There are indeed many drivers of innovation in the business world. Examples are fulfilling an unmet need or filling a market gap, incentivising staff to innovate internally, and adapting proven ideas sourced from one industry to another. But one particular driver of innovation that companies sometimes neglect is collaborative innovation through partnerships with other companies or educational and research institutions.
When it happens, co-innovation usually produces win-win outcomes. Large companies are able to benefit from niche technologies or capabilities that fall outside their core competencies, which small and medium-sized enterprises are able to provide. SMEs and start-ups, in turn, get access to bigger markets and benefit from having large companies as reference customers. Educational and research institutions that work with companies are able to commercialise their intellectual property and develop solutions that can be replicated elsewhere. Such synergy will be critical for the future economy.