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Find out more about Mattia's work with transformative innovations, and how they can be used to address the grand challenges of our time

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Professor Mattia Bianchi recently joined as Misum's new Sustainable Business Development through Entreprenership and Innovation Platform Director. His research currently focuses on transformative innovations in the forest industry.


Early on...

During my PhD, and the years following, my research focused on open innovation, defined as the use of purposive inflows and outflows of knowledge to accelerate internal innovation, and expand the markets for external use of innovation. This is contrary to the traditional industrial paradigm or ‘closed innovation’, where research is conducted behind the closed doors of a firm’s lab, and the technologies created are only applied internally to new products and services. I have mainly focused on the selling aspect of innovation, which is typically done through licensing, spin offs, joint ventures, and patent sales.

Over time...

As I progressed in my research career, I realized that being open was critical within innovation, but at the same time, most innovation initiatives fail to achieve their target goals. There are many reasons for poor performance, but my interests lie with the so called innovation syndromes. I examine to what extent and how today’s popular innovation management frameworks, such as agile, lean start-up and design thinking, overcome recurring syndromes. Although I still very much focus on flexible innovation models, I have realized that most innovations are quite evolutionary and incremental, and therefore, not enough to fundamentally change the system. So now, I focus on transformative innovations, and how they can be used to address the grand challenges of our time. The path to sustainability requires a true paradigmatic transformation.



I am currently focused on the emergence and development of transformative innovations in the forest industry. The forest industry, in a broad sense, is defined by those actors that grow, harvest, and use wood for a variety of different products and services. However, there is widespread consensus that the current production-oriented forest industry, especially here in Sweden, is inadequate to address the complex, dramatic environmental challenges that our planet faces today.

"I’m interested in innovations which help overcome conflicts, and initiate a reframe of thinking, changing how stakeholders look at the forest."

In theory, forests can help address climate change and biodiversity issues because they provide renewable resources that can substitute carbon emitting fossil based materials. However, a significant increase in the demand and supply of wood can lead to overexploitation of forest resources, resulting in the inability of forests to renew themselves. The forest industry is full of such paradoxes, and this makes it very interesting to study.

Recent Publications


Within SSE and the world in general, sustainability has become a central topic. It has made me more aware of the true challenges we face today, and the complexities involved in achieving them. The quality of research conducted here at SSE, and Misum has acted as an inspiration, and increased my ambition to make an impact.

As a platform director, I want to take the opportunity to transition my research focus towards sustainability. I also want to use this responsibility to support other brilliant researchers.



I’d like to continue sharing insights from my research with the Misum platform, and I’d also like to participate more in debates regarding my research interests within the international academic community. At the same time, I would like to be very involved with industry, and be seen as a node, for collaboration and fruitful discussions. I'd also like to prioritize field projects, and internationalization of my work. Likely, five years will not be long enough to achieve all of this!


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The book explains that physics and mysticism are profoundly intertwined. Both delve into the fundamental nature of reality and argue that ultimately it is about the deep interconnectedness of all things, where all of existence is part of a singular, unbroken whole. For me, it was surprising to learn that something so apparently objective and scientific can come to the same conclusions as something so subjective and spiritual. This reminds me of the importance of challenging our predefined frames, to advance our ability to comprehend.



Sweden, and particularly Stockholm is quite dynamic, new start ups are created, new restaurants open, and there is a general optimism amongst people, which I really value.

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