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Studies on the innovativeness – Leaders of Innovation

Implementation of innovative solutions among the ‘Leaders of Innovation’

Is the second annual report resulting from studies of innovativeness among businesses in the Podkarpackie Province known as the ‘Leaders of Innovation,’ carried out within a systematic monitoring and evaluation of the Regional Strategy of Innovation for the Podkarpackie Province.

Businesses are the fundamental element in an innovation system, and a specific role in the system is played by the ‘Leaders of Innovation. This is why it is so important to track the implementation of innovative activities among those firms which are ‘Leaders of Innovation’ on the market and through this their impact on market position and regional growth.

Supplementing the interviews with the ‘Leaders of Innovation’ is an analysis of selected projects which aim to support the Regional Strategy for Innovation for the Podkarpackie Province.

Key Findings

  • Businesses understand innovation in a quite practical manner as even a slight change in the current method of production which creates in the present time a competitive advantage or higher customer satisfaction. This approach is quite different from that of researchers and scientists whose studies are not aimed at immediate implementation in business.
  • The firms studied most often introduced process-based innovation based on the creation of new production methods and less often those more difficult – product-based innovations.
  • Despite the fact that profit is the main motive for introducing innovation it is not the only motive. A significant number of those surveyed are also driven by their passion as a source for the need to implement innovation.
  • Innovativeness must appear in every firm at a certain stage of its development, after a stage of market expansion there comes a time for the rationalization of production, attempts to cut costs, optimal use of the available resources and implementation of new soutions in light of changing market demands.
  • The first barrier to innovation are the needs or rather the demands of the market, of the customer. Innovation requires spending on studies which take both much work and time. This means that from the start of the innovation process it is a long road to implementation and there is no information on the exact technical properties of the result.
  • The Podkarpackie economy with regard to the lower earnings than in other parts of Poalnd has also a naturally limited absorption rate for innovation. As a result it is necessary to produce for export or to discourage studies and production.
  • Innovators in the Podkarpackie often cooperation with many entities. It is not rare for a firm to cooperate with their competitor, all in order to maximize their ability to meet the needs of the customer.
  • The companies studied cooperated with R&D entities however they were most often located within universities rather than independent firms. This cooperation remains at a low level however due to the fact, as stated earlier, that there are differences between the approaches to the applications of inventions.
  • Companies work with public administration entities and those in the business environment. To a large measure this results from their desire to get financing for research or implementation of existing innovations.
  • In general companies did not have great problems in accessing financing from the EU funds, they already have appropriate experience in this realm. This caused greater problems among those that are new firms or smaller.
  • A significant number of firms must depend to a great degree on their own equity which is only helped by external sources. This requires time to wait to see if an application has been accepted, following the irregularity of calls for proposals and a lack of support for innovative firms. In the case of financing from EU funds complaints have been raised that the local administrative staff are too strict in their evaluation of applications which halts growth in the region.
  • The companies rated their completed innovative projects well. All or almost all of them in the opinion of the managers were successful or showed they had developed a lasting competitive advantage.
  • It is worth noting the decision to start an innovative project is first put to a deep analysis. Innovative ideas are verified at this early stage of the project.
  • The key to competitiveness, which does not go in hand with low remuneration, is productivity and innovation. Thanks to these one can compete with the cheaper products coming from Asia. Even if steep competition exists, the innovators are ready for it.
  • Among the factors of success for a company the innovators listed people and the organization of work as well as quality management. This was also a very important component in the process of innovation creation. Another element is the flexibility in regard to customer needs, understanding and adapting to them. And finally, the product which continues to attract the customer.
  • A very important feature of the study was the high awareness of environmental issues among the innovators in the Podkarpackie. Innovative solutions can go hand in hand with ecology which might even be called ‘the industry of the future.’
  • Many firms aiming for innovation were able to survive the economic-financial crisis of the years 2007-2009 in relatively good condition.
  • For these firms planning their business activities is fundamental. Plans were most often for the next 3-5 years or longer. Managers try to foresee certain changes and take steps in time to adapt or even take advantage of the changes.
  • The companies studied agreed that in the future they will try to implement innovations. Their type and size will however be determined by the market and financial resources.

Szybki kontakt

  • Adres:
    Instytut Gospodarki
    ul. mjr H. Sucharskiego 2, pokój 248,
    35-225 Rzeszów
  • Tel. +48 17 866 12 02
  • Fax: +48 17 866 12 22