The state of the global innovation economy is alive and well, according to a recent survey report featuring organisations actively developing and implementing new technologies and solutions across a range of industries.

The research reveals a sector of the worldwide business community that is investing more in innovation to affect an increasingly broad portfolio of organisational activities–from product and service development, to internal and external cost containment initiatives. However, there are some challenges that still need to be addressed, especially as organisations seek more transparency and predictability around implementing new innovations within expected time frames.

Survey Participants

Executives with explicit innovation development and/or implementation responsibilities in 213 companies participated in The 2015 Global Innovation Economy Survey commissioned by Leading Edge Only and fielded by BizTechReports.

Approximately 60 percent of respondents are active at start-ups or small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), while 27 percent work for large corporations, consultancies or public/non-profit sector organisations. The remaining 13percent of respondents operateing universities or academic research institutions.

Asked where they do business, the vast majority (84percent) operate in Europe, with half operating in North America. Approximately 40 percent of the respondents do business in Asia, with roughly 1 in 5 companies operating in Central America/Latin America (22 percent) and Africa (20percent).

Most of the respondents are focused on developing or implementing innovations for the business-to-business market (86percent) while an unexpectedly high number of respondentstarget the public sector (41 percent. Almost one third or respondents (32 percent) are pursuing business-to-consumer opportunities. While most executives surveyed consider their organisations to be provider sand/or developers of innovation marketed and monetised in the innovation economy, 44 percent of the respondents are interested in implementing innovations developed by others.

Key Findings:

  • 88 percent of respondents indicate that innovation is a major element of their product development initiatives.
  • 86 percent acknowledge that innovation is a key element in new technology development.
  • 81 percent of respondents report that innovation is an important or critically important factor in achieving their organisational objectives.
  • 79 percent report that innovation is an important variable in their intellectual property development activities.
  • 76 percent state that innovation is an important or critically important factor in their service/product delivery strategies.
  • 71 percent believe that innovation is important to remaining competitive by improving internal operational processes.
  • As the user experience becomes an increasingly critical basis for establishing competitive differentiation, 68 percent report that innovation in this area of activity is also important.

68 percent report that innovation in user experience design is important or critically important.

When asked to rank the focus and objectives of their innovation initiatives:

  • 93 percent are applying innovation to establish competitive differentiation.
  • 89 percent are counting on innovation to create new products
  • 77 percent are harnessing innovation to create new services.
  • 73 percent are applying innovations to reduce costs for their clients or customers.
  • 60 percent are innovating to reduce internal costs.

Immediate Future of Innovation Investment Plans

Just over half (51 percent) of respondents invested more on internal innovation initiatives this fiscal year than they did in the previous fiscal year. This trend seems set to continue with little change, as the same percentage of respondents plan to invest more on internal innovation activities next year compared to this year.

Interestingly, only a little over one third of respondents (35 percent) reported that they invested more on external innovation during the current fiscal year than they did over the previous fiscal year. Next year, nearly 40 percent plan to invest more on external innovations than they did this year.

There is clearly a significant amount of frustration associated with implementing innovations. Half of respondents indicate that it took more time than expected to implement internal innovations, while 41 percent said the same about implementing external innovations.

Figure 1 — Industries Represented in LEO/BTR Innovation Survey 2015

Figure 2 — Who Took the Innovation Survey?

Figure 3– Where Do You Do Business?

Figure 4 — What kind of Business Are You Doing?

Figure 5 — Innovation Seekers and Innovation Providers

Figure 6 — Importance of Innovation in Achieving Organisational Objectives

Figure 7 — Impact of Innovation on Improving Processes

Figure 8 — Focus and Objective of Innovation

Figure 9 — Did Your Organisation Invest More on Internal Innovation This Year Compared to Last Year?

Figure 10 — Did Your Organisation Invest More on External Innovation This Year Compared to Last Year?

Figure 11 — Does Your Organisation Plan to Invest More on Internal Innovation Next Year Compared to This Year?

Figure 12 — Does Your Organisation Plan to Invest More on External Innovation Next Year Compared to This Year?

Figure 13 — In Terms of Time, Implementing Internal Innovations Take:

Figure 14 — In Terms of Time, Implementing External Innovations Take:

About Leading Edge Only

Leading Edge Only is a global open innovation marketplace dedicated to helping innovators expose there solutions to prospective clients globally. LEO, provides the world’s leading innovation platform used by major corporations seeking new innovative solutions quickly and cost effectively.

About BizTechReports

BizTechReports is an independent reporting agency with bureaus in Washington, San Francisco and Toronto. BTR analyzes user trends in business technology. Our reports explore the role that technology products and services play in the overall economy and/or in specific vertical industries.

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