Innovations are developed in projects and driven by project teams. These project teams are composed of people from all departments, working in our business units or in sales and service – innovation is always an important topic. To make sure that innovation projects are given the support they need, and to see to the development of a promising innovation portfolio, the organization in the background needs to be working properly.
The development of our innovation strategy is supported by our innovation board. It is staffed with high-ranking research and industry specialists with a focus on innovation – Bühler’s CTO, Ian Roberts, is one of the members. They discuss trends with our management executives and propose areas for innovation.
In day to day business, innovation management is supported by two columns: expert peer reviews, which we’ve already discussed, and R&D innovation management.
Expert peer reviews strengthen the quality of innovation by functioning as a sparring partner for the project team, helping them make the most out of their project. Additionally, these reviews function are a part of the preparation process for future decisions. Based on them, the R&D innovation management team makes decisions at the start of a project and whenever milestones are being passed. This panel unites the managing directors of all business units and areas. They are responsible for portfolio decisions; this means that they clarify whether a new project fits our company and whether it is promising. The innovation portfolio is an important aspect of these decisions: innovations need to be successful in the long-term, and they need to give our company a competitive edge. Consequently, the portfolio needs to consist of a mix of projects with different risk and potential profiles.
By being open to new developments, talking to our colleagues about our experiences, reporting about what is going on out in the world and sharing our knowledge, we contribute to the success of innovations – they thrive on our engagement. And who knows – maybe we’ll meet each other at a peer review soon!