Innovation Webs - From Theory to Practice with the Gartner Hype Cycles for Manufacturing

To date our discussions have revolved around the concept of innovation webs and how they can be used to accelerate innovation from ideation to market saturation in high value manufacturing at individual, (sub-) group, enterprise, regional, intra- and international level. We now move to applying the concept of innovation webs to specific manufacturing technologies based on the insights provided by the Gartner Group in the form of "hype cycles" - this will be the data we base our investigations on for answering the exam question "How can innovation be accelerated to a "heart-beat". Or in other words, how can innovation webs help break down barriers that are preventing us from exploiting technologies successfully piloted at a local level at an enterprise level or higher?

Gartner Group hype cycles have for many years (starting in 1995) heavily influenced industry decision making an investment patterns in respect to "interpreting technology hype". Gartner writes "When new technologies make bold promises, how do you discern the hype from what’s commercially viable? And when will such claims pay off, if at all? Gartner Hype Cycles provide a graphic representation of the maturity and adoption of technologies and applications, and how they are potentially relevant to solving real business problems and exploiting new opportunities. Gartner Hype Cycle methodology gives you a view of how a technology or application will evolve over time, providing a sound source of insight to manage its deployment within the context of your specific business goals." See for more details, the "Hype Cycle for Manufacturing Strategy, 2017" introduction at and an example hype cycle visualisation for 3D printing from 2017 at In the example you will see at the bottom the legend describing the forecast regarding when a 3D printing related technology will reach its plateau, i.e. 3D printing of medical devices was forecast to reach its plateau in 2-5 years. The plateau of productivity is defined as "Mainstream adoption starts to take off. Criteria for assessing provider viability are more clearly defined. The technology's broad market applicability and relevance are clearly paying off." This is the "link" to the concept of the diffusion of innovation we are exploring. A good review of the hype cycle history is also available at The blog post image is from

While Gartner hype cycles are extremely well researched attempt " get educated about the promise of an emerging technology within the context of their industry and individual appetite for risk." ENTOV-HVM looks beyond the stage of entering the plateau of productivity to the point of market saturation and strives to find answers to the question what influences the speed with which innovations move from their "innovation trigger" to that market saturation at the local to enterprise and international level AND how those variables can be influenced.While Gartner hype cycles make a well informed forecast of WHEN that plateau of productivity is reached, ENTOV-HVM strives to understand how we can get there FASTER at the local to enterprise and international level.

Moving forward we are going to take a closer look at how the forecasts of "time to plateau" are arrived at and then begin exploring how the innovation webs approach might be used to understand the dynamics of technology progress through the hype cycles from trigger to plateau.

In parallel we are looking to launch a small industry research effort to learn more about how the innovation web perspective might help us break down barriers that are preventing us from exploiting technologies successfully piloted at a local level at an enterprise level.

If you are interested in learning more please visit us at, our LinkedIn Group at, our blog at, our Researchgate project page at and our Facebook page at: You can also follow us via Twitter: @owschwabe (#innovationweb) and the LinkedIn Group page 


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