Interview: Tony Prézeau “Innovation marketing demands agility and a willingness to challenge the status quo”

Categorie(s) : Innovation & Society, Interviews, MINATEC, News

Published : 1 April 2018

Tony Prézeau, Head of the Bibliometrics Department, CEA Market Research Division: “Innovation marketing demands agility and a willingness to challenge the status quo”


Why does technological research need innovation marketing?

Technology push is not enough, as evidenced by the fact that 85% of innovations are market failures. This occurs for several reasons, from the wrong target application or business model to social acceptability and regulatory issues. You can create the greatest patented technology in the world and not sell a single product or create a single new job. That’s what we try to avoid.

Is innovation marketing an empirical practice or a full-fledged discipline of its own?

It is a well-structured discipline—one that is taught in Master’s programs at Grenoble, Lyon, and Paris-Dauphine Universities. Innovation marketing is where technological what-ifs and the needs of industrial companies overlap. It involves in-depth research that takes us from the library out into the real world to conduct interviews. We also investigate uses, design, and prototypes and demonstrator systems, which are sometimes vital to helping our partners understand what we can offer them.


Do you ever just go on gut instinct or leave things to chance?

We are open to anything! Sometimes our industrial partners come up with applications we never would have thought of. And, at the showroom, a visitor can get excited about a demonstrator we never would have guessed would be a good match for their needs—and, conversely, a visitor can fail to see the benefits of a demonstrator we thought would be a perfect fit. We have to stay agile and be willing to challenge the status quo—a culture shared by all CEA researchers and that is truly a benefit in terms of the work we do.



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