Despite or because of the coronavirus: KUKA maintains its commitment to innovation even in the crisis
KUKA is starting the late summer with a digital press conference series. Under the motto "Join for a coffee with...", KUKA experts will be talking to media representatives. The event was kicked off by Dr. Ulrike Tagscherer, Chief Innovation Officer at KUKA: "For a company, innovation is like a kind of life insurance policy.”
26 August 2020
In the virtual discussion round, Dr. Tagscherer emphasized that innovation is not only a topic for growth phases – on the contrary. "Crisis and innovation: At first glance, this may not seem to go together," said Dr. Ulrike Tagscherer. "But right now, it's important to focus on innovation."
Innovation: Creating something new that is successful in the market
The definition of innovation is clear. However, the word is often used in different contexts and interpreted in different ways. Basically, innovation means to create something new that can be successfully implemented in the market. "Innovations can happen anytime and anywhere. There is no predestined environment for innovations. Today, you have to improve everywhere, otherwise you are not competitive," emphasized Dr. Tagscherer. For KUKA, innovation means the further technological development of products and solutions, as well as the development of new business models or innovative processes.
The goal of our innovation management is to anchor innovations within the company in such a way that they become part of our DNA.
When it comes to innovation at KUKA, three things count first and foremost: structured, focused and customer-centric. And: every new idea that is pursued further pays off on previously defined key topics.
The goal: to emerge stronger from the crisis
The coronavirus pandemic has also naturally changed the way KUKA works with innovations, Dr. Tagscherer told the participants at the "digital Coffee break". In 2019, KUKA has implemented a strategic innovation process that will allow the creative potential of employees to be exploited even more effectively. Around 500 ideas from all divisions and continents came together in this way. The next steps, however, went differently than planned: "Innovation work thrives on team workshops and creative processes. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, we had to switch to virtual collaboration from one day to the next. But we managed to do this unexpectedly well," says Dr. Tagscherer. KUKA is feeling the effects of the coronavirus pandemic and the global economic crisis. Nevertheless, the Augsburg-based automation specialist is not renouncing investments in innovations and future-oriented topics. "We will use the crisis to position ourselves for the future and have new ideas in the pipeline".