Innovation & Entrepreneurship | École des Ponts Business School

Innovation & Entrepreneurship

Our research interests in Innovation & Entrepreneurship are rich in leading-edge insights as this area is still emerging and shifting. Due to its unpredictability and relevance, this area of study is ripe for continued context and theoretical grounding to help explain the success and failure of specific approaches and comprehensive general perspectives.

We are learning by doing and finding that the entire field is intertwined. The following is a list of different aspects of innovation and entrepreneurship that the school is involved in developing and investigating.

• Business model innovation – how businesses can create new business models or innovate on one or several dimensions of the business model to create, deliver and capture value at scale. More generally, how can businesses modify their business model architecture in new ways that can reach new customers, unlock value, and generate profits?

• Circular economy – the creation of new business models that are “circular-by-design” and break out of the shortfalls of both the linear economy (wasted resources) and the recycling economy (limited reuse of certain resources) to create an approach that rethinks and redesigns the “production process”. The school has recently created a Circular Economy Research Center to further our understanding of this rapidly-emerging natural next step in sustainable development thinking and acting.

• Customer and User Experience (CX and UX) – this is another area of interest in the field of innovation and entrepreneurship that is also studied in our Digital Innovation Acceleration Lab (DIAL). As we will be increasingly interfacing with technology in many shapes and forms, understanding how to create optimal user experiences – for humans – will be key to business success in the future.

• Dimensions of innovation – core innovation, disruptive innovation, radical innovation, architectural innovation, business model innovation, digital innovation, whatever the name or the angle– today understanding, leveraging and deploying innovation has become the key success factor most-cited by CEOs around the world. Whether it is understanding what makes for successful innovation, what the obstacles to innovation are, or how best to create a culture of innovation, this area has captivated the hearts and minds of researchers, business people, leaders and politicians. The school has been part of in-depth research on innovation in recent years, including widely-published research with Booz & Co on the effectiveness of innovation in France.

• Entrepreneurship, intrapreneurship and start-ups – action and field research at the school is looking specifically at the Silicon Valley in the US, the “Silicon Wadi” in Israel, various hotbeds of innovation in Morocco (Casablanca, Marrakech, Tangier), the innovation ecosystem of the East Coast of the USA (Philly, New York, Boston), co-innovation initiatives in China, Brazil and Morocco, and the rapidly-emerging start-up ecosystem in and around Paris.
and to create currency of research in this field.

• Entrepreneurial ecosystems and national innovation systems – this is another area in which we hope to contribute to the growing body of knowledge on how to foster effective clusters of innovation at the local, municipal, national and regional levels. This includes looking at how a business school can most effectively be a catalyst for entrepreneurship in its market(s).

• Growth hacking – looking at how to “market” a product/service/solution/business to attract a massive following (fans, users and customers) without spending on traditional marketing. This includes taking novel (and sometimes risky) approaches to marketing and sales, finding innovative ways to scale, bootstrapping growth, financing and market traction, integrating virality and self-driving “engines of growth”, as well as business model innovation.

• Megatrends – the school has been involved in several research projects on megatrends – the tsunami-like trends that are inevitable and change the way we live our lives and the ways that businesses do business. This has included several yearly and long-term studies with companies like Alcatel-Lucent and their Marketing Consumer Insight unit in France, Spain, the United States, the United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates.

• Social entrepreneurship and social impact projects – as we increasingly add this dimension to our programs, it is natural that our work with world-changing organizations like the European Union, Wow-Labs and ULab also become action research interests. We are now doing research that can inform the work we are doing on start-up and innovation projects led by recent immigrants, migrants with “asylum seeker” status, and other similarly-fragile populations.

• Technology management – our interest resides in gaining a deeper understanding of how companies use, manage and deploy technology both tactically and strategically, how companies think about technology and technology management and how technology can be an enabler for new business models. For example, understanding, studying and demonstrating how Internet-of-Things technology can create new “smart assets” that can be integrated into new business models in smart city projects or, more ambitiously, circular economy projects. Looking at the emerging frontier of drones, robotics, artificial intelligence, business analytics, and big data all fall under the banner of technology management.

Active researchers in these areas at the school and affiliated with the school include: Alon Rozen, Tawfik Jelassi, Karim Sabbagh, Suman Modwel, Giorgos Demetriou, Mark Esposito, Paolo Amarral, Martin Calnan, and several of our E-DBA participants.

Nicolas Lapalu (France)CEO - Osborn-Unipol France

Jadwiga Gajda (Poland)IT Service Manager – Metanext

Shaleish DixitHead of Consulting & Sales Solutions - Wipro