Cleantech System Solutions - A case study on how to manage the necessary knowledge to prepare for a transaction
Climate change and a growing awareness from governments, industry and citizens have led to an increased growth of the cleantech sector, with the goal to reduce the industrialized world’s impact on the environment. There are a number of Swedish system solutions based on clean technologies which to a large extent are at the forefront of the industry. The Swedish government has put forward an ambitious goal that Sweden should become a role model in cleantech system solutions and is striving to increase the export of these system solutions. There is a large amount of knowledge in cleantech system solutions that is important to manage and prepare before a solution can be transacted and commercialized. With the development of the knowledge based economy, knowledge transactions become essential. This cannot be ignored in the knowledge intensive cleantech sector and to strategically manage the valuable knowledge is necessary in order to appropriate the value of celantech system solutions in the commercialization. The aim of the study is to increase the understanding of the relevant factors that influence the management of the necessary knowledge in cleantech system solution. Thus, the main research question for this study is: How can necessary knowledge in a cleantech system solution be managed to prepare for a transaction of the solution? The method used to investigating this research question is a qualitative case study with interviews, observations and review of relevant documents from an in-depth case study of BIOAGRO ENERGY AB, a system solution in the field of biomass-pellet production. The focus of the thesis has been to combine previous research in the field with the gathered empirical data to generate a theory over the relevant factors that affect how the necessary knowledge can be managed and prepared. In the theory construction process, systematic combining has been used to develop the theoretical framework with insights from empirical data and vice versa. The results from the study show that in order to manage the large bulk of knowledge in a cleantech system solution it is necessary to deconstruct the knowledge parts that create the complete system solution. The knowledge parts vary in their nature, type and application. The research also show that assessing the knowledge parts based on the uniqueness, optimization stage, imitability, substitutability, IPR based control, secrecy-based control and ownership clarity is important, since all these criterions are found to have relevant impact in a potential transaction of the system solution. The results also show that managing the relationship between the actors involved in the development of the system solution is essential to control the knowledge. By using a combination of legal structures, such as IPRs, trade secrets and contractual measures as well as alternative supporting actions, can the necessary knowledge in a system solution can be controlled and managed in a transaction.
MSc in Intellectual Capital Management