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Innovation management in the Belle Epoque
How plasma went commercial in 1903

VOLKER HESSEL1*, QI WANG1, JUERGEN LANG2
*Corresponding author
1. Micro Flow Process Technology, Department of Chemical Engineering and Chemistry, Eindhoven University of Technology, the Netherlands
2. Innovation Management, Verfahrenstechnik & Engineering, Evonik Technology & Infrastrukture GmbH, Hanau, Germany

KEYWORDS: Plasma, innovation management, N-fixation, Fertilizer, Birkeland-Eyde process, Industrial history.
ABSTRACT:
This article features a historic industrial development concerning chemical synthesis of nitric acid from nitrogen, the Birkeland-Eyde process, which was started up in 1903. The whole development was done at great technological risk and also at the financial risk of having not enough backup by investors. It is a truly systemic development which needed a full team with different skills. In a similar way, networking was needed to ensure to have investors supporting the costly development and scale-up. Already at that time, this was a multinational initiative and an ad-site evaluation