EIRMA Insights 2013

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New: Upload the EIRMA's Insights 2013, a synthesis of recent activities:

EIRMA Insight is based on the discussions of senior industrial research and innovation practitioners at EIRMA meetings. 

Here you will find the EIRMA Insight of 2013:

EIRMA Insights 2013  

This review looks at some of the learning that has emerged from EIRMA’s 2013 programme to date, as reflected in a series of EIRMA Insights, short reports that distil each discussion into a narrative explaining the issue, describing how peers are addressing it, and drawing out conclusions and immediate Action Points.

During 2013, a number of themes have emerged from these discussions: the need to demonstrate the relevance of R&D to the business; techniques to improve R&D effectiveness through organisation and tools; the evolving role of Europe; responses to globalisation; and, in these increasingly fluid times, techniques to retain the knowledge that is embodied in your staff.

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Acquiring and Enforcing IP Rights Globally 

Globalisation has reshaped research, development and innovation. Supporting processes such as intellectual property (IP) management have also been adapting to a world in which IP can be generated anywhere and infringed everywhere. EIRMA's Special Interest Group on Intellectual Asset Management met in Marseille in December, to discuss how to acquire and protect IP rights in a globalised economy

In this EIRMA Insight you can:

  • Understand the function of IP in today's international marketsn according to global IP practionners,  
  • How to organise a global IP portfolio,   
  • How to acquire and enforce IP globally, 
  • Read first-hand case studies and advice about protecting IP in France, the Ukraine, China, Turkey, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Dubai, Sharja, Jordan, Egypt, Syria and India.

The Insight ends with a series of Action Points, things, that you can do today to help enhance and protect your IP wolrdwide. Here are the first three:

  • File for IPR in as many territories as you can afford, focusing particularly on thoses that harbour counterfeiters.
  • Don't forget to register IPR with local Customs authorities - if properly trained and motivated they can directly interfere with the movement of counterfeit goods. 
  • Working out when to file for IPR in particular territories is like managing an R&D portfolio - You're never quite sure which projects will pay off. But remember that rights can be long-lasting, and not filing may leave you unprotected in lucrative emerging markets

Members can download the complete Insight here. 

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The role of R&D in Value Creation 

Customers decide the value they find in your company's products and services. If the R&D function is to create value for your company, and to be seen to create value, it needs to understand its customers better and measure the value it creates for them much more accurately.

That was the basic message of this October's EIRMA Learning Group, chaired by Christof Ebert, managing director of Vector Consulting Services, in Antwerp. 

Ebert outlined steps that the R&D function can take to develop a deep understanding of customers and markets, as a precursor to doing work that meets their needs. The group also discussed ways of measuring the value of R&D which, although challenging, can be done, as presentations from Siemens and Arcelor Mittal demonstrated. 

This Insight summarises the formal learning, presentations and group discussions from the Learning Group meeting, and draws out some actions you can take immediately to start your R&D function on the path to delivering value for customers, being able to measure how much value you are creating, and being seen by the rest of the business as a net value contributor. 

Here’s the first few Action Points. Download the full EIRMA Insight for more:

  • Work out for whom you are delivering value and ensure that you service them all - but don’t forget that the ultimate purpose of a business is to add value for its owners
  • Balance the value you bring to the end customer with the value you bring to the business - too great an emphasis on one will be to the detriment of the other 
  • Change the role and perception of R&D in your environment – away from ideas to value.

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Can R&D drive Business Strategy? 

Well-run businesses can draw a line from the work of R&D to the new products and services that serve their customers in the way that their strategy says will be most effective. In many companies, though, R&D has become a service function, expected to solve problems and perhaps deliver occasinal breakthroughs, but largely decoupled from the overall business strategy.
Does it have to be this way? EIRMA members met in Düsseldorf recently to discuss how to more closely couple the work of R&D to business strategy, and ways to take the next step so that R&D drives business strategy.
In this EIRMA Insight you can find: 
  • How to work with senior management to move towards a technology-driven business strategy  
    The importance of marketing the value of R&D within your organisation, and some ways to do it 
    The best ways to structure an organisation to handle both incremental and radical innovation 
  • How the drivers for radical innovation have changed recently, and what that means for business strategy  
  • And more

Members can download the complete Insight here. 

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Effective Global Innovation

EIRMA members met in Warsaw in June for the 2013 Annual Conference, entitledMultilateral innovation: how to benefit effectively from globally distributed innovation. This EIRMA Insight covers proceedings at the conference, which touched upon: the rise of R&D in Poland; innovating for emerging economies; new innovation flows; and building more effective global research, development and innovation networks. Readers can find more details of some of the major conclusions of the meeting in this Insight. They include:
  • How to develop products and services for emerging economies 
    What "frugal" innovation really means for you and for your business
    Why "reverse" innovation is more complex than you think
  • The perils of innovation in large B2C companies
  • New ways to create effective global networks of innovators

Members can download the complete Insight here. 

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Accelerating Time to Market 

Companies are under constant pressure to reduce the time it takes to get new products and services to market. The R&D function, although it has often been given extra freedom because of the exploratory nature of its workn is not immune to this pressure. An EIRMA round table in May this year explored ways in which the R&D function could respond.
  • Find out what basic steps you can take to accelerate R&D 
    Discover how senior management can help speed up R&D through their own actions 
    Hear how alignment within your organisation and with customers can reduce wasted time 
  • Learn how to use a common metric for each decision you make about a project to ease decision-making 
  • Understand the power of trust

This EIRMA Insight is based on an EIRMA Round Table held in Brussels on 17 May 2013. Members can download the complete Insight here. 

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Updating the European innovation model for greater growth

EIRMA members met with senior European policy makers in April to hear how the Commission is adapting the framework conditions for innovation in Europe in light ofglobal competition for R&D investment and jobs. This EIRMA Insight outlines theCommission's evolving attitude to R&D and manufacturing, the policy adjustments it is making to reflect this, and industry's response to those changes.

Find Out: 

How the Commission's key priority in supporting R&D has evolved:
  • Discover the criteria it is using to decide which key enabling technologies it should focus 
    Learn how new attitudes to the value chain are driving a renaissance in support for manufacturing 
    See how industry and the Commission's research priorities are beginning toalign
  • Hear industry's feedback on the attractiveness of Europe's innovation framework, and what else needs to be done

This EIRMA Insight is based on the third annual “EU meets EIRMA” meeting, held in Brussels on 24 April 2013. Members can download the complete Insight here

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Shining a light on new ways to unlock hidden information

Innovation needs to be truly novel in order for it to be protectable by legal means. This is becoming increasingly difficult, as the scope of what is considered prior art widens (for example, to include cartoons and YouTube videos), and Asian countries, especially China, patent more in their own languages. Members of EIRMA’s Special Interest Groups on Knowledge Management and Intellectual Asset Management held a joint meeting in Munich in April 2013 to discuss ways in which this 'hidden' information can be accessed.
This EIRMA Insight reports the discussion, including extensive input from both theEuropean Patent Office, and R&D professionals who are finding new ways of understanding what is really new in their fields of research and innovation.

Action Points: 

Some of their Insights have been distilled into a series of Action Points, practical things that you can do right now to gain a deeper understanding of real novelty in your industry.
Here are the first three:
  • Consider using crowdsourcing services, alongside traditional resources, to discover prior art from non-traditional sources 
    Study the evolution of classification systems, which are being harmonised with more detailed classification schemas that aid search – and which are language-independent 
    Crosscheck between English and Asian language presentations of the same information - the Asian information may be more up to date

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Managing complex multi-stakeholder innovation partnerships

Many European companies have made open innovation the heart of their R&D strategy. This has brought benefits and challenges - such as managing the complex web of partners, resources and motivations that underpins an open-innovation strategy.
EIRMA members met in Paris in March to discuss how to manage the complex multistakeholder relationships that underpin an open innovation strategy, in whichconsumersPROs and academics become partners with industry, bringing their own outlooks and motivations to the industrial innovation process

Find out:

  •  When to use open innovation?
  • How to protect core competencies? 
  • Ways in which issues such as trust, leadership and control are becoming central to open innovation. 

Action Points: 

Read our Action Points, things you can do now to improve your performance as an open-innovation partner.
Here are the first three:
  • Recruit stakeholders to your cause, but recognise they have their own agenda 
    Find ways to understand your partners’ needs and motivations so you have a better chance of aligning the project with them 
    Build trust and treat reputation as an asset

Links and Downloads: 


Structuring Global R&D

Many global R&D organisations are not the result of a carefully considered strategy, but are the result of years of ad hoc development, as companies have grown by acquisition, started service organisations alongside key customers, or responded to pressure to create labs in return for favourable terms from inward-investment authorities. This EIRMA Insight looks at the best ways to structure your global R&D effort, and considers some of the pros and cons of setting up a facility in Brazil or China.

Find out: 

  • How to streamline your existing R&D organisation, to ensure it serves your current needs rather than just reflecting its historical origins
  • What political and social indicators will help you decide whether to invest inBrazil
    Some of the secrets of the Chinese government's innovation-led growth strategy 
    Whether national IP acquisition strategies really are a threat to your investment plans 
This EIRMA Insight is based on discussions at the Representatives’ Round Table meeting in Brussels in January 2013 as well as the outcomes of EIRMA Effective Global R&D Focus Group visits to Brazil and India.


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