December Innovation Trend Report

December Innovation Trend Report

The roles defined in a traditional pyramid are no longer relevant in the world of advanced technology. Thus, it is important to find new ways to connect to your business partners and stakeholders. This also includes focusing on customer satisfaction and self-organizing teams within your business. The culture of your business must be adjusted in order to stay relevant, and centers and programs are being created for organizations.

According to Professor Henry Chesbrough; open innovation is “the use of purposive inflows and outflows of knowledge to accelerate internal innovation, and expand the markets for external use of innovation, respectively. An emerging concept is the use of an “Open Innovation Unit.” Flexible and lean labs are more desirable than structured labs and research centers. These units also typically report to a newly appointed Chief Innovation Officer or Chief Digital Officer.

There are many definitions for what innovation can be classified as. These are the top 7 topics of open innovation: builds an open portal to invite ideas, create a “Customer Lab”, run a lead user product, launch a challenge to the global innovation community, co-create with customers or partners, create a platform to build other solutions.

Innovation takes new ideas and translates them into goods and services, creating value to a set of customers. Open innovation is simply innovation taking advantage of all the tools and resources accessible thanks to information and communication technologies. Furthermore, it is based on the fact that no matter how big a company is, it can’t innovate effectively on its own. For instance, it derives new ideas from crowdsourcing, idea challenges or data mining in social networks. It translates these ideas into products and services thanks to Open source, Open hardware, additive manufacturing, open access, Massive Online Open Courses (MOOC), the blockchain and crowdfunding.

With this, companies can reduce their research and development cost, reduce time to market, increase differentiation in the market, create new revenue streams to the market. There are 3 forms of open innovation practices: outside-in, in-outside, joint innovation.


  1. Outside-in
    1. Crowdsourcing
    2. Expert-in sourcing
    3. Start-up scouting
  2. Inside-out
    1. Customer engagement
    2. R&D contracting
    3. Spin-off
  3. Joint Innovation
    1. Co-conception
    2. Real-time collaboration
    3. Joint ventures


Trends in the modern day

Job Volatility:

The lifelong contract between the employer and the employee has ended. In North America, this has been a large trend especially with regards to youth employees. However, in Asia, it is still a culture dominated largely by employee loyalty. In this ever-changing world with technology advancing at a rapid rate, jobs are no longer guaranteed due to companies not guaranteeing they will need a given class of expert forever.


Venture Capital as an Alternative to Corporate Investment:

Venture capitalists are not afraid of innovation, because they have learned how to manage the risk by keeping a close eye on their individual projects. This is different from the period of the 1950s to 1980s, where only large corporations were available to push innovation because they had the finances. Thus, this prevented the small and medium-sized businesses.


Virtual Incubators:

The global economy is more knowledge-based than ever thus, the need for dedicated office space and physical presence is diminishing and being replaced by virtual presence. These virtual incubators don’t necessarily have a physical office, instead, they provide service to startups over the internet. Virtual incubation programs are seeing a lot of success recently because of cross-cultural and cross-market developments in technology. Virtual incubation programs work in an off-site area to deliver services and programs to entrepreneurs via the internet.

In 2012,

InfoDeb published a report dividing virtual incubator services into 3 groups:

1. Hand-holders

Hand-holders offer an incubation service emphasizing training and mentoring, as opposed to access to finance or networking. They address the challenges entrepreneurs face developing their entrepreneurial capacities to be able to get their business off the ground.

  1. Network Boosters

Network Boosters are incubators that convene entrepreneurs, investors, volunteers, and service providers to pool their collective offerings, rather than focusing on delivering services themselves. In this case, the incubator is a facilitator.

  1. Venture Accelerators

Venture accelerators typically provide a short-term program (3 months) of training, mentoring, and networking support designed to prepare companies for external finance.

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