Rapid scientific and technological progress has resulted in the blurring of traditional industry boundaries and in the emergence of new product markets at the intersection of established industries. Ritvala’s doctoral research examines actors and institutions in a new market from the perspective of their interaction at the intersection of industries and geographical regions.
Ritvala explores the topic through the emergence of cholesterol-lowering functional foods, such as the plant sterol margarines of Raisio Group and Unilever. The regular use of such foods has been scientifically proved to reduce cholesterol and, hence, improve heart health. This innovation combines the food, pharmaceuticals and forest industries. In her doctoral research Ritvala concentrates in Finland and the U.S., where succeeding with functional foods have been particularly challenging. The research is mainly based on a wide range of interviews carried out with key researchers in the field, managers, authorities as well as associations and societies.
The dissertation research investigates the institutional change in the perceived relationship between dietary cholesterol and heart disease since the scientific research of the 1950s and the North Karelia project of the 1970s. The focus of the research is the later cross-industry cooperation in the cholesterol-lowering food innovation and its commercialization.
The results of the study imply that individual scientists are in a key position to create novel cross-disciplinary and cross-industry knowledge, which may release the old beliefs and create a legitimate base for a new market. The emergence of a new field is, however, a complex phenomenon which necessitates the participation of a wide range of actors. The study reveals that a brilliant invention or product does not sell by itself, but necessitates a broad base of support, the mobilisation of which appears to be tightly connected to the institutional structures of a particular time and space and power relations between industries. Instead of wrong strategic decisions stressed earlier, particularly established care practices were central in explaining the weak demand for the European cholesterol-lowering functional foods in the U.S. where the role of the pharmaceuticals industry is extremely strong. Hence, an actor in a new market must be able to assess institutional differences between host and home markets.
In contrast to the strong tendency of specialization in the development of societies, this research implies that a broad cross-disciplinary understanding at individual-level contributes to innovativeness at the intersection of established industries and disciplines. This result seems to point towards an interpretation that a broad individual-level perspective caused by limited resources is the strength of small countries and organisations. Ritvala urges management to encourage cross-disciplinary and cross-industry cooperation and to analyse institutional differences between markets during internationalisation.
Terhi Ollikainen | alfa
Europe's microtechnology industry is attuned to growth
10.03.2017 | IVAM Fachverband für Mikrotechnik
Preferential trade agreements enhance global trade at the expense of its resilience
17.02.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
23.03.2017 | Life Sciences
23.03.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering
23.03.2017 | Earth Sciences