PSi invited to Luxembourg Services Innovation conference 5th October

by NIck Frank on October 11, 2011

PSi was invited to participate in a working seminar held at Henri Tudor aiming to understand how the government can help facilitate service innovation within Luxembourg. In his address to the working group the Minister for the Economy Jean Krecké clearly recognised the need for Luxembourg to make, ‘a radical change in its approach to innovation and added value’. He cited his own recent experiences in India and China as clearly showing that the nature of global competition has clearly changed.

With this introduction, the working part of the meeting began with an academic overview of the processes that companies can adopt to drive innovation. Where as there was agreement that the economies of Western Europe were now service dominated, there was disagreement on whether Service Innovation required a fundamentally different approach to Product Innovation, or whether the basic steps required to manage product innovation such as stagegate and portfolio management processes were intrinsically the same and what was required was an understanding of how to customize the steps in the process to meet the particular innovation environment.  A good example being the need within service innovation of a greater emphasis on prototyping and feedback into the services design. Our experience is that the latter is true, which it is why a deep understanding of how to use development processes is so important to successful innovation.

We then heard from Eric Dubois about the work Henri-Tudor has being doing in understanding the challenges of innovation within service systems. In particular the importance of managing the Service System Lifecycle through managing the services ecosystem, that contains the value proposition, technology, information/knowledge, people, processes & partnerships.

When looking at how other countries manage service innovation, Alan Mayo of the UK Services Policy Unit told us about the UK’s very market orientated approach, where there was not a Service Innovation programme as such. Instead the British government works with business to clear their barriers to innovation. A good example being the out-sourcing of many services in the National Health system could be argued to be the largest ever service innovation project in the world at £40bn.

TEKES from Finland run a programme where state aid for service innovation is available, but that the horizon’s of the receiving companies is challenged by TEKES innovation consultants to ensure money is spend on pushing innovations that can be taken across Europe.

We then heard about the Luxembourg State aid programme that is similar to Finland, but probably less aggressive on the consulting.

The outcome from the seminar was that it was felt that Luxembourg needs to do more to pull the different actors within the innovation process together, so that there is a coherent strategy for Luxembourg. Key is to continue to find ways to encourage the mind-set of Luxembourg’s business to be more innovative and dynamic.



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