Increasing innovation pressure for companies
The increasing penetration of digital technologies (e.g. Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence or Internet of Things) into the economy and society leads to a growing innovation pressure for companies in all industries. The main challenges for companies are,
– to make business models future-proof (digital business),
– continuously adapting corporate structures to changing, innovative business models (digital transformation) and
– to use the potential of new technologies in the best possible way to enable innovative business models (digital disruption).
In doing so, companies must set up their service structure and product portfolio in such a way that they can react to market and technology changes. Furthermore, the ever shorter innovation cycles of disruptive technologies and the associated reduction in time-to-market are increasing the pressure on companies to act. We meet these challenges in research, practice and teaching with our expertise team in innovation management. In addition to the development of innovative business and profit models, our work also focuses on methodical approaches to accompany organizations on the way to an efficient and at the same time flexible way of working (Organizational Ambidextry). A central format is the Digital Innovation Lab, in which we combine methodological expertise and scientific approaches. The Digital Innovation Lab catalyzes digital innovations and innovation processes by combining the latest methods with digital technologies and the right working atmosphere. Our approach in research and practice is to accompany companies along the innovation process in an integrated end-to-end view.
Digitization offers new opportunities for innovative business models. In order to be able to tailor these solutions specifically to customer needs, a consistent understanding of the constantly changing needs and value drivers of customers is necessary. Technologies are also subject to increased dynamics in times of digitization. Therefore, companies need to develop a deeper understanding of technology. The constant observation and analysis of technological developments is a central element of innovation management. Approaches for classifying technological trends, such as the Gartner Hype Cycle, are important tools for identifying the potential of emerging technologies.
In order to establish an integrated understanding of relevant digital technologies, innovation management represents a key interface to technology competencies. In our Blockchain Lab, for example, we deal with the design, development and evaluation of solutions using this disruptive technology. In our Digital Innovation Lab, we bundle these competencies in order to identify innovation opportunities together with our partners and systematically develop them.
In the second phase of our innovation approach, evidence is collected for the presumed challenges and customer problems. The central element here is the gathering of information from observation or interaction with relevant customers and stakeholders. This information is then processed and aggregated in a structured way.
For this we use established customer-centric methods, such as value proposition design, to capture customer needs in a structured way and compare them with the value proposition of the company. A comparison with the existing value proposition of companies makes it possible to identify value gaps. In addition, this phase can be used to identify key resources and core competencies of the company that are perceived by customers and stakeholders as particularly valuable.
The Digital Innovation Lab supports its partners in the structured identification and implementation of digital innovations.
In the idea generation phase, two central approaches can be used to develop innovative approaches: On the one hand, customer- and problem-oriented approaches offer the opportunity to develop new value propositions and solutions based on customer needs. The previously collected information about challenges and value drivers of considered customer segments serves as a basis for this.
On the other hand, resource-centered approaches offer the possibility to use existing resources of a company to expand existing value propositions or to develop completely new value propositions. The Digital Opportunity Catalyst developed in our research work is a structured tool to promote resource-centered innovation.
In the Digital Innovation Lab, we bundle a broad range of specialist expertise on key technologies and methodological knowledge so that new solutions can be developed. Creative methods and an inspiring working atmosphere can be used to support this conceptual-creative phase. Furthermore, co-creation and open innovation are approaches to develop new ideas together with external partners and customers.
Our knowledge and our experience from research and practice go hand in hand and are continuously developed further.
Prototype & Test
Building on the idea generation phase, particularly promising innovation ideas are developed into prototypes. Within the framework of concept studies and minimum viable product (MVP) approaches, the core functionalities of new products and services are to be implemented and tested with relevant user groups. Based on the lean startup approach, the product is tested in close feedback loops with customers and iteratively developed further.
In the Digital Innovation Lab we support our partners in the selection of relevant functionalities and the translation into prototypes. Furthermore, we methodically accompany the testing and the derivation of central findings from customer interaction.
In the scaling phase, we see ourselves as end-to-end companions of companies, society and politics in the continuous development and market launch of future-oriented and sustainable innovations. The scaling of the innovation, in the context of the transfer into established processes and corporate structures as well as the development of a sustainable business model, represents a central challenge. To build such business models, we use established approaches and methods, such as the Business Model Canvas. Even in the scaling phase, agile and customer-centric working methods are used to further develop innovations and thus contribute to the digital transformation of companies.
The Research Center FIM deals with relevant real-world problems both in publicly funded research projects and in applied research projects with partners in industry. Together with our partners, we develop unique and novel solutions based on our insights into the current state of research, our practical experience and the interdisciplinary and enthusiastic nature of our team. Selected projects are:
- Landkreis Bayreuth (2019-2021):
Citizen-centered conception of an online portal for the Bayreuth region
- Rehau (2019):
Ideation Week with students of the University of Bayreuth (Video)
- Digitales Bad Hindelang:
Digitalization of an alpine tourism municipality (funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF))
Project’s objective: Development, implementation and anchoring of holistic, demand-oriented and citizen-oriented digital solutions for the long-term challenges in the tourism municipality.
- SmarDe’s@Work (2017 – 2019):
Smart devices in production (funded by the Bayerische Forschungsstiftung)
Project’s objective: Development of a middleware for connecting production participants such as man, machine and production-related IT systems via smart devices.
- InsurTec Hub Munich:
Non-profit organization appointed de:hub by the German government (funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affiars and Energy (BMWi))
Objective: Development of an entrepreneurial platform for the exchange of pioneering innovative insurance products and services.
- Hilti AG:
Design of the agile innovation and development process
- BAUR Versand GmbH & Co KG:
Acceptance of user-side innovations in the online textile trade
- Deutsche Bank AG:
Strategic study on data protection statements for digital data-driven services
- Norddeutsche Landesbank:
Development of a (big) data analytics strategy and foundation of an independent analytics unit for the long-term promotion of
(big) data analytics initiatives