Launching successful new technologies requires more than just having a bright idea and garnering financial support. Today, the secret to developing commercial applications lies in knowledge management and building networks, says management professor Albert Cannella.

Director of the college’s Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship (CNVE), Cannella recently addressed academics and industry practitioners at a technology innovation issues seminar, sponsored by Texas A&M’s Technology Licensing Office and the Office of the Vice President for Research.

“People with different kinds of knowledge have to get together and share it,” Cannella observed. “Knowledge creation and development occurs within people and virtually never in isolation. It is an inherently social process. The days of the lone inventor in his garage producing a world-changing product are largely in the past.”

Cannella sees Texas A&M as the perfect environment within which to initiate such network building, beginning with bringing together researchers from different colleges. Then, he says those relations must be expanded into the community to draw in those who want to turn basic research knowledge into particular applications.

“The more that people with different knowledge get together in interactions, the more likely it is that problems and solutions will come together,” Cannella said. “I see this networking as a bottom-up process. Get people involved, build success stories, and others will be drawn to the technology commercialization process.”