What is Innovation?
Innovation deals more with a revolutionary new product or service than an evolutionary one, such as a line extension or an improvement to an existing item. Often an innovation has the potential to disrupt a market by changing the status quo and replacing what already exists with something totally unique.
So what is Innovation Research?
Innovation Research involves looking for solutions – either to known, or sometimes to undefined needs. There are gaps or white spaces in the market where new products or services can radically make a difference to consumers or businesses while creating financial benefits to the creators.
Innovation research is not innovative research (i.e. new or novel methods to actually conduct research, study behaviors, etc.). Rather it involves applying brainstorming, ideation, product development research, or similar techniques to tap into creative thinking and test concepts within company and its market.
A cross disciplinary science that focuses on the analysis of how the new comes into being. New can mean products, services, processes or combinations thereof.
Innovation research can focus on single or multiple actors and their role within innovation systems, such as firms in general, manufacturer / producer, market intermediaries (e.g., consultanices, brokers), consumer/ user and user communities, supplier, governmental and regulatory bodies, etc.
Studies can be performed on different levels, such as the individual inventor or user, within teams or projects, firms, but also across firms within one or multiple industries or countries. Hence, one might distinguish between innovation economics and innovation management.