lnnovation = Big Bucks #33 #cong17

By Helena Deane.

Helena Deane #33 innovation = big bucks

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.

CongRegation © Eoin Kennedy 2017 eoin at congregation dot ie