Innovation Trends 2018


Innovation Trends 2018: What will we facing to? What affects us? What opportunities will be offered in the future? The Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research publishes the Innovation Trends 2018

Prof. Weissenberger-Eibl – Head of the Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research (ISI) in Karlsruhe and holder of the Chair for Innovation and Technology Management (iTM) at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) describes the innovation trends in 2018 in an interview with Dr. Hildebrandt. The following innovation trends were identified by the Fraunhofer ISI:

  • Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI)
  • ACUS Laboratories & Science Driven Innovation
  • Mission Oriented
  • Individualized medicine and system innovation
  • Use global creativity
  • Prosumer
  • Circular Economy
  • Living Labs – More actors in the innovation system
  • Frugal innovation
  • Future Emerging Technologies (FET)

Innovation trends 2018: citizen-oriented and user-oriented

Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) is an EU project that places citizens at the center of the innovation policy agenda. You could say that this is a “Design Thinking for Political Innovation Processes”. The Prosumer trend also shows that in the future, the citizen, as producer and consumer, will be more in the center of economic activity. Frugal Innovation is an approach that focuses on lean, economical solutions and that are driven by customer needs. This approach should generate as much value as possible by using minimal resources (including financial resources).

The innovation community continues to grow

The Innovation Trends Using Global Creativity, Circular Economy and Living Labs make it clear: The “innovation network” or the “innovation system” is growing. As the innovation community grows, so does not just increase the added value, but the complexity of innovation projects usually increases. This must be mastered in the future, so that these innovation approaches bring success.

Keep track

If one compares the innovation trends 2018 of the Fraunhofer ISI with other trend descriptions, the “handwriting” of the Fraunhofer ISI can be clearly read. Thus, some of the trends in the last foresight process (cycle 2) have been identified and are still considered important. The trends of other institutions and organizations are often cut further. These include, for example, the Megatrends of the Zukunftsinstitut: Knowledge Culture, Urbanization, Connectivity, Neo-Ecology, Globalization, Individualization, Health, New Work, Gender Shift, Silver Society and Security.

Other future experts and studies in turn focus on individual areas / areas or technologies. This approach is also very interesting, as long as one keeps the “overview” and does not “overlook” important developments.
The Future Emerging Technologies (FET) are explicitly promoted by the EU in the Horizon 2020 funding program and are intended to produce new visionary technologies. Speaking of technologies, there are again their own technology rankings, which are discussed in more detail in the article 10 Breakthrough Technologies 2018.

How will these trends affect our core business in the future?

A further question for all these approaches is: How will these trends affect our core business in the future? This does not only mean future products and services, but also what skills will be needed in the future? The German Academy of Engineering Sciences (acatech) conducted a pilot project for this purpose in 2016-2017 and developed a reference procedure for competence monitoring. A project report does not exist so far. As one of the former project coordinators I may tell you: The competence monitoring process was developed by more than 40 high-ranking representatives from industry and science and was rated as very positive, practicable and useful.

Best regards
Ralph Seitz