Annual Report 2016: Resource Efficiency in Industrial Research and Development


In times of constant need for efficiency one can often pose the question of whether what one is doing right now contributes to something. Are some meetings really of use, does the complex process documentation lead to better process or does working on a higher product variety bring along economic advantages on the market?  You have probably already noticed numerous activities at work yourself that are time-consuming, cost money and waste other important resources such as patience. This often includes measures that were actually supposed to increase productivity. And since these measures frequently go along with the reduction of staff, this results in a gradual intensification of work.

However, if one wishes to create a value-added process without work intensification, it is indispensable to face daily waste and to questions everything that is taken for granted. This points out unused potentials with regard to increasing performance, which is a field to which one can also count corporate research and development, as it has been increasingly put under pressure. Instead of thinking about the “right” R&D-sales-ratio, one should rather tackle the question of how to maximise one’s output with the given resources.

This year’s annual topic is exclusively dedicated to this interdependence and is supposed to contribute to resource-efficiency in R&D. We would like to give an insight into our competences by presenting current research paths. Moreover, we hope to have aroused your interest and warmly thank you for the cooperation last year. We will be delighted if we can continue our constructive dialogue and discuss more exciting research topics.

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Annual Report 2015: Science as Driving Force behind Innovations


Following the development of the research system, one can detect a steady increase in terms of expenses. Any hasty conclusions might lead to the idea that an increasing number of cries for innovation is connected therewith. Yet, the role of scientific institutions with all their facets does not appear to be clear in the innovation process. All efforts that lead to the increasing practice-orientation of research, to start-up supports at universities or to activities that intensified for technology transfer point to the suspected deficits. Overall, it appears that the science system is reduced to exploitation as its core. However, does this conclusion do justice to its actual role? This year’s annual topic aims at providing a more differentiated look at connections between research and innovation in the science system. With the help of stimuli, we would like to give hints on the development of research and innovation.

The annual topic is embedded in a newly designed annual report: in this way, we would still like to take a position on current research results. Research paths pool individual projects and create structures and connections between them, which we intend to explore more in-depth. Hence, we will concentrate more intensely on the presentation of our competences than on a general account of individual research projects. By doing this, we hope to provide you with a quick overview of our work, wish you a good read and would like to thank you at the same time for your collaboration in the last year. We are looking forward to new constructive discussion with you and new intriguing research projects next year.

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Annual Report 2014: Challenges for Innovative Capability 2020s: “Demographic Sites” for R&E-oriented Companies


The demographic development has coined for some decades numerous and distinct debates: the fit of social protection systems, changes in the social structure, the need for new employees in the economy, work structure for an ageing staff, etc. This topic, which has been predominantly discussed on conferences, is, slowly but surely, reaching the economic life and its consequences that have not been entirely discovered yet are growing noticeable. In the wake of the particular importance of an innovative economy, one has to pose the question if the creativity of an ageing staff matures with time as well. Yet, the idea that creativity decreases with age still persists today. How is the situation in innovating sector and how can creativity be guaranteed until retirement? The 2014 annual report is supposed to contribute to the debate and provide new perspectives on topics that have been little discussed hitherto in the field of operational research and development of empirical findings.

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Annual Report 2013: Increasing Productivity – Investing Less in Management Systems Than in Change Know-How of Employees Is More!


We are all wasting time, money and other scarce resources. However, the question of which processes do not add value to the product or service is frequently not posed in “business as usual”. Moreover, problems of unproductive work that have been identified are often not tackled either. Changes for the better are prone to fail due to the lack of abilities and the willingness of the staff to engage with the processes. It is thus of little help to overlook barriers and obstacles in change processes and to take the path of least resistance. As experience shows, one often finds alibi, replacement or fallback solutions, which, at best, hide the problems of unproductive work and which, finally and more importantly, use up resources that are no longer available for other change processes. Those who do not only wish to treat the symptoms should motivate their workers and professionals and enable them to look at processes from a different angle, if possible, from the customers’ point of view. It grows apparent that the concepts and instruments for continuous improvement processes upon which one has relied thus far can barely contribute to the development of a rising awareness vis-à-vis resource efficiency. This is reason enough to question the popular, yet unpractical management approaches and to use scarce resources for higher productivity in a more economically. The annual report at hand is to provide suggestions for the initiation process and to search for means of resource efficiency even under difficult conditions – not only in order to improve the existing processes, but also to gain means for future investments.

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Theme of the year 2013  


Annual Report 2012: Ways Towards Higher Productivity – A Question of Products and Services?


In the past years, the discussion about the transition from a service to a knowledge society has prominently featured the scientific discourse. On the one hand, one anticipates changes in the world of work, which will dominate the labour markets, whereas scientists, on the other hand, search for the differences between the creation of services and the production of industrial goods. In particular, the supply service, the intangibility of the performance result as well as the involvement of clients in the creation process are examples of common attempts of creating this distance. These factors are frequently cited to justify specific requirements in the management of services, which concerns the marketing department predominantly. Yet, one does not only deduce design requirements for different management approaches, but also immunization strategies against the use of established methods and instruments in other economic sectors. This often reflects in the argumentation that services are not as productive as goods. In short, this would also imply that the economy will become less productive during the change from service to knowledge society. Does the question between goods and services provide new means of higher productivity? Can well-established approaches for productivity increases be used for the service sector? Is the path towards unproductivity inevitable? This year’s annual topic aims at providing a better understanding of allowances and services and stimuli for the realisation of productivity potentials. In this way, we cherish our tradition of criticizing mainstream positions and offering alternative and fresh ways of thinking.

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Annual Report 2011: Beyond Playing Monopoly – How To Develop the Real Economy with Orientation

In view of the current financial and Euro crisis, the common discourse on innovation is fading away. Hardly does one argue about the weaknesses of the innovation location Germany or talk about education summits. Bank bailouts and their mixed-up business models are dominating the news. The founder of the Institute for Applied Innovation Research, Professor Dr Dr Erich Staudt, who would have turned 70 this year, has already addressed the dangers of this monopoly game in 2002. In this year’s annual report, we would like to pick up his warnings and provide ideas for the strengthening of the real economy.

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Annual Report 2010: Overcoming the Shortage of Specialists by Mobilising Untapped Talents

Last year, we analysed the stimuli of the crisis for the innovation management. Today, discussions about coping with an unexpectedly intense boom are setting in. Indeed, the debate on the decreasing number of specialists, which disappeared for some time, regained its relevance and one has to tackle again the question of how to deal with an increasing demand for engineers and scientists. As one could easily quit the debate in the past years due to market conditions, effective measures are still missing. Yet, the time for paying lip services is over. A critical account of the attempts during the past years is overdue and the “face-liftings” of not even tried and tested initiatives have to be stopped.

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Annual Report 2009

Annual Report 2008

Annual Report 2007

Annual Report 2006

Annual Report 2005

Annual Report 2004

Annual Report 2003

Annual Report 2002

Annual Report 2001

Annual Report 2000

iAi Bochum Institute for Applied Innovation Research e.V. · Chairman Prof. Dr. Bernd Kriegesmann
Buscheyplatz 13 · D-44801 Bochum · Tel +49 (0)234 97117-0 · Phone +49 (0)234 97117-20 · Email

Scientific Institution of
Ruhr-Universität Bochum

Ruhr Universität Bochum