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Innovation Barometer: How Collaboration Breeds Advantage

By Ideas Lab Staff January 17, 2013

Results from GE's 2013 Global Innovation Barometer show how nations that partner experience greater innovative success.

The smaller the world becomes, the greater the possibilities for growth and collaboration, something most global executives surveyed in this year’s GE Global Innovation Barometer, readily agree about.

The results are clear. Those most experienced at partnership are among the most successful: Germany, China, Brazil and Sweden. 87 percent of the more than 3,000 executives questioned in the survey are confident their firms could be more innovative and successful if they collaborated or partnered with other businesses.

Revenue and profit generated by collaborative innovation on the rise.

Yet at the same time 68 percent say they have actually done so.

The reasons to collaborate are clear: accessing new technologies and new markets. And executives in China (41 percent), South Africa (38 percent) and Mexico (37 percent) expect to report revenue and profit from partnerships implemented and growing in the past year.

The biggest dissuaders are lack of confidentiality or intellectual property (64 percent), trust (47 percent) and a fear of having their talent poached (45 percent).

Largest concern – IP protection – across markets.

Talent has been consistently identified as a critical concern for innovation leaders and fears of having trained, skillful and successfully innovative staff leave are a serious deterrent for more innovation and collaboration. At the same time, 41 percent of the business leaders surveyed said they believe restrictions on access to foreign talent are increasing and those restrictions negatively impact businesses’ ability to innovate.