A dialogue with innovation promoters.

Andreas Lorenz, Chairman of the Board at Volksbank Karlsruhe and Thomas Andrae, Director at 3M New Ventures

Innovations of new products or business models often appear as start-ups in the market. How do banks and investors see the issue of innovations?

In corporations, innovation projects undergo a hard prioritization process and face conflicts with the mindset on preserves and comfort zones in other parts of the firm. Do radical innovations have better chances of being embedded? Is it easier to get financing for radical projects of a game changing nature? How do you explain the rising popularity of crowdfunding and what can we learn from other markets?

These are the questions we posed to Andreas Lorenz, Chairman of the Board of Volksbank Karlsruhe, and to Thomas Andrae, Director 3M New Ventures. Their responses:

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“At BASF, all employees should introduce ideas.”

Dr. Thomas Weber, SVP Innovation Management at BASF SE

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Innoboard: There is no generally accepted definition of innovation. Every industry and every department perceive it differently. How do you define innovation? 

Dr. Weber: Technically, the definition of innovation is clear. It is something new which provides added value for the customer which can then be translated into monetary gain. There are also business model innovations or process innovations that result in financial benefit by competitive advantage.

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“Innovation is the heart of TE“

Monika Kuklok, Senior Manager Innovation Platforms & Ventures at TE Connectivity

Monika Kuklok TE Connectivity

Innoboard: There is no consistent definition for innovation. Every industry and every department has their own definition. How do you define innovation at TE? 

Monika Kuklok: First, innovation is the heart of TE Connectivity. For example, we received the Thomson Reuters Award for innovation but actually, it is much more than that. The award is just a reflection of what we do every day. Innovation is one of our core values. The first time you walk into TE you will see, that innovation is a top priorities.

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Promoting Real Innovation at Volkswagen: Jump to the Next Curve or Die!

Volkswagen experiences the worst crisis of its history, and the long-term consequences of the emission scandal are still unclear. The company has reacted already, and the new CEO of Volkswagen and former CEO of Porsche, Matthias Müller, has announced in the Volkswagen employee meeting today (October 6, 2015) thorough investigations and analyses of the emission manipulations. To save the company and to potentially bring Volkswagen back to previous strength, Müller needs to consider three major steps in the upcoming months and years: crisis management, strategic redirection, and real innovation. The third step – real innovation – may be the most difficult one, but there is no alternative if Volkswagen is to succeed in the long run. Despite the challenges associated with real innovation, it provides major opportunities – even if it may be difficult for Volkswagen to spot these opportunities at the height of a crisis.

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”Innovation in pharmaceutical industry should open up itself to other industries.“

Stephane Rouault, Head of Innovation Hub, Strategic Innovation at Roche

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Innoboard: There is no consistent definition for innovation. Every industry and every department has their own definition. How would you define innovation with respect to the pharmaceutical industry?

Stephane Rouault: There are three types of innovation: The first one is the continuous improvement of products, services and processes. Although it is no real innovation, it ensures excellence of functions.

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Interviews

“If we do not believe in a better future, it will not happen.“

Dr. Remigiusz Smolinski, VP Business Development & Innovation Management at comdirect

Monday, August 17, 2015

Innoboard: There is no consistent definition for innovation. Every industry, every company and every department has their own definition. How do you define innovation at comdirect?  Dr. Smolinski:…

innoboard-innovation-annalisa-gigante-holcim

“For us business model innovation is significant.”

Annalisa Gigante, Head of Innovation at LafargeHolcim Ltd.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Innoboard: There is no consistent definition of innovation. Every industry and every department has their own definition. How do you define innovation with respect to the industry of building…

Dr. Edgar Endlein - Innovationsimpulse, Innovationskultur, Innovationstreiber, Nachhaltigkeit, Open Innovation, Produktinnovation

“Sustainability and innovation are not mutually exclusive.”

Dr. Edgar Endlein, Head of Development at Werner & Mertz GmbH

Monday, June 29, 2015

Innoboard: How does a company like Werner & Mertz GmbH hold its own against large corporations such as Procter & Gamble and Beiersdorf?

Markus Noelle - Elektromobilität, Geschäftsmodellinnovation, Innovationsimpulse, Innovationsmanagement, Innovationsprozess, Innovationsstrategie, Markus Noelle, Technologieführerschaft

Innovation Management at Ford

Markus Noelle, Technology Planning Manager at Ford

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Innoboard: Mr. Noelle, as Technology Planning Manager at Ford, you are working at the forefront in developing new product features for volume vehicles. Why is systematic innovation management…