Digital Innovation is more than innovation

Posted by: Philippe Letellier · 22 December 2015


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With digital ITEA we are working towards Digital innovation, the next step of innovation.

We are confronted by the continuous and quicker changes of our world. The digital transition may puzzle us. It can put our companies out of the market if we don’t take care or at least drastically reduce our margins if we become just providers under the lead of some digital giants who alienate us from the end-users.

Nevertheless, we have already a real box of pearls that we can exploit more. In Europe we have built an incredible environment of cooperative R&D projects which deliver some unique results. But they need a stronger market push. Some billions of euros are invested by the European Commission, by the national governments for the EUREKA Clusters and by our companies in these projects.

Very often, and in particular with ITEA, such projects deliver unique innovative results that have some direct impact on the market. But it is not enough! We want to be even more ambitious in ITEA. We are not exploiting the results to their maximum. The digital innovations require worldwide impact because some digital giants are already leading the way in this respect. If we do not compete with them at this level, even our best innovations with some level of impact on the market in our present business, will be wiped out. The digital giants will use their worldwide strategy and ambition to push other solutions.

As example of such topics we can list:

Internet of things (IoT) appears everywhere in all businesses. This IoT will generate a huge amount of new data in real time. This wave of data will require an infrastructure of communication and cloud high-performance computing to extract from them some new added value which will generate new businesses. Furthermore, this IoT will be the last link with the final customer/end-user. This is the place to discover exactly user behaviour and thus the best place to propose new services and products. It is actually the best place for a lot of business intermediation for which ITEA has a set of proposed architectures. We need to push them on the global market.

The car industry is a major industry with key European players operating worldwide. We are close to mastering autonomous cars and it will be a disruption for this industry. It can generate new business models that are far removed from the ownership and are geared to usage; ITEA’s proposed innovations can enable widespread deployment.

Health is at the heart of our developed societies. Digital health is opening up a new era that will disrupt the healthcare organisation. It requires distributed solutions, prediction engines, security and privacy models. Europe has the worldwide leaders and a huge number of innovative SMEs in this domain that ITEA’s set of proposed innovations can disrupt worldwide.

Beside these impacted business domains, many innovations concern system engineering:

  • Safety, security, real-time, collaborative design
  • Variability, product family design
  • Test automation
  • Model design, domain specific language

These tools have demonstrated incredible productivity capability.

A challenge of all these innovations is to ensure quick worldwide dissemination through different kinds of growth hacking tools. ITEA has a set of proposed innovations to do this.

In ITEA we have already delivered unique innovative solutions for all these domains, for all these challenges. But innovation is not enough in this digital era. We need worldwide ambition because digital giants are focused at this level. We need to push this ambition in the global market to be first. Don’t forget there is a digital rule that says first to market wins the whole prize. Afterwards, it is too late because the digital economy is based on a scalability concept whereby after a certain level of investment the subsequent revenues are more or less pure margin. It means a late entry will have to invest a huge amount of money just to be in the running while the first runner will be easily positioned to cut prices and ruin any business for the late entry.

It is vital that strategic business developers of our companies regularly check the results of their collaborative R&D projects. Some of the pearls they find there they can use to bet on to build a global ambition and a corresponding deployment strategy for the benefit of our companies. In ITEA we are setting up international partnerships to accelerate these kinds of strategies along with tools to support such ambition. It is what in ITEA we call digital innovation.

Let’s innovate all together to recreate industrial activities in Europe. The next step of ITEA can help: Digital ITEA.

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