The keyword “Industry 4.0” is no longer an empty cliché or a black box; it is currently probably the most important topic within the German economy. Not only will existing processes be revolutionized – but also new businesses and business models will arise. More and more companies have already started to tap into its potential.
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.
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.
Germany is a forward-thinking nation with the largest GDP in Europe. Germany is also one out of only four innovation leaders in the top performance group of all EU27 Member States. Their private and public sector R&D funding is on the rise in the midst of a global economic crisis and they enjoy growing economic ties with China. So what is Germany doing right?
Before the radical shifts in technology disrupt the industry fabric, there exists a great potential to appropriate value from the market through incremental product and business model innovations. The less intense the competition, less matured the market - larger is the potential. The emerging markets of the world the BRICs (where s could stand for the plurality as well as South Africa), have long been projected as the markets to invest in.
Not so long ago, internal R&D activities were considered one of the most valuable assets a company could have. The rather “outmoded” concept of closed innovation, in contrast to open innovation, was built on self-reliance and on the principle that successful innovation required control and secrecy.