lnnovation = Big Bucks #33 #cong17


In many ways to innovate is to diversify, implying a multiplication factor to one’s business offering. But why do so few companies invest in innovation? Is it because of the perceived low return on investment ratio, fear, lack of know-how, lack of disposable cash or all of the above?

4 Key Takeaways:

  1. Innovation isn’t only do or die, it can really help boost the growth of any company
  2. Fantastic range of national and European supports means that you can further your innovation objectives at low or even nil cost
  3. Implementing innovation in your strategy enables creation of new revenues streams
  4. Bottom line, don’t just survive, grow with innovation!

About Helena Deane:

Helena Deane is the Horizon 2020 Adviser and Project Support Executive at WestBIC, an EU Busines Innovation Centre with HQ in Galway, as well as the Principal Consultant at Business Connection Ireland based in Cong. Her educational background is in European Business Administration, having graduated First Class in this field from Universities in Cambridge and Berlin.  For the last 9 years, Helena has been working with StartUps, SMEs, Universities and various Public Organisations as a consultant in the areas of R&D and innovation, feasibility analysis, business strategy, planning, commercialisation and funding. Helena is also engaged by the European Commission as an expert and evaluator to undertake specific assignments concerning research and innovation related to Horizon 2020.

Contacting Helena Deane:

You can contact Helean by eMail.

Innovation is not a foreign, new concept. Much before innovation become the word d’jour, companies (and in particular SMEs) were encouraged to diversify – both implying that you should strategise to invoke change and to do things differently or in a novel market context.

However now, as well as then, there is arguably a risk adverse attitude of companies towards change and indeed innovation, compounded in no small part by the perception that innovation is costly, time-consuming and thus not worthwhile, compounded by fear of failure. While it is consuming in terms of demand on time of the management team in a small company, innovation is vital to long term prosperity of the business and in particular growth. Market trends change and so do customer wants and needs. Technology also has a massive transformative effect on the way we live and do business. All this means that change is necessary and companies need to speculate in order to accumulate, with long term objectives in mind, in order to boost their bottom line.

Innovation is encouraged and stimulated by government national and EU policy, meaning that there are many financial and advisory supports available to companies who are thinking about embarking on innovation including specific financial supports ranging from few thousand (e.g. innovation voucher) to several million Euro (e.g. H2020 Fast Track to Innovation), R&D tax credits, innovation audits, supports for international collaborations and researcher collaboration, access to sector specific infrastructure, tailor made programmes or accelerators and an abundance of free advice. Awareness and utilisation of these support mechanisms is still quite low.

In conclusion, doing things differently, innovating, pays big bucks in the long run, and can be achieved with moderate risk and costs to a company, but the company needs to be outward looking and open to engaging with the myriad of supports available.

At the CongRegation, I hope to discuss with other participants and get their view on obstacles to innovation and levers for growth… I hope these discussions will lead more people to avail of supports to innovate and grow.

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