In Brussels, the Research & Innovation Program Horizon Europe (FP9) is the talk of ‘EU town’. Horizon Europe is hoped to be the great leap forward of Europe to close the innovation gap to the US and stay ahead of the emerging innovation giant China in the coming years.
With the Brexit and doubts of Theresa May’s suitability and approachability as a key negotiator, there is uncertainty of the UK achieving a progressive deal with the EU. How will the continued negotiations impact product-oriented businesses and innovators - particularly once discussions begin in a few months’ time?
Companies once deemed “too big to fail” are increasingly exposed to failure. The threat of disruption is everywhere. Startups are taking on the Goliaths in every market. Scores of malls across the United States are in collapse. Many household brand names are losing ground or even shutting completely. Regardless of industry, businesses face digital Darwinism, the evolution of technology and markets. Disruption is just a matter of when, where and why. To compete, executives must make tough decisions but more so, they must look to new horizons for new insight and direction. Whether companies thrive or cower in the face of digital Darwinism is a choice.
These days, when migrants arrive at a refugee camp, one of the first things they ask for is access to WiFi and electricity to recharge their cell phones. Their smartphone is as basic a resource for survival as food and water. This is a vivid reminder of the fact that we are fully immersed in a digital world.
Innovation at best is like watering a nice healthy plant, making it grow and blossom; however, watering without the plant is just getting the dirt wet. Nothing happens. Currently, all over the world and with more than 100 major innovation themed events yearly, complete with great photo opportunities for local and national leadership, most nations have little to show for these super expensive efforts. It seems that we talk a lot about innovation and find ourselves stuck in the suffocation of great ideas. And, suddenly the Trump nation erupts on a high note!
Switzerland – a tiny country with few natural advantages – has become incredibly successful in the world of banking, pharmaceuticals, machinery, and more. James Breiding, author of the bestselling book, Swiss Made, explores the enabling factors for innovation in Switzerland. He makes the point that when an entrepreneur comes up with a new and innovative method or product, there will be resistance from those who have accepted the status quo. Entrepreneurs as well as intrapreneurs need to have thick skin if they wish to disrupt the market.
This collection of case examples of IMP³rove innovation management support services for SMEs to gain competitive advantage illustrates the needs of key stakeholders in the innovation ecosystem. The case examples show how a wide variety of effective support services utilising the IMP³rove offerings address these needs.
If nations increased their supportive policies and reduced their harmful policies, the rate of innovation worldwide would significantly accelerate. This report assesses countries on the extent to which their economic and trade policies either constructively contribute to or negatively detract from the global innovation system.
Is Germany loosing the connection to today’s speed of change? In his new book “Germany’s Innovation Jam – How we create a new generation of founders,” Author Jürgen Stäudtner looks at German innovation pitfalls and corresponding resolutions.
Open innovation crowd sourcing methods, when applied to the right problem, can effectively extend the solution provider search beyond the boundaries of an industry. This article presents the application of a targeted broadcast crowd sourcing method to identify unobvious solution providers for a German chain-drive industry consortium. The majority of solutions submitted through this method were previously unknown to the consortium. This evaluation demonstrates the power of open crowd sourcing to provide solutions from discontinuous industries and how effective crowd sourcing can be in open innovation.
The Nordic countries have a high number of start-up companies but are struggling with scaling their entrepreneurs, start-ups and innovations to global large-scale operations and companies. Yet, one Nordic company namely Denmark’s Vestas Wind Systems managed to become world-beater within the global wind turbine industry. But but after 2008 Vestas has experienced a near death experience and is struggling for survival. Vestas’ story holds important lessons for other Nordic companies, not only within the renewable energy industry. It will here be argued that had Vestas paid more attention to what the management guru Peter Drucker labeled the five deadly business sins Vestas might have avoided getting into dire straits.
SMEs are perceived as the back-bone of most economies in Europe. Therefore, a lot of programs have been launched to support their growth. Over the past years, offering innovation support has become popular, complementing the well-known start-up financing and technology transfer programs. Despite the above, there is a level of dissatisfaction regarding the impact of these services.
While the previous two methods – Netnography and Social Media Solution Scouting – outline the potential of passive methods in using the power of social media for innovation, the next two approaches enable companies to interact with consumers. Configuration Tools as well as Innovation Contests invite users outside the company’s four walls to become an active part of new product development. In part two of this article you will learn how Audi and Henkel empowered the crowd and turned them into co-producers.
Open innovation has found its way into companies’ innovation processes and is a widely used approach to spur collaborative innovation with consumers. A multitude of methods and tools have come into being, creating confusion about how to make the most out of users’ knowledge and creativity. This article provides innovation managers with insights into four popular open innovation practices at four German blue chips and contrasts the various approaches.
There has been a continued debate around finding and adopting a set of standards for innovation. I blow a little hot and cold on this - not dependent on the time of day but the very “force” that is pushing the agenda along. Far, far too many who push for standards often have very narrow agendas, where this fits their commercial purpose and you get the feeling that they are not as aligned to the broader innovation communities as they should be.