Digitalization causes a complete paradigm shift of production and innovation options. In a digital environment, innovation systems and management of technology face new challenges every year. Product development and engineering departments across the globe need to master three fundamental challenges:

  • Developing innovative, connected, customer-centric and personalized products and solutions
  • Driving efficiency and digitalization of core product development and engineering processes
  • Integrating their departments into an agile and integrated partner eco-system

The 3rd module helps our students with:

  • Understanding the impact of different types of innovation and related management implications
  • Understanding the process of technology diffusion and change
  • Understanding the emergence of dominant designs and their impact on industries
  • Practical skills related to the management of technological innovation

What is innovation and why does it play such a vital role?

The word “innovation” is derived from the Latin verb innovare, which means to renew. In essence, the word has retained its meaning up until today. Innovation means to improve or to replace something, for example, a process, a product, or a service. In the context of companies, however, the term needs a definition.

Innovation is a process by which a domain, a product, or a service is renewed and brought up to date by applying new processes, introducing new techniques, or establishing successful ideas to create new value. The creation of value is a defining characteristic of innovation.

Why is innovation so important?

Organizations have several options to increase their competitiveness: they can strive for price leadership or develop a strategy of differentiation. In both cases, innovation is essential.

Companies that choose price leadership must secure their long-term competitiveness by developing innovative, highly efficient processes. Process optimization and continuous improvement in terms of costs are important for them.

Companies that strive for a differentiation strategy need innovation to develop unique distinguishing features to their competitors. Many start-ups launch their activities by developing an innovative product or service. Continuous innovation is, therefore, crucial for all companies. The main difference is in the focus of the innovation strategy, which varies considerably from company to company.

In today’s world of rapid technological innovations, customers demand products and integrated solutions that are always up-to-date, complete with the latest designs and technologies. That shortens established product life cycles and drives demand, not just for frequent product updates and incremental improvements but also for complete makeovers and breakthrough technology innovation. For industrial customers, “traditional” products often need to be digitally enhanced in a whole range of ways, including the addition of apps, human-machine interfaces, remote access and surveillance, predictive maintenance, self-learning adaptive parameter configuration, virtual assistance services, and other digital services that can be integrated seamlessly into existing and evolving full solution eco-systems.

Invention or Innovation?

Inventions are new solutions for scientific or technological problems. They are mainly based on R&D. Innovations can include social and organizational novelties. In the technological context, innovations address marketing actions and production preparation as well as the exploitation of the underlying invention. Incremental innovation for example is an innovation that makes minor changes or adjustments in existing practices, whereas a radical innovation is an innovation that is very new and different from previous practices.

Case study presentations on IP Design:

Part I – Brand Value Management: A brand is to be created under which parking garages will be marketed that stand for a unique and individual parking experience.

Please explain the concept of a garage, where the customer can choose his parking experience according to specific preferences. Please explain the 4P-concept and how this concept could apply to the case of an individualized parking experience. Please outline the brand steering wheel for the brand that should be created. Please explain how the brand promise might be proven in the case on hand. Please give ideas for how such an eco-system could be designed for the individual parking experience.

Here you can follow the presentation of part I:

Part II – IP Process Management: IP design is a method that can be used to identify a business model’s core elements from a customer’s point of view and protect these elements by IP.

Please show the core processes of IP management and give a short description of these processes. Please choose one IP management core process and show examples for related sub-processes. Please choose any IP management sub-process and show the associated workflows. Please choose the sub-processes identified in task 2 and define inputs and outputs for these processes. Please assign the IP management process related functions to typical functions in the company. Please choose a stylized innovation process and show typical process interfaces with the IP management process.

Here you can follow the presentation of part II:

Part III – IP Design: IP design is a method that can be used to identify a business model’s core elements from a customer’s point of view and protect these elements by IP.

Tasks: Please explain how different design thinking methods can be combined into a unified approach to comprehensively describe a concrete usage scenario and its framework conditions. Please carry out a cognitive walkthrough for the “car in a parking garages” usage scenario, taking into account the individualized parking experience described in the case study. Choose a part of the process steps you have identified in the course of the cognitive walkthrough. Perform the AEIOU-method for these process steps and present the result in swim lanes. Please identify issues that have to be solved by means of technology to provide the customer benefit. Please select one of the uniqueness environments you have identified and work out the technical tasks that need to be performed to solve the real-life task. Please select one of the invention cores you have identified, describe the individual points of the technical problem and work out different features that could solve them.

Here you can follow the presentation of part III:

The presenting students are: Esra AYHAN CAKIR, Vanessa BEHRENS, Francesca BESOSTRI, Sven BOON, Gerard Kevin CAGATAN, Sofia CALADO, Enes CETINKAYA, Jiazheng CHEN, Dominique CHRIST, Benjamin DELSOL, Shuxue FAN, Antoine FELIERS, Karim GACEM, Daria GAIDAR, Miao HU, Jana KLARIC, Michael KLOSKOWSKI, Teru KOIDE, Adrien LEMOINE, Adriana MOURA, Eugenie NOUMBA, Markus OBERG, Diannaly PEA MARTINEZ, Eric QUERTEMONT, Trond RAMSVIK, Saptieu Elizabeth SACCOH, Urvashi SATA, Martin SCHOENUNG