Innovation Initiative

Table: How Innovation Has Changed.--Graphic: Copyright EmpraGlob GmbH


Categorization “Discovery–Experimentation–Synthesis” see Bill Burnett, Stanford University 2009


Innovation Initiative for Manufacturing Industries

Our Innovation Initiative for Manufacturing Industries is currently still unpublished. Please contact us for further information. The following is a summary of the basic idea and the corporate as well as economic perspective.


This transatlantic initiative is based on the insight that the new combination—the so-called synthesis—of existing technologies, concepts, ideas, and knowledge is one of the main drivers in the current innovation landscape. This raises the question where and how to access the most suitable resources.

The goal of this initiative is to develop and start a global facility that supports manufacturers in their innovation process and connects them on an enterprise level.


Corporate Perspective: Digitization to Gain Momentum Now

Every industry digitizes. Some industries, such as media, retail, or finance, are already in an advanced phase of digitization. They had some time to adapt to the new business landscape. In manufacturing however, digitization starts late which means it comes with a long fuse and a big bang. Manufacturing is experiencing a digital revolution right now. The markets are being shaken up.

Naturally, this digital era involves changes such as:

  • More vigorous competition, increasing concentration, and globalization.
  • Strong economic turbulence is the new normality.
  • Product or component cycles are significantly reducing.
  • New business models and global ecosystems are challenging traditional business models.
  • The vast majority of manufacturing innovation is driven by information and communications technology.
  • Smart factories and the Internet of Things (IoT) are on their way up. Developments towards autonomous manufacturing are going to be a big chance within the next 10 years.

For companies that see these changes as an opportunity, there are great times ahead! Digitization offers undreamed-of possibilities for those that are agile and adaptable enough to leverage the new situation. Digitization, however, is strongly connected with innovation. Therefore, the need for innovation is greater than ever.


  • Pervasive digitization is on its global way, whether we like it or not.
  • There is no digitization without innovation, and vice versa.
  • Companies will have to rethink their strategies, in almost every respect.
  • Key to success is fast innovation based on creativity and global linkages.


Economic Perspective: The Manufacturing Opportunity

Over the next 15 years, worldwide consumption will nearly double to $65 trillion. For that reason, manufacturing is becoming increasingly important.

  • The three industrialized top economies, USA (worldwide ranked No. 1 for 30 years), Japan (No. 3) and Germany (No. 4), continue to be very strong in manufacturing.
  • Emerging countries in Asia are rising. Their share of worldwide manufacturing is now 40%. They have doubled their share in the last two decades. China, for example, is now ranked No. 2.

By digitization, markets are being shaken up now and in the future:

  • We see vigorous competition of economies, and globalization of worldwide markets.
  • Emerging manufacturing countries have increasing levels of education and face rising labor costs.
  • For mature economies, reindustrialization is already an option and will be a big chance once autonomous manufacturing gains momentum (as of 2025).

Three facts about the Manufacturing Opportunity:

  • Countries and entire regions have the chance to take advantage of the Manufacturing Opportunity, either to maintain their standard of living (mature economies), or to raise it (emerging countries).
  • Current and future technological evolution is fast, much faster than biological evolution. For example, the difference between the Ford Model T and latest cars is bigger than the difference between Stone Age people and modern humans.
  • It will be challenging for nations and policy makers to keep pace with current and future technological advances. Those that crack the code will create a great future.


Every nation and every region has a great chance to leverage the Manufacturing Opportunity. Key to success is fast innovation based on creativity and global linkages.


Quotes we like

"If you can't fly then run, if you can't run then walk, if you can't walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward."

Martin Luther King Jr.

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