paper 2005/02, ISBN 1-902546-44-X, [PDF] (