Impetus for Innovation
If we had a crystal ball, we would to look into the future to see which of the new technologies still at the basic research stage will become key or even enabling technologies in five, ten or 20 years time. In the meantime, environmental analysis can provide us with some clues, because technical developments are always governed in part by social environment, which can force the pace of change, or put the brakes on it. With ‘early warning systems’ we can pick up weak signals, and exploit their potential ahead of the competition, or quickly identify and test alternatives. Tools such as balanced scorecards or S-curve analyses have also proved useful at Xella for assessing new technologies.
But in superficial terms, innovations are simply answers to the technological challenges facing a free-market economy. The scope and thus the success of innovations is shaped by other factors which must be recognised and clarified when selecting and designing innovation projects. Strategic deliberations about future products and innovations must take into account recognisable demographic, political, legislative and environmental trends and create leeway for innovation management.
As a manufacturer of building materials, it is vital for Xella to keep a close eye on trends in safety, quality standards and standardisation and to help shape them where necessary.
We recognise that the need to protect the climate and our natural resources will continue to be the main driving force behind our innovations in the future.