Successful innovation in four steps

Looking for new ideas to earn money? Innovation can be found in a whole range of aspects. But where is the best place to start, and why? Drawing up a coherent innovation plan to match your company’s strategy is not that easy. We can help you here with the structured approach we have already developed.

The approach consists of four steps: inspiring, generating ideas, evaluating concepts and the steps towards implementation. Hereafter you will find some initial insights into the methodology we are applying.  

Step 1: Inspiring 

Inspiring is the first step in the methodology used and is carried out in a structured way using specific examples that illustrate trends. A trend is a dominant pattern that shows how business, product and production aspects evolve.  

You can see ten trends in the figure below:  

  • three trends linked to 'business of the future'
  • three trends linked to 'product of the future'
  • four trends linked to 'Factory of the Future'.

Masterplan innovation overview

Ten trends for the future taken from Sirris and Agoria’s Masterplan  

Our structured approach is based on a generic Masterplan Innovation developed by Sirris and Agoria. It is based on various roadmaps and insights from innovation experts and best practices. It has been validated by tens of companies and will allow you to structure and position your own innovative steps. The success achieved by other companies could provide you with inspiration for your company. There are four models for each of the ten trends. There is a total of 40 models. All the models are illustrated using examples.

Smart interconnected products
Example: 4 models of the 'smart interconnected’ trend

  • The first model, 'multi-disciplinary engineering', focuses on adding, optimising and integrating technological functions to a product.
  • In the second model, 'smart product', the focus is on the addition of intelligence to the product.
  • In the third model, 'inter-connected product', communications are set up between the product and its surroundings.
  • The fourth model, 'product system', works along with other products in the surrounding area.  

The inspiration step can indicate which models are relevant to you and where growth potential is possible, as well as which new models could become relevant in future. The results are summarised in a clearly drawn up report. Opportunities arising from the report are translated in the following steps towards ideas for innovation.  

Steps 2, 3 and 4: 'Generating ideas', 'evaluating ideas' and 'steps towards implementation' 

A customised support phase can be set up after the inspiration step. For each of the consecutive steps 'Generating ideas', 'evaluating ideas' and 'steps towards implementation’ - a detailed methodology and templates are available.  

Would you like more information? 

In each of the coming blogs we will explain a single trend by way of using examples. Go to our inspiration session taking place on 29 March at Sirris in Heverlee for a comprehensive look at the methodology. Participation is free, but you must register beforehand. 

The pilot project “Innovatief ondernemen: van inspiratie tot actieplan”  has been made possible with support from Smart Hub Vlaams-Brabant.