The importance of innovation
It is often said that innovation is a prerequisite for the survival of companies in general, and for companies competing globally in specific. What are the fundamentals behind this statement?
For the third consecutive year, Sandvik has earned a position on the prestigious Thomson Reuters 2013 Top 100 Global Innovators list. The list designates 100 corporations and institutions around the world that are at the heart of innovation as measured by a series of proprietary patent-related metrics. Sandvik also made the Forbes list of the 100 most innovative companies in the world, earlier this year.
We asked Olle Wijk, Head of Sandvik Group R&D and R&D Board to share his view on the value of innovation.
Why is it so important with innovation?
The major reason for our success the last 150 years is that we have always captured good ideas and turned them into innovations. We industrialized the Bessemer process in the 19th century and were also pioneering the carbide development – not only for the mining industry which was the first application area, but also for the metal cutting industry. Today, we have a world leading position in this area. Innovations that improve our customers' processes and productivity are key to future success for Sandvik.
How do you work with innovation at R&D?
Our development work today is based on innovative thinking. We work with new solutions and strive at finding new application areas. The team often ends up in deep discussions that for instance can lead to a new generation of coated inserts that we recently launched, processes or applications. An innovation climate is built on work satisfaction, creativity and an open attitude. We always strive to create such an environment and we know from our owners and customers that new, innovative products are a prerequisite for sustained profitability and growth.
- Sandvik owns more than 8,000 active patents
- Around 2,700 people work in the R&D function
- Sandvik spends more than 3 billion SEK on R&D yearly