Innovation Funding Demonstrates Surprising Resilience, Says New Survey

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A new survey from shows that innovation budgets appear to be enjoying surprising resilience, and that the climate for innovation is holding up well in many organizations - despite the global recession.

A new survey from shows that innovation budgets appear to be enjoying surprising resilience. The survey, which was taken by over 350 innovation practitioners, asked them to quantify the changes in their organization's innovation climate and funding since the global recession hit, and about the specific strategies they're utilizing to help to keep innovation alive in their firms.

Over one-third of respondents (36.8%) reported that there has been "no change" to their organization's level of funding for innovation. A small percentage of companies said they have actually increased funding for innovation since the economic downturn began.

The climate for innovation is also holding up well, according to the survey. Over one-fourth of respondents (27.3%) said that the climate for innovation has improved slightly since the onset of the global recession, while another 22% said it has "improved significantly."

"In today's re-engineered, lean business environments, innovation offers one of the few remaining strategies for positively impacting the bottom line - while at the same time meeting customer needs and strengthening the organization's competitive position," explains founder and editor Chuck Frey.

The survey also asked innovation practitioners about the innovation strategies they are utilizing to weather the economic downturn. The top five responses included:
1. "Looking for creative ways to improve or extend your existing products (51.3%),
2. "Looking for opportunities to improve collaboration" (48.0%),
3. "Increasing focus on changing customer needs (39.5%),
4. "Focusing on service innovation (38.8%) and
5. "Focusing on process innovation" (37.2%).

In addition, respondents cited a variety of other low-cost ways they are pursuing in order to keep innovation alive at their organizations, including expanding the services they offer with their existing products, improving collaboration with external partners and seeking partnerships with complementary firms and focusing their innovation efforts on on shorter-term, lower-risk projects.

Frey explains that it has become a strategic necessity for companies to maintain a strong commitment to innovation during these challenging times. Those that find creative ways to do so will be positioning themselves for the future. "The companies that embrace innovation during the downturn increase their odds of hitting the ground running when the upturn finally arrives. On the other hand, the companies that aren't committed to innovation may risk emerging from the downturn too weak and too slow to compete effectively," he warns.

The full results of the Innovation Climate Survey are available in a free, downloadable report from the website: is the world's largest website covering the topics of innovation, creativity and brainstorming.


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Chuck Frey
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