A competition in the electronics industry is hard. For most companies, strong technological know-how will be a competitiveness factor in the future. The future technologies will be increasingly based on a combination of innovations from several branches of science. Also, many innovations are based on external technology integration. The days are over when one company could internally create all of the technology it needs to maintain its competitiveness. One approach of promising framework for the development of a new integrative technology is an industrial R&D network combined with industrial-academic collaboration. However, this kind of collaboration is a challenging undertaking.
Companies in a value network might have very different expectations regarding a new technology due to differences in their position in the value network or their company strategy. One of the main challenges in an R&D network is to translate the expectations of all parties involved into new technology solutions so that all in the R&D network feel they have obtained benefit. One of key factors on creating successful industrial-academic collaboration is open and trustful communication. But, there are communication challenges, intellectual property sharing problems, and discussions regarding the sharing of cost and benefits. Developing a new integrative technology structure requires seamless teamwork, holistic and interdisciplinary understanding, and open communication throughout the R&D team and the industrial-academic network. The focus of this paper is on network communication, knowledge communication and team communication. The results of this study indicate that successful communication in an industrial-academic R&D network to develop a new integrative technology improves knowledge creation and accelerates commercialization of the technology.