Innovation management in Optogenerapy: from training workshops to consultancy support
By Mireia Dilmé – Exploitation, Innovation and Strategy Consultant at Eurecat
In today’s ever-changing market environment, managing innovation effectively has become a key determinant of competitiveness and growth, allowing organisations to cross new performance thresholds. Three conditions are the baseline of innovation: it challenges orthodoxy, it is systemic and it advances over time.
Whilst most enterprises are aware of the importance of establishing formal procedures and methods for product/service upgrades, and many invest a big proportion of their resources in R&D, very few companies have consolidated processes and practices to one of the organisations’ most important ally: innovation management.
Innovation vs. invention. What’s the difference?
Innovation and inventing may sound alike. Nevertheless, they actually have two differentiated meanings. Inventing is making new assets, or finding new ways of producing those assets, whilst innovation is action: turning these ideas into a desirable market application for which end users will pay to benefit from new ways to accomplish their goals and needs. Therefore, generating business value.
Innovation management is a strategic process that enables enterprises to continually generate good ideas and convert them into products and services that create meaningful points of difference vs. current alternatives in the marketplace.
To achieve so, innovation involves comprehensive planning and the application of a big amount of information, knowledge, technologies, collaborative efforts and imagination. To avoid this process from being messy and to ensure that enterprises’ capabilities are exploited at their best, the innovation action needs to be effectively planned and aligned with the strategy of the organization – which is in turn, the end goal of innovation management efforts.
Main innovation management activities
Innovation management in Optogenerapy project
Given the R&D nature of Optogenerapy’s project, most of the consortium enterprises are technology-based and naturally innovative. Nevertheless, a key factor to sustain and grow their activities is to make sure that their innovation efforts are managed efficiently, in a structured manner and get translated into real value in the market.
Optogenerapy’s project plan has a dedicated task to reinforce innovation management within the consortium: offering on-going consultancy support to all partners throughout and beyond the project’s framework, complemented by the organisation of a series of training and participatory workshops to be held during consortium meetings.
An initial diagnosis was conducted to tailor these workshops towards partners’ specific needs. In this regards, the three workshops conducted so far focused on the following topics: introducing the partners to innovation management, presenting the results from the initial diagnosis and understanding the culture of innovation and the principles for managing innovation in a systematic way, including resources to create a structure for managing innovation and establishing a process for generating, selecting and ending growth business ideas. Through group activities, partners also reached a common consensus on the value proposition of Optogenerapy, further exploring the differences between users’ expected experience and users’ needs posed by patients and clinicians, the projects’ key end-users.
Regarding the on-going consultancy support, some queries made by consortium partners asked for the procedure to follow for a joint trademark application and the protection of general concept. Moreover, particular support was given to project partner Neos Surgery, who asked for recommendations and resources to conduct a product development session using the design thinking methodology.
For the following months, innovation management tasks will continue to create the space for creativity and sharing of knowledge, concerns and perspectives on the market, end-users and technological advancements amongst Optogenerapy consortium partners.