Study on the innovative potential of SMEs from the goods-producing industry

Quite often small and medium-sized entities distinguish themselves by their innovative power. A new study called “Empirical success factors for increased innovative power” prepared by the Fraunhofer IAO offers a synopsis of all the important benchmark values of the parameters and indicators relevant to business success, in particular for the success of innovative companies operating in the industrial sector.  This synopsis is based upon the results of a research project called „InnoSME – increasing the innovative power of small and medium-sized entities from the goods-producing industry“.
This new method which was sponsored by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) facilitates the analysis and evaluation of a company´s innovative power while at the same time pinpointing the factors which may still be improved. Innovative activities will thus become measurable as well as comparable in the form of benchmarking. To this end, about 150 companies being members of the professional associations of mechanical engineering (VDMA) and electrical engineering/electronics (ZVEI) were questioned. The findings of these questionnaires are presented in the Fraunhofer study so as to enable other companies to analize and evaluate themselves.
A self-assessment of one´s innovative power not only helps to optimize internal processes, but is also useful for contact and communication with clients, banks and other market partners. The co-operation with the Rating task force of the Federal „Partner for Innovation initiative” ensures that the new method will easily be compatible with rating procedures by banks. At the same time the co-operation with the DIN e.V. association aimes at standardizing the whole method.
The study, which is a joint publication of the Fraunhofer IAO, the Fraunhofer institute for systems and innovation research as well as the institute of ergonomics and technology management at the Stuttgart university, is available for 189 Euro from the IAO shop. GERMAN