Innovation management means helping creative ideas to move forward to application in practice. Implementing innovations in civil and hydraulic engineering is often a complex business. A wide range of different stakeholders are involved in the development of these innovations, the investments are large and time is often short. So the process needs extra attention.
If an innovation is to be feasible, it is important to clarify the needs of society, now and in the future, with scenario studies. An actor analysis can be used to identify problem owners and to see how actors can be involved in the process. It makes sense to get these actors on board at an early stage, even when they only have an active role later in the process.
In practice, the path from invention to a pilot demonstration is relatively straightforward. And so it is still easily manageable. Subsidies are available, investment levels are low and the risks can be identified. However, subsequent steps, from the pilot stage to implementation or marketing, have proven to be quite a different proposition, involving more risks, financial and otherwise. At this stage, a risk analysis can be useful to identify risks and appropriate action.
Sometimes, it is necessary to eliminate barriers at higher levels in the system: introducing an innovation can imply additional changes in organisational processes and structures, but often in strategy as well. Regulations and procedures - procurementfor example - have to be adapted accordingly.
An innovation manager's activities will be tailored to the innovation process in question. There is always a dialogue about which activities are useful at a given time. Concrete activities are:
- strategy development;
- designing, adjusting and evaluating processes;
- scenario studies;
- technology scans or scans of alternatives;
- actor analysis and/or system/situational analysis;
- development, organisation and facilitation of workshops;
- risk analysis implementation;
- SWOT analysis and/or market analysis;
- technical validation or feasibility study;
- social cost-benefit analysis, multi-criteria analysis or business plan;
- stating innovation requirements in contract form.
Related field of activity
- Building with nature
- Renewable energy with water and subsurface
- Integrated Coastal Zone Management
- Integrated water resources management
- Climate Change
- Urban Land and Water Management
- Linear infrastructure and industry
- Strategic studies
- Eco-engineering: building with and for nature
- Download Deltas for the future; lessons learned from a water innovation programme (pdf)
- Maya Sule
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