Document Type

Closed Project

Publication Date

Fall 2001


Dragan Milosevic

Course Title

Strategic Planning in ETM

Course Number

EMGT 525/625


Ballard Power Systems Inc. -- Management, Strategic management, Proton exchange membrane fuel cells, Fuel cells -- Technological innovations, Technology -- Management


Between 1979 and 2001 a small Canadian company emerged as the recognized leader in Proton Exchange Membrane fuel cell technology. Following research breakthroughs in the mid 1980s, the Ballard Fuel Cell had by the turn of the millennium become synonymous with automotive fuel cells. Though far from the only competitor, this Canadian company had managed to hold Its own vis-a-vis its much larger American competitors, including GM. It owed much of its success to an early preoccupation with engineering and science, followed by a later recognition that despite the undeniable importance of the technology, there would be no product without commercialization. In Ballard's circumstances that meant looking for partners with deep pockets and a shared vision in the eventual rise of the fuel cell as the most radical new technology in the automotive and the larger energy generation, distribution, and delivery markets.


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