How Do Engineers Define and Prioritize Innovation?

By Carolyn Mathas

While we know that innovation is critical in business success—defining it and agreeing on how to achieve it seems to be the challenge.

TE Connectivity launched its inaugural global survey into the state of innovation in the TE Connectivity’s Industrial Technology Index. The results of the survey include key differences in how engineers and executives approach the topic of innovation.

Survey participants engineers and executives from a broad range of industries in the United States, Germany and China. The disparity in their viewpoints is interesting. For example, 57% of executives said innovation is a total transformation and 55% of engineers define it as an iteration or improvement. Nearly half of the engineers surveyed say their organization’s goals for innovation are unrealistic, while only 34% of executives agreed.

No matter how they define it, 90% of executives and 88% of engineers rank it as their organization’s top priority. A major focus is renewable energy and cloud computing. There’s no innovation unless the company invests in it. 83% of engineers say their company needs to fund innovation to meet their goals, while only 53% of executives see the need. Another disconnect is in sustainable innovation. 20% of engineers claim their company does not have a clear strategy for implementing sustainable practices.

TE published a full analysis of the survey results, offering 10 key takeaways for engineers and executives to consider. View the Industrial Technology Index here.

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