This week InnovationManagement spoke with Dr. John Kapeleris, Director of Commercialisation and Deputy CEO at the Australian Institute for Commercialisation (AIC) about his views on the topic of innovation. Dr. Kapeleris explains the importance of implementing a broader innovation strategy in combination with a clear strategy and vision for innovation in order to achieve success.

What is innovation management to you?

Innovation management to me is about successfully managing the five types of innovation in an organisation, including:

a)     product/service innovation,
b)    process innovation,
c)     organisational innovation
d)    marketing innovation, and
e)     business model innovation.

When you discuss innovation with organisations their main emphasis is on product innovation, however, a wealth of opportunities are available to organisations if they implement a broader innovation strategy taking into considerations the other types of innovation. Furthermore, for an organisation to successfully implement an innovation imitative it must have a clear strategy and vision for innovation. Its values must be aligned with an organisational culture that supports open communication, continuous learning, tolerating ambiguity, accepting a level of calculated risk-taking and focusing on the contribution of people through their input and ideas. Leadership throughout the organisation is also required in addition to top down leadership. Developing innovation champions will assist the organisation to drive its innovation agenda.

What’s the most satisfying part in your job?

The most satisfying part of my job is working with innovative organisations that generate or possess great ideas and opportunities for new products, services and processes. I enjoy assisting these organisations to successfully take their ideas to market or implement a new type of innovation approach within their organisation. I am also passionate about presenting on topics such as creative thinking, innovation, commercialisation and personal development strategies, and as a result, enhancing the skills and capabilities of entrepreneurs and innovators across different organisations and industry sectors. It’s also great to see people and organisations achieve success through my contribution, and through the assistance of the AIC.

And the most frustrating parts?

The most frustrating part of my job is seeing great ideas and opportunities disappear as a result of the limited availability of early stage risk capital to fund the commercialisation of these great ideas.  Furthermore, I find many government support programs are not directly aligned with the needs of small businesses.

What’s your next big challenge?

My next big challenge is to determine how I apply all the knowledge, experience and networks that I have built during my career to create a Mastermind Group, either virtual or physical, that can practically apply and implement actions to solve the most significant organisational, societal or environmental issues, using the power of creativity and innovation.

About John Kapeleris

Dr John KapelerisDr John Kapeleris is Director of Commercialisation and Deputy CEO at the Australian Institute for Commercialisation (AIC) and was responsible for establishing and running the AIC’s TechFast Program – “Accelerating Technology Transfer and Diffusion using a Market-pull Approach”. John has over 17 years experience in the Biotechnology Industry  having held a diverse range of roles including R&D Manager, Quality Manager, Business Development Manager, VP Sales and Marketing and Deputy CEO at Panbio Ltd.

In his current role he has assisted numerous organizations achieve commercial outcomes from their ideas and product opportunities. He has been involved in the successful negotiation of numerous technology transfer, licensing and distribution deals. He has worked on a number of projects including, IP farming for a number of diverse technologies, developing a commercialisation of IP framework, advising on strategic IP management, raising capital for small enterprises and advising organizations on the most appropriate commercialisation pathways. He has also been involved in conducting industry/market research, assisting start-up businesses and contributing to innovation policy, through strategic workshops and as an advisor on a number of committees and think tanks.

John is the co-author of the book titled “Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Biotechnology – An International Perspective” which was released in early 2006 and has written numerous publications on innovation, knowledge management and biotechnology.