How can innovation adoption help your R&D team?

Innovation is the heart of every company, but what if it becomes an obstacle to its growth? How do companies dodge that bullet? The answer is innovation adoption!

Companies often deal with issues in research, product optimization, and many other fields. Unfortunately, such problems hinder the company’s growth and prevent its products from reaching their full potential. Adding to it is the worst nightmare of every business owner, their competitors solving the industry problem before them. 

So then, how should you proceed when your research team is unable to solve a problem? 

Of course, the best and most promising approach is to adopt the innovation from a company that has already resolved a similar issue.

This adoption strategy was taboo because companies previously kept innovation a secret. Today, however, open innovation is becoming more popular among companies. 

After all, why reinvent the wheel when you can collaborate with someone who understands how it works and adapt their strategies?

But, how do you identify if you are in this situation?

An obvious deciding factor is whether the problem falls within your core competency area. In cases where it is not your core competency, companies specializing in such technology may be able to provide a solution, and you can adopt it.

How? Let’s consider an example –

A tobacco domain company we recently worked with spent a substantial amount of time researching power management issues in e-cigarettes, which we observed was a common issue. As e-cigarette manufacturers, all they wanted was to increase the battery life of their products, as it is inconvenient for the customers to have to charge their e-cigarettes every time they want to use them.

As you may have realized, power management and increasing the device’s battery life is a new field for even big cigarette brands. And might I add, not a core competency. Therefore, seeking solutions from different industries would be an effective strategy here.

In this case, battery manufacturers or companies that have solved this problem in other consumer electronics devices are the most likely candidates to have a solution to this problem.

Another example is the dairy industry’s cross-industry collaboration with space technology to address its challenges and cater to the latest trends.

Now that we understand how innovation adoption works let’s talk about what companies (including yours) can reap from it.

How does innovation adoption look for both parties involved in the process?

Those who will be adopting the innovation (party A) – 

In addition to gaining more information, innovation adoption can help companies gain creative insights. Companies can use these insights to make better informed and educated decisions. Additionally, the collaboration will allow them to expand their customer base and reach a wider audience.

As for party B (from whom the companies will adopt the innovation) – 

They must be struggling with innovation costs if they are a small company. By collaborating, they can obtain the funds to continue their research without cutting costs.

As for a large company, the innovation adoption could result in licensing revenues, which could enhance in-house capabilities. Further, this will enable businesses to retain control over the design and development of their products without needing external assistance. Additionally, collaboration can provide many business advantages they could not obtain previously.

In this way, innovation adoption serves the interests of both parties, whether they are the adopter or the adoptee. As a result, even though many companies remain skeptical about the concept of innovation adoption, some companies are eagerly embracing it. 

Two competitors in the fragrance industry, Givaudan and Symrise, are depicted below with examples of their different innovation adoption strategies.

While Givaudan, as part of the innovation adoption process, chose to acquire Myrissi (a small company) as a solution to AI research for translating fragrances and images (based on customer requirements).

Symrise chose to adopt IBM’s innovation as a solution to AI research that helps them find unique fragrance combinations (according to the specific requirements). In addition, by adopting IBM (a large company) ‘s innovation, Symrise can now produce fragrances more efficiently.

Can you imagine the effort and time it’d take for any of these companies to research in-house?


Adopting innovation is, hands down, a win-win for your company. However, there is still work to do! Determining the right company to adopt from can be challenging. Nevertheless, this is the company that will be able to answer all your questions. Or better yet, provide you with the solution to your research and development issues. 

You can bet that tons of research is being done on that particular problem. As a result, many solutions are being developed worldwide. However, finding the right solution for your company can be time-consuming and frustrating. This is where GreyB comes in.

We can help you explore and evaluate technologies and solutions developed by different companies that you can adopt. And set your R&D team on fast forward.

Do you want to find solutions to some of the pressing problems in your industry before your competitors do? 

Do you also believe in the phrase “the sooner, the better”? Then, let us help you find the best solution for your company as soon as possible!

Get in touch

Next Read: Cross-Industry Innovation: How to find solutions from other industries?

Authored By: Ridhima Mahajan, Market Research

Leave a Comment