Gaining a competitive edge through innovation
Innovation is a key factor to anticipate new trends and to gain new opportunities. Companies which do not invest in this sector may lose clients as well as employees to more cutting-edge competitors.
Innovation is usually associated with creating new products or services. However, more often than not, its main goal is finding innovative ways to improve the efficiency of business processes and practices in order to cut down waste, to find new customers and, more importantly, to increase overall profits. Over 95% of senior executive worldwide think innovation ensure a more competitive and healthy economy.
Innovation: a European key sector
Despite what can be thought, Europe is still the largest and wealthiest economy in the word ahead of the US or China. 6 European countries were ranked among the most competitive in the world in 2014: Switzerland (1), Finland (4), Germany (5), Netherlands (8), United Kingdom (9) & Sweden (10).
Over the past few years, Europe has been a center for innovation and knowledge-intensive activities. This is emphasized by an Innovation Union Scoreboard study (2014) which ranked several European countries as innovation leaders. It is important to know that Europe is the cradle of industry leaders such as Volkswagen, Roche, Novartis, Daimler, Sanofi, GlaxoSmithKline which rely heavily on innovation to keep growing. In addition to these internationally known companies, cutting-edge industries are flourishing in numerous across many sectors: life sciences, agriculture, food production, automotive, aerospace, nanotechnology, energy, information & communication, etc. In fact, Europe's top innovative sectors are: Aerospace & Defense, Automobiles & parts, Chemicals, Electrical Components and Equipment, Industrial Machinery & Telecommunications Equipments.
Companies, whichever their line of business, judge vital to invest in R&D to keep their competitive advantage. In fact, more than 60% of CEOs worldwide are convinced that Innovation is a must for their business and more than 65% of executives feel pressure to innovate. Innovation seems like one universal solutions to make a business stands out and to become a leader in its field.