Corporate Innovation Trends


The goal of this research is to identify corporate innovation trends, with a specific focus on any findings regarding the latest types of innovation that corporations are embracing, budgets, in-house versus startup partnerships, service providers, and innovation team development. This information will be used to help identify service providers to target startups with regard to corporate open innovation.

Early Findings

  • A corporate innovation trend is that there is increasing momentum for partnerships and less focus on internal R&D.
  • The 2019 CIO Survey conducted by Gartner interestingly found that a mere "one-third of enterprises have adopted AI to date." However, there has been massive growth (270%) in the implementation of artificial intelligence among corporations over "the past four years."
  • Within the trend of using artificial intelligence for corporation innovation, the implementation of pilot programs for machine learning are white-hot among companies and that trend is projected to continue into 2020 as well.
  • We found this excellent list of 76 statistics (published in 2019) regarding corporate innovation, which sheds light on trends and happenings with such.
  • While all the statistics in that list are pretty interesting, the following are a few examples of particularly interesting ones:
  • (1) "[O]nly 43% of business managers agree that innovation is a competitive essential for their organization";
  • (2) "80% of corporates are interested in knowing more about startups and pursuing a professional relationship"; and
  • (3) Three million "employees are required to spend 15% of their time on innovative ideas after working hours."

Proposed next steps:

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We would recommend taking a deeper dive into 4-6 trends in corporate innovation (including, but not limited to, the trends identified during the initial Strategy phase of our research). For each trend, we would provide (1) an overview of what the trend is, (2) why it’s a trend, (3) drivers behind the trend (as available), and (4) examples of 1-2 companies that have widely embraced the trend. We can cover 2-3 trends in each additional request (4-6 trends via two additional requests, if desired).
We would recommend creating case studies of 2-3 top companies that have taken a creative and/or cutting-edge approach to their corporate innovation efforts/initiatives. For each case study, we would provide (1) the company name, (2) a detailed description of their corporate innovation efforts/initiatives and how they went about such, (3) an explanation of why we deemed the company a “top” company with regard to creative/cutting-edge innovation efforts/initiatives, and (4) any success metrics/results stemming from the companies’ corporate innovation efforts.