By T.K. Tamby
In the past, all a company needs to do to be successful and stay ahead of the competition is to come out with a product the market needs and keep improving its quality. Only a limited amount of innovation is needed to stay in the game.
Today, while this formula still holds true in some sectors, globalisation and the acutely competitive market now means that companies need more than a good product in the fight to stay ahead and thrive.
They require innovative products, processes and management that can drive down costs and improve productivity. The need to change and improve is also driven by consumer expectations. Informed consumers who have lots more options today, are used to the conveniences created by innovation and will no longer tolerate mediocrity.
In an effort to gauge the level of innovation among Malaysian companies, Agensi Inovasi Malaysia (AIM) has embarked on an initiative called the National Corporate Innovation index (NCII). The NCII is a scorecard to measure the innovation levels in corporations, thereby providing a national benchmark.
The NCII will also be used as a tool to promote innovation management and provide a mechanism for companies to invest more effectively, said AIM chief executive officer Mark Rozario.
Speaking at a sneak preview of the Innovating Malaysia Conference (IMC) 2014, Rozario (pic) said the NCII scorecard was developed and piloted to help public listed companies self-evaluate their innovation management strategies, processes, systems, and impact.
“It is an initiative to illustrate the pressing need for local companies to change their way of doing business to stay competitive.”
The scorecard explores eight different areas of measurement, namely: strategy, leadership, investment, ideas & experimentation, external collaboration, execution of innovation, value creation and innovation culture.
The NCII will be the highlight of the IMC 2014, to be held at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre on Aug 28 and 29. The conference, which will be launched by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak, will feature of some of the most innovative companies in the country and provide insights on how companies can gain an innovative edge to accelerate their growth and profitability.
“We will also showcase the 17 corporations we have partnered with to measure their innovation levels, to provide benchmarks and role models for local small and medium enterprises to emulate,” said Rozario.
An eye on ROI
He added that the conference would also address the Return-On-Innovation (ROI) methodology – which allows heads of companies and organisations to learn how they can identify strategic investment areas for innovation.
“Studies on companies known for their innovativeness have shown how they drive profitability within their respective companies.”
AIM, together with ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) UK, is developing the methodology, which will be carried out with ACCA members globally to help companies measure their return on investment in innovation.
Using the ROI methodology, companies will gain new insights into the areas they innovate in and the assets owned, he continued.
Other highlights include the launch of Steinbeis Malaysia by the Minister of International Trade and Industry, a workshop by Malaysia’s design thinking school Genovasi and a full-day pitching “Dragon’s Den” session for intellectual property (IP) owners who are looking for potential funding for their business proposals.
The Steinbeis Malaysia model aims to provide an additional industry-focused platform to stimulate industry/academia collaboration from a ‘market driven’ perspective. The model does not replace any existing models and is an additional option for industry and academia.
AIM is currently collaborating with Steinbeis in Malaysia on a few pilot projects, one of which is the collaboration between a Bintulu-based company and Universiti Putra Malaysia scientists to optimise the yield of Napier grass plantations for bio-based fuels and chemicals.
Helming the Dragon’s Den pitching session will be AIM’s recently launched subsidiary and national technology commercialisation platform, PlaTCOM Ventures.
PlaTCOM will provide its entire repertoire of end-to-end IP commercialisation services to conference goers, including IP and legal advice as well as its matchmaking service connecting IP owners with IP experts, angel investors and venture capitalists.
To attend the Innovating Malaysia Conference (IMC) 2014, click on this link.
To view a panel discussion organised by Agensi Inovasi Malaysia and Thomson Reuters on “Using Citation Analysis to Detect Emerging Fronts” (pic below), click here.