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Thinking new, ahead and together

Published 26/06/2013 by Pia Wågberg

Innovation is a popular – almost clichéd – concept today. People talk about innovation everywhere, in every industry. Our business concept is to produce and refine research findings and ideas based on forest raw materials, for the benefit of customers throughout the entire value chain, and the core of our operations is to act as both an innovation partner and a research partner. But what does innovation mean for us?

We work with research, development and innovation on a daily basis, but we very rarely launch a finished product, service or process. Instead, our role is to help our customers to become competitive and to enable them to bring their own innovations to market. To clarify our role as an innovation partner, we have tried to describe how we work in our role of innovation partner more simply and more clearly: We want to think new, think ahead and think together. This applies to the way we act both internally and externally.

For me, having worked with our innovation culture since 2008, when our very first innovation strategy was drawn up, these simple words have really taken root among our employees. This is a way of using our knowledge and our resources in a new and creative manner, which may involve identifying new, future areas of technology that our customers might find attractive. We've also acquired methods and tools to strengthen us in our way of working.

Thinking ahead involves always being one step in front and meeting the market and customers in the future, by understanding what is of interest to our customers. In other words, understanding what our customers need before they have even realised this themselves.

Thinking together means establishing an innovative partnership that includes both internal and external stakeholders. In particular, this involves finding and participating in new and different types of networks in order to make new contacts, take part in new projects and even identity new partners and customers.

It's important for us to be involved in various networks that can create value for us and our customers. Innovation Pioneers is one example where we've gained new contacts in industries that are new to us. Developing these contacts during the year will be extremely interesting. We recently decided to join the SIS network in order to develop a standard for innovation management (!) – an exciting forum where we can share our experiences with many different players. There are also networks that are of potential interest to us in the US. During the spring, we will be investigating the Industrial Research Institute (IRI), with its participating companies from all over the world, to see if this would be relevant to us.

And once again, we think new, we think ahead and – above all else – we think together!


Pia Wågberg

Pia Wågberg works with innovation process and idea management at Innventia.

Pia Wågberg
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