Abstract for: Locked in a capability trap? The case of the composites industry

How can a new material technology create growth? Is having a better material a guarantee for industrial success? This work suggests that technological growth requires a different level of analysis to enable a holistic understanding of issues around the production capability for a new material technology. In this paper issues around the development of the composite material industry are explored. The main tenet behind this work is that the composite industry is locked in a capability trap; the paradox of fixating on seemingly profitable short-term results, while losing focus on the strategic vision. A qualitative study and interviews with experts in composites provide the basic evidence to initiate the discussion around this phenomenon.