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Types of innovation

Technologieinnovation

Touchscreens, continuously variable automatic transmissions and OLEDs are classic technological innovations. They are novel, technical solution concepts, but not independent, directly usable products. They are novel because they are neither known nor have been used in this form before.

What is Technology innovation?

At first glance, technological innovations are often invisible. Think of lithium-ion batteries. Indistinguishable from the outside, better performance, lower manufacturing costs. Innovative battery technology never goes over the counter on its own. Always as a “battery” product, which has been around for ages. This is because technological innovation is always “under the hood” and the details are usually patented or otherwise protected. Chemical formulations and new materials are also technological innovations. The boundary is blurred in the case of production-relevant technologies, which are often accompanied by new manufacturing processes, i.e. process innovations.

Example for Technology innovation?

Who is responsible for Technology innovation in the company?

Technology innovation is clearly the domain of the technology department. The Chief Technical Officer (CTO) often wears the hat. The pre-developer, product developer or someone in research and development (R&E, R&D) will think up and implement it. So it is usually engineers who are entrusted with technology innovation. However, materials scientists, chemists and physicists are also among them, and technology innovations also come from manufacturing and production. The boundaries to process innovation are often blurred.

What are the challenges and risks of Technology innovation?

Creating technological innovations means cracking tough technical nuts. A risk is therefore obvious. The nut cannot be cracked. Developers and engineers come up with ideas and concepts, but it just doesn’t work. The solution is too complicated, too expensive, too unstable or has other disadvantages. The hard nuts are particularly difficult to crack if no one believes that it is possible. Psychological inertia then blocks any success. It’s just not seriously tried. One of the biggest challenges of all. “We tried that 15 years ago and it didn’t work.” Experienced developers feel this hurdle more often than greenhorns. They don’t know that it doesn’t work. And then just do it anyway. A solution with teething problems often leads to ideas being discarded too quickly. However, the true art of technology innovation is to remain visionary and eliminate problems until the solution works.


Psychological
Inertia slows down ideas

Slow optimization
instead of innovation & world first

no
solution found

How does innovation consulting help Technology innovation?

View from the outside

This is not possible. This has never happened before. And then someone came along who didn’t know that and just did it. The task of innovation consultants is to promote the belief in the possible. And thus to get experienced engineers and developers out of their box. The ability to moderate is just as relevant as the engineering background. It will be difficult without technical eye-level.

Experts coordinate

Where many people with a lot of experience come together, many words are quickly spoken. Nevertheless, it is a good idea to tame experts from different domains and to have them work specifically in the direction of joint problem solving. The innovation consultant coordinates the discussion and ensures that there is actually a result at the end of a workshop. And ideally also an invention report.

Bringing in a perspective from outside the industry

No one is fooling a developer and technologist in his field. But what happens outside the company premises, there are often surprises. Innovation consultants see many industries, companies and use cases. And you know what others have already managed to do and what is being tried right now. And which patents already exist.

Breaking psychological inertia

A solution is quickly devised. For almost every problem. The challenge is NOT to pursue the first, typical solution. It is not groundbreaking enough. Ten times as good! At a tenth of the cost! 100 Times as fast! That must be the goal. To keep the team from falling into old patterns of optimization and creating real innovations: innovation consulting helps in this.

What tools and procedures are available for Technology innovation?

Many have heard it, some have tried it and only a few can really use it successfully. The inventive problem solving TRIZ. The most important and comprehensive methodology in technology innovation. The best-known tool is the contradiction matrix. Well suited even for beginners. At the same time, TRIZ is a toolbox that is still growing, contains at least 20 tools that every developer should know and is now also celebrating success with other types of innovation. Finding a common basis and language is often a challenge. The network of problems and solutions is the best basis for this important task, and parameters, benchmarks and target values are the foundation for a good specification sheet. Technology innovation also needs this. The innovation QFD is the perfect tool for this, and bionics also provides clues for future technologies and innovations. Even if they are usually not as easy to translate into reality as desired. But TRIZ helps again.

Step by step to innovation success

1

Finding innovation potential

Together we find opportunities for innovation on the market. Suitable for your company. With validated sales opportunities.

2

Carry out pilot project

First innovations in partnership with your company. Prototype, business case and implementation included.

3

Develop organization

A successful approach needs to be repeated. Other divisions are following suit. A culture of innovation emerges.

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Your contact person

Dr.-Ing. Henryk Stöckert

030 – 89 64 72 09

h.stoeckert@tomspike.com