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INNOVATION in PRACTICE: speaking platform off to a good and interactive start

„What are success factors for the collaboration between industry and research institutes?“ – One of the key questions the teams were entering into.
„What are success factors for the collaboration between industry and research institutes?“ – One of the key questions the teams were entering into.

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On Tuesday, June 21, 2016, PARK INNOVAARE successfully launched a series of workshops entitled INNOVATION in PRACTICE. About 25 senior executives from the energy sector, engineering, 3D modelling, transport, biotech, consumer goods, and industrials, gathered at PARK INNOVAARE: deliveryLAB to discuss best practices in innovation management as well as in technology and product development.

Applying the results of research to one’s own innovation strategy is not an easy task. Depending on the industry and the organization of their R&D department, companies face a variety of specific challenges. In order to help them identify challenges and find an ideal way to overcome obstacles, PARK INNOVAARE launched a series of workshops focused on a practical exchange about innovation and technology management. Entitled INNOVATION in PRACTICE, it addresses researchers and management executives in product development, R&D strategy and IP management, to share best practices. Around 25 guests joined the discussion, among them representatives of large companies and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) from Switzerland and abroad.

Andreas Rülke, a management consultant focusing on product development and innovation management with over 23 years of hands-on experience in international projects, presented proven approaches and methods on how to optimize knowledge exchange between a company and research institutions. As a basic requirement, companies have to master the processes in technology and product development, need to be apt to collaborate with external organizations and must learn to manage their intellectual property effectively.

In the course of the meeting, Dr. Christian Brönnimann, CEO of DECTRIS AG, a spin-off company of the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI and today a technology leader in X-Ray detection, as well as Professor Dr. Roland Horisberger, Group Leader for High Energy Physics at the PSI, shared their experiences about their joint technology transfer project. The participants were invited to split up into breakout sessions, which delivered a more specific perspective on expectations and needs of industrial innovators and from the research side. Most important, one of the key findings, is a continuous and easy access to the research institutions for companies of all sizes. It seems that they sometimes provide exclusive offerings for larger companies only.

“Innovation has many dimensions, and technologies and products are only one side of it. Processes and competencies form another important block,” says Andreas Rülke. “Often new trends like digitalization, the newly labelled Industry 4.0, are good opportunities to challenge one’s own organization and common practices. They are normally a good starting point for the development of new competencies and processes. Today’s discussion has shown the importance of knowledge and best practice sharing and interaction between the parties responsible”.

The second session of INNOVATION in PRACTICE, scheduled for July 12, 2016, will be dedicated to processes and competencies, and the third session, on August 23, 2016, will raise some questions about “Breakthrough Innovation”. For more information, please download the information and registration brochure or visit our event page.