Innovation in Danish companies
The research project "Growth with innovation in Danish companies" is funded by The Danish Industry Foundation.
Strengthening Danish productivity is key to securing prosperity in Denmark. Innovation is a key driver to increasing the productivity of Danish companies. The share of innovation active Danish companies is, however, relatively stable and around 50 per cent. Hence it seems that there is an untapped potential for increasing propsperity in Denmark which may be realized through increased innovation. The share of innovative companies in Denmark is lower than countries such as Sweden, Holland, Germany and France. Moreover, the intensity of company research and development (R&D) has decreased from 2013 to 2014 and is currently at the lowest level since 2009.
This leads to three important questions:
- Why do some companies innovate while others do not?
- Why do some companies invest heavily in innovation while others only invest moderately?
- How can innovation be increased in Danish companies?
The ambition of the "Growth with innovation project" is to motivate companies to increase their focus on their innovation efforts and help them strengthen their innovative competencies to increase. In a long-term perspective it is expected that the project will help the productivity of Danish compenies and Danish comptetitiveness. The project is also expected to lead to positive employment effects of Danish companies as companies with growth often increase employment. More concretely the aim of the project is to increase the awareness of Danish companies on their innovation efforts, to be able to assess the effect of possible innovative initiatives in companies and to guide companies in the process towards strengthened innovative competencies. A prerequisite for the project is that many companies have initiated innovative projects but that a wide range of barrierers inhibit completion. So it is imperative that the project identifies the most important barriers to completion of the innovative projects of companies in order to break down the barriers through targeted initiatives. The project defines innovation broadly so that it covers - but is not limited to - introduction of new or significantly improved projects, production processes as well as organizational and marketing initiatives.
More specifically activities are being conducted within four main areas:
- TOOL, which enables companies to evaluate actual and potential innovative initiatives. The purpose is to develop a tool which can increase the recognizion of the innovative efforts in companies and which can point to possible ways to increase competencies that can lead them further in the innovation process. The tool will include a number of features which will enable company leaders and other key staff to benchmark innovative activities with activitivities of comparable companies on objective innovation targets. It will also enable them to assess performance effects of innovative initiatives and they will get information about innovation experiences of other companies, including getting in contact with companies which have experience with relevant innovative activities. Alternatively companies may be guided to relevant innovation consulting. So the tool will be integrated into one innovation platform with knowledge, options for dialogue as well as descriptions of experiences and recommendations for processes and tools.
- QUANTITATIVE STUDIES of innovation and company performance. The purpose is to develop new knowledge on why some companies are innovative while others are not; what makes som companies more innovation intensive than other compeanies; and the link between innovation and company performance. There will also be focus on drivers for innovation, barriers to innovation and the composition of different types of innovation. The innovation targets will to a large degree consisit of qualitative information which is collected in close dialogue with company networks.
- INTERACTIVE STUDIES with companies about innovation. A wide range of interactive studies with selected companies are being conducted. The studies create new knowledge about innovation drivers, barriers to innovation and the how drivers and barriers are linked to companies' experiences with innovation. In addition possibilities to strengthen innovative competencies through specific efforts are being analyzed, including new ways of innovation, e.g. product-related services, structuring of innovation processes and improved competencies through increased knowledge.
- NETWORK with companies. A network with companies is being built up with two purposes. Firstly preliminary versions of the tool and new knowledge is introduced early in the project to ensure relevance and quality of the tool. In other words a feedback mechanism is being secured between tool and new knowledge and companies. Secondly implementation of the tool is based on the network. We aim at integrating tool and network into one innovation platform.