The case studies provide insights into the latest business innovation trends that have high socio-economic potential and present relevant success stories of innovative companies.
Up to 12 case studies are produced every six months, for a total of 20 - 24 case studies per year.
The latest trends investigated are:
Sustainable supply of raw materials
The EU is dependent on the imports of many raw materials. Even though the potential for mining and quarrying in Europe is strong, the land area available for extraction is set to decrease. Given the importance of supporting the growth of the common market, it is vital that the supply of raw materials is continued in a sustainable manner. One of the trends observed is that of upcoming SMEs that have brought innovations into this area through the development of new intelligent means to mine/harvest and process raw materials. Another dimension to pay attention to is the way on how we can optimize our recycling processes in order to maximize the reuse of raw materials.
Space tech and services
The development of space technologies and their knock-on impact on other technologies that have become essential for our day-to-day lives is a well-documented principle which has driven most of the public investment into space programmes. The pursuit of greater activities in space is an objective of many nations and organisations. The main aim of the European Space Policy is to use space-related technology to tackle some of the most pressing challenges today, such as fighting climate change, helping to stimulate technological innovation, and providing socio-economic benefits to citizens. Growing demand for more satellite coverage, improved satellite technologies have enticed greater investment from the private sector. Today, the space industry and market sectors not directly related to space domains stand to benefit from the services from systems such as Galileo and Copernicus. Another key objective of the European Space Policy is to ensure non-dependence on critical technologies. Thus, European companies are challenged to develop critical technologies to ensure this strategic non-dependence.
Under the traditional product-based model, capital equipment becomes the property of the customer and it is his responsibility and right to use, maintain, repair and modify it. However, over the past decades there has been a growing tendency to add services to a product or even to only sell the functions offered by a product rather than selling the product itself. This tendency is commonly referred to as “servitisation”. The latter allows manufacturers in a climate of economic downturn and high market competitiveness to increase financial margins, secure more stable incomes and intensified customer contact moments. This has led to a transformation from product centricity towards customer centricity. The sale of maintenance contracts for capital goods or the pay-per-use revenue model are examples of servitisation. At the opposite of this trend, a new technology is disrupting the way the transactions are organized between two parties. Through the use of the blockchain technology, the transfer of both tangible and non-tangible assets and even data is now facilitated by the absence of the need for a third party insurance.