Ensuring the competitiveness of a company is the goal of every corporate strategy. For this it is necessary to be able to estimate future developments. Technology scouting, as part of innovation management, can open many doors.
If a company takes the pioneering role for a new technology, this offers a considerable competitive advantage. The company is thus acting as a market-shaping pioneer. In the best case scenario, the company even operates without competition for a while.
However, technology scouting can also promote cooperation between universities and companies. In 2019, around 150,000 people were employed in research and development at German universities. The knowledge gained in this way often helps the researcher to obtain a doctorate, publications in specialist journals and sometimes patents. But beyond that, the results that have emerged over years of work usually have little practical use. So-called technology scouts close the gap between basic research at institutes and universities and industrial applications. They have made the transfer of knowledge from theory to practice their task.
EARLY RECOGNITION OF NEW TRENDS ALLOWS THE COMPANY MODEL TO BE REVISED AND ADAPTED IN TIME.
This fact is often underestimated, especially in established companies. In general, there is a trend of decreasing risk appetite among large companies. They are increasingly reluctant to invest in long-term development projects. The automotive industry is an example of this.
With the help of technology scouting, new technologies and innovations that strengthen the company's own core competencies can be implemented with a higher capital investment, but at the same time with a higher chance of integration.
THE CONSEQUENCES OF INADEQUATE INNOVATION MANAGEMENT CAN BE ASSESSED BY THE EXAMPLE OF THE KODAK COMPANY. KODAK, ONCE A PIONEER IN THE FIELD OF PHOTOGRAPHY, RELYED ON THE WRONG TECHNOLOGIES IN THE FAST-GROWING MARKET FOR DIGITAL CAMERAS. THIS CAUSED THE LATER INSOLVENCY.
Innovative young companies and start-ups often lack the financial strength to gain a foothold with their innovations. You benefit from technology scouting by establishing a connection with well-known companies or business angels. If the innovation of the start-up convinces with a sustainable business model, provided venture capital or technology transfer allows the further development of the innovation.
Technology scouting can also be used to establish a cooperation project between a company and a research institute or university. Cooperations of this kind offer the university the opportunity, for example, to integrate more practical relevance into training.