Years ago, I heard a conversation on the radio that has always stuck with me. ‘You need an incentive to innovate’ it was said. At this moment, climate change gives a strong incentive for innovation. The demand for more sustainable products yields a large number of new products, machines and services.
The call for sustainability also results in new laws and regulations, also a powerful incentive to innovate. Think of energy transition. The transition of fossil fuels to sustainable sources of energy yields new products, processes and services. The bio-based economy is an incentive for the search for new or different sources of protein to replace meat.
An innovation often works like dominoes: I see us in our lab. Lately, we’ve been measuring a lot of quinoa on purity and food safety. We receive new protein, like insect meal. For us, these developments and new laws and regulations form an incentive to develop new, better and faster testing and research methods. Such as the new allergen method of LCMS.
But just an incentive is not enough. Without creativity, there are no true new ideas and without entrepreneurship, innovations are left on the shelf to gather dust.
Is there no clear incentive to start innovating? Then ask yourself essential ‘what-if’ questions: ‘What if’…the temperature will rise an average of four degrees here? ‘What if’ the government decides to allow more salinisation in the Westland, as a result of a dry summer like this one? What if almost everyone is on a vegetarian diet in about five years? Then ask yourself what this would mean for you, your enterprise, your raw materials and your working methods.
Don’t stand still, but create incentives for an innovative climate. This, with creativity and a large dose of entrepreneurship, leads to sustainable companies.