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You cannot buy innovation

Wednesday 09 Jul 14


Marianne Thellersen
Senior Vice President - Innovation and Entrepreneurship
+45 40 51 44 10

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Which companies have contributed to the report?

Schultz Information; Department of Photonics Engineering, DTU; Grundfos; Rigshospitalet; Siemens Denmark, Novozymes; Odgers Berndtson Group; Microsoft; NKT Photonics A/S.
Nine Danish companies share their experience in a new inspiration catalogue launched by Innovation Forum DTU. The cases show that innovation management is specific and easily manageable.

Innovation management is not about being the most creative. It is about systematizing innovation. This is the experience of nine Danish companies that now share their thoughts in an inspiration catalogue.

The catalogue answers the question of how Danish corporate managers apply innovation management in practice, what they can do specifically and how to use a theoretical model for practical innovation purposes.

“The cases show that you cannot buy innovation. Innovation management is a structured and lengthy process, requiring multidisciplinary work across the organization,” says Marianne Thellersen , Senior Vice President, Innovation and Entrepreneurship at DTU.

Build an innovation culture
The consultancy Pluss Leadership has made the inspiration catalogue ‘Innovation Management—9 cases from Danish companies’ (in Danish) for Innovation Forum DTU. The cases have different perspectives, but all share elements from the ‘Innovation Excellence’ model which has been prepared by DTU Management Engineering and uses a number of barriers to innovation as its point of departure.

“Successful innovation management is about making an innovation strategy, creating an innovation-oriented culture and organization and establish a systematic process which generates ideas that can be translated into attractive and marketable solutions,” says Professor Søren Salomo, DTU Management Engineering.

Employee-driven innovation
Rigshospitalet has used this recipe. Here, the senior management has launched an innovation project, ‘IdéRiget’, where the hospital’s 7,000 employees were invited to generate ideas to improve patient flow and patient satisfaction. 75 employees submitted their ideas of which 30 idea generators were given an intensive training course with DTU Business. The ten best have received innovation grants and are now working full-time with their ideas.

Innovation management a priority
In another case from Novozymes, innovation management is basically about priority. The aim is to drive innovation which can ensure growth in Novozymes—and solutions to the challenges experienced in the market. The collaboration with the customers on coming up with specific ideas and solutions are therefore an important element of Novozymes’ innovation management approach.

Innovation Execllence; innovation management in theory and practice:

1. Create an understanding of what innovation really is.
2. Identify innovation fields, innovation objectives and build an innovation portfolio .
3. Define your innovation process and innovation organization.
4. Make sure to anchor innovation management in your organization.

Source: Professor Søren Salomo, Gerald Steinwender, Rita Dummer and Dietfried Globocnik, DTU Management Engineering,

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