Competitive Intelligence in IK4-Ideko Technology Centre
IK4-Ideko is a manufacturing technologies and industrial production specialized Technology Centre. Since its condition as a Technology Centre by the Basque Science and Technology Network, it is dedicated to generate, capture and develop new knowledge capable of responding to current challenges and offer advanced solutions to improve capabilities and increase the competitiveness of its clients in different industry fields. This article explains how Competitive Intelligence is oriented in IK4-Ideko.
The Basque Government is finalizing a decree to regulate the Basque Science, Technology and Research Network (RVCTI) establishing new criteria to be met by each of the agents that make up the network to renew their accreditation. Not passing the filter of the reaccreditation means for the entity not being part of the RVCTI. And therefore could not qualify for direct funds with which the Basque Government finances its activity.
One of the requirements that this decree collects is the forced certification on the UNE 166.002:2014 R&D Management standard or equivalent. This standard published its third version in the 2014 summer. The standard has been revised in order to be updated and to carry out this process the requirements defined in the European Technical Specification CEN / TS 16555-1:2013 Management System Innovation were taken into account.
In this case IK4-Ideko is preparing for the future certification and for more than two years has a Technological Surveillance and Competitive Intelligence system that allows them to study and regularly analyze their environment, to identify current and future challenges. The objective and policies of the TS/CI system are established and areas of interest of the system are identified (market, technical, political, economic and social). Also they have the means to ensure the availability of resources and necessary indicators to permit implementation and monitoring process. Finally, the process has established a review of the necessary actions to achieve planned results and continuous improvement. To monitor the above aspects IK4-Ideko has designed a process map that displays the main TS/IC system elements, the interrelationships between the areas, the required resources for each area, the sequence and interaction of the activities and appropriate indicators for monitoring, measurement and analysis process. One of the facilitating aspects when designing and implementing the TS/CI system in IK4-Ideko was the management commitment and support in launching this new process by ensuring the availability of resources and using the system products and results in decision-making.
The TS/CI system provides different results and outputs to the organization and its needs and identified areas of concern, these products are divided into:
- Low-level analysis products: repository website, categories, news, standards, scientific papers, patents, catalogs, videos, image galleries, subscriptions, R&D aid programs, etc.
- Mid-level analysis products: specific newsletters, state of the art in technologies, competitors research, fair reports, conference reports, market studies, bibliographic studies, patentability, etc.
- High-level analysis products: intelligence reports (quarterly and annual), reports about the competitive environment, technology roadmaps, reports of exploitation and seeking new opportunities, etc.
This generated information provides many benefits to IK4-Ideko, some are:
- Anticipate, detect changes in regulations, laws, new technologies, new processes-systems, new markets, new competitors.
- Reduce risk, detect threats, patents, products, regulations, alliances or new investment and barriers to access to technology and/or markets.
- Progress, identify gaps between our technologies and/or products and the needs of clients and between our capabilities and those of other competitors, trying to minimize the weaknesses identified.
- Innovate, promote new ideas and new solutions as well as new R&D.
- Cooperate, meet new partners, experts, suppliers, technology partners, etc.
Another action arising from acquired knowledge by IK4-Ideko in the field of the TS/CI is to apply it directly in R&D both in local and European level. To do this, IK4-Ideko has developed a method (EXPLOITT®) to define, study and evaluate a exploitation plan of emerging technologies in the areas of R&D. The method meets the main steps and tools for incorporating innovation in collaborative R&D projects, defining an exploitation and business plan based on the study and evaluation. One of the fundamental tools of the method is the TS/CI. In the specific case of the application of the TS/CI in R&D, the activity will support the project by interacting with technology assessment module (frame technologies, market volumes ...) and the business model module (prices, competitors, shareholders, stakeholders ...). Additional activity may focus on identifying business opportunities and/or threats, including intellectual property rights, scientific publications, new standards and other technological and scientific sources.
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