Professor Piero Formica

Dr. Piero Formica is Founder of the International Entrepreneurship Academy ( and has been between August 2006 and December 2009 Professor of Economics with special focus on innovation and entrepreneurship at the Jonkoping International Business School. Currently, he holds the Chair of Human Resources and Entrepreneurship Research at the King Saud University (Riyadh, Saudi Arabia) and is senior research fellow at the National University of Ireland and Intel Innovation Value Institute consortium where he leads an international research team on experimentation and simulation of high-expectation start-ups. Piero is also Special International Professor of Knowledge Economics and Entrepreneurship, School of Economics and Management – Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Scientific Director of the Higher Education Programmes at COFIMP (the Higher Education Institution of the SMEs in Bologna, Italy), and Visiting Professor of Knowledge Economics and Entrepreneurship at the Jean Monnet Faculty of Political Studies (Second University of Naples). Between 2003 and 2006 he held the Marie Curie Professorship at the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, University of Tartu, Estonia. Between 1982 and 2003 he held the professorship of Economics of Innovation in the Masters of Business Law and Technology Management programmes at the University of Bologna, Italy. Professor Piero Formica has over 30 years of experience in the fields of international economics and economics of entrepreneurship and innovation, working with OECD Economic Prospects Division in Paris, academic institutions, large corporations and small companies, governmental bodies, and the European Union. His advice has been sought by diverse organisations such as Xerox Corporation - Xerox Professional Document Services, INTEL-Innovation Value Institute, TELECOM Italia Spa, the British Council, the European Commission (DGXIII, Science Parks, RITTS-Regional Innovation and Technology Transfer Infrastructures and Innovation Programme; DG XVI, RIS-Regional Innovation Strategies; DG XII, Evaluation), The European Business & Innovation Centre Network (Brussels), the DATAR (the French Government DELEGATION A L'AMENAGEMENT DU TERRITOIRE ET A L'ACTION REGIONALE), the Institute for Enterprise and Innovation (University of Nottingham), the Institute of Competitiveness, and the public authorities in Australia, India, China, and the Middle East. His presentations in the field of entrepreneurship and innovation have been heard throughout Europe, Asia, Australia, Latin America, Canada, North Africa, and the Middle East. He serves as board member of Industry & Higher Education and the International Journal of the Knowledge Economy. Piero Formica has extensively published in the fields of knowledge economics, entrepreneurship and innovation. Among his publications in the last five years: The Argument for International Entrepreneurship in the Knowledge Economy, in: Structural Change in Europe 4, Entrepreneurial Spirit in Cities and Regions, Hagbarth Publications, 2005 KNOWLEDGE ECONOMICS: Emerging Principles, Practices and Policies (co-editor), Tartu University Press, 2006 “Intellectual Venture Capitalists: An Emerging Breed of Knowledge Entrepreneurs” (with Elias Carayannis), Industry and Higher Education, June, 2006 “The concentration of resources and academic performance: reinventing learning and research in the 21st century” (with Elias Carayannis), Industry & Higher Education, April 2007 KNOWLEDGE MATTERS: Technology, Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Innovation Networks and Knowledge Clusters (with Elias Carayannis), MacMillan Palgrave, 2008 “Knowledge Transfer Mechanisms in the European Transition Economies” (with Tonis Mets and Urmas Varblane), in: Jonathan Potter (Editor), Entrepreneurship and Higher Education, OECD, 2008 “Laboratory experiments as a tool in the empirical economic analysis of high-expectation entrepreneurship (with Martin Curley), Industry & Higher Education, Vol 22, No 6, December 2008 “Innovation Networks and Knowledge Clusters in the Glocal Knowledge Economy and Society: Insights and Implications for Theory and Practice”, (with Elias Carayannis), International Journal of Technology Management, Vol 46, Nos. 3/4, 2009 Le vie dell’innovazione (The Road to Innovation), Editrice Compositori, Bologna, November 2009 “The Future of Innovation Is To Think What Nobody Has Yet Thought About”, in Bettina von Stamm and Anna Trifilova (Editors),The Future of Innovation, Gower, December 2009 KNOWLEDGE-DRIVEN ENTREPRENEURSHIP. The Key to Social and Economic Transformation (with Thomas Andersson and Martin Curley), Springer, New York-Berlin, January 2010 "La vista di Linceo - Cronache e storie d’innovazione" ("The sight of Lynceus. Chronicles and stories of innovation"), Editutto, Bologna, 2011

MODULE - Knowledge, Innovation and Entrepreneurship Leveraging Knowledge Economy for Innovative Advantage


The course aims to equip students with the knowledge and expertise to attain an entrepreneurial mindset and manage knowledge and innovation, both at the strategic and the operational levels.

Short description

Land, labour and capital were the drivers of progress in the industrial economy. In the knowledge economy, the main source of value creation resides in the hyper-mobility of knowledge. Knowledge creation and shared knowledge are fundamental precepts of the knowledge economy. These precepts are encouraged, on the one hand, by technological factors like the steady expansion of the information and communication technologies and, on the other hand, by human factors like the formation of knowledge communities that are part of cross-border and cross-cultural knowledge networks. The knowledge economy propels international entrepreneurship into the spotlight. Because innovation is knowledge in action, opportunities for innovation proceed from the scientific work of the knowledge producers to the business actions pursued by the entrepreneurs. Those who create international start-ups for the purpose of looking beyond national borders detect untapped opportunities not perceived by those who take the usual course of business. Entrepreneurship, Knowledge and Innovation: Principles, Practices and Policy is an action-learning course that serves the broader purpose of cultivating growth-oriented, knowledge-based business ideas. Students will learn how to implement new concepts and practice newly acquired skills in specially designed, integrated simulation exercises or “concept plans” (learning by doing and sharing learning with peers). Students organized in teams are required to write a “concept plan” whose main contents are: Concept description of a knowledge-based business idea Value proposition (to customer and company) Commercial potential Competitive advantage Feasibility Revenue Workshops with leading authorities as guest speakers are conducted regularly.

Course Structure

Part 1 – Knowledge Foundations of knowledge economy. Principles of organizational knowledge creation and knowledge management. Knowledge communities of practice, knowledge pools and knowledge clusters. Knowledge innovation zones. Knowledge markets. Knowledge innovation policy: policy based on market mechanism, policy based on government intervention, public-private partnership. Part 2 – Innovation Discovery, invention, innovation. Diffusion of innovation and technology transfer. ‘S’-shaped curves: success curve, learning curve, life-cycle curve, and relative technology performance curve. The importance of managing innovation. Pioneers, early followers and latecomers: does being first to the market assure an enduring market leadership? Types of innovators: case studies. Part 3 – Entrepreneurship Myths about entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurial capacity: motivations and attributes. Entrepreneurial opportunities. Models of entrepreneurial motion. Entrepreneurship in action: intrapreneurship and entrepreneurship. Creativity in business. Small businesses and entrepreneurial growth companies. International entrepreneurship. Knowledge entrepreneurs without borders. Networking entrepreneurship around the globe. The incubation process: from idea generation to full commercialization. The role of zero-stage and seed capital funds.