Innovation Concept (1)

New research released by Ayming Group reveals confidence in innovation, post-pandemic, is high. The business performance consultancy is hoping to inspire more businesses to prioritise research and development, and is urging those already doing so to build on their efforts to remain competitive.

The third annual International Innovation Barometer (IIB) – based on a survey of 585 senior executives – reveals an air of confidence around research and development (R&D). Most businesses are justifiably proud of how they have reacted to the pandemic, with 36% saying they have successfully innovated to make minor adjustments to their business, while one-in-four say they have fully adapted to seize COVID-19 related opportunities.  

The findings show that innovation continues to be crucial for companies’ growth. The pandemic has provided some positive learnings for businesses to take forward, causing many to think differently. Reflecting on this period, 82% of businesses agree that the pandemic has demonstrated that a business must be able to identify and react to opportunities, and 76% agree that it has proved how important it is to innovate during a crisis.  

However, it’s also provided a natural pivot point, Mark Smith, Partner of Innovation Incentives at Ayming UK, believes.

“The gap is widening between those who have prioritised innovation and those who haven’t,” Mark said. “We know COVID-19 has completely shaken up whole industries and economies. It has simultaneously created the perfect environment for disruption while creating challenges for R&D teams and businesses.

“The secretive nature of R&D means businesses don’t know what disruptive forces are emerging in their sector. However, a crisis will always lead to the emergence of new, forward-thinking propositions. We can already see new start-ups and services emerging, and there is likely plenty more to come.” 

It is with this disruption in mind that the company is urging businesses to stay alert and to continue investing in their R&D, resisting the understandable temptation to dial it back as the crisis fades.

The report highlights the challenges faced by R&D departments, with budgets more uncertain and growing concerns about a talent shortage. It will be more important than ever for businesses to keep innovation as a long-term strategic priority, helping them to thrive and challenge each other to serve customers in more imaginative ways.  

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Neina Sheldon
Article by Neina Sheldon
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