New high technology product development: The case of light emitting diodes
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New high technology products usher in novel possibilities to transform the design, production and use of buildings. The high technology companies which design, develop and introduce these new products by generating and applying novel scientific and technical knowledge are faced with significant market uncertainty, technological uncertainty and competitive volatility. These characteristics present unique innovation challenges compared to low- and medium technology companies. This paper reports on an ongoing Construction Knowledge Exchange funded project which is tracking, real time, the new product development process of a new family of light emitting diode (LEDs) technologies. LEDs offer significant functional and environmental performance improvements over incumbent tungsten and halogen lamps. Hitherto, the use of energy efficient, low maintenance LEDs has been constrained by technical limitations. Rapid improvements in basic science and technology mean that for the first time LEDs can provide realistic general and accent lighting solutions. Interim results will be presented on the complex, emergent new high technology product development processes which are being revealed by the integrated supply chain of a LED module manufacture, a luminaire (light fitting) manufacture and end user involved in the project.