The Future Of Innovation Lies In Multi-voiced Business Competence

Dr. Hanna Lehtimäki

I am currently working as a coordinator for a programme called Innovative Business Management run by the Finnish Foundation for Technology and Innovation. My duties as a coordinator for the programme is to build networks and create collaboration between managers and business researchers in Finland and internationally. My duty as an innovation catalyst is to bring parties from different institutional and cultural backgrounds to meet and discuss with each other and to create new ways of collaboration between researchers and business managers.

The Finnish Foundation for Technology and Innovation emphasises that expertise in technological innovations alone is not enough in guaranteeing Finland’s international competitiveness in the future. The foundation has successfully funded technology innovations in Finland for 25 years. For the past three years business development and service development have moved into the focus of innovation funding. The increasing pace of change in the operating environment requires that enterprises are continuously able to reinvent themselves. A stronger emphasis on commercialisation of innovations is needed.

Creating business innovations is all about co-innovation: bringing business managers, researchers and governmental officers together to enthusiastically create novel solutions to business management. The challenge is to identify issues and topics in which each of these three parties find something interesting for themselves. All of these parties continuously express their interest in the views and understandings of the other. However, finding fruitful working solutions is not all that simple. There are differences in the time span, expected results and willingness to invest into novel working methods. Thus, another challenge in creating innovations is to identify practices that attract each of the parties and lead to fruitful collaboration.

Thus far, the programme has funded 56 research projects and 36 company development projects. The vision is that in 2010, at the end of the five year programme, the renewed and internationally networked Finnish business sector and universities know how to anticipate opportunities, take advantage of innovations and develop new cooperation models between enterprises, universities and research institutes. In Finland we believe the future of innovation lies in multi-voiced business competence. It means the ability of researchers, business managers and government officials to co-innovate novel solutions for innovation management.

Article © 2009 Dr. Hanna Lehtimäki. All rights reserved.

about the author...

Dr. Hanna Lehtimäki

Dr. Hanna Lehtimäki

affiliation:   Life Works Consulting Ltd

position:  Finnish Foundation for Technology and Innovation (Tekes) programme coordinator

country:  Finland

area of interest:  Innovation Management, Business Innovations

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