The manufacturing industry is going through a period of seemingly unprecedented change, with the way that factories operate changing dramatically in recent years. The rapid emergence of new technologies is disrupting traditional operating practices, yet innovation looks very different depending on a variety of factors including company size, industry, product type, target customers and location. ITAC partners with technology experts to help manufacturers understand if and how they could benefit from new tools and processes, and also assists with implementation.
As an example, when leading NYCEDC’s Ops21 program (part of the Futureworks NYC initiative), we partnered with world-leading technical experts to make advanced technology knowledge and resources – specifically on advanced materials, digital manufacturing, and robotics – more accessible to manufacturers throughout NYC’s five boroughs. Partners included Cornell University’s Center for Materials Research for advanced materials; EWI for advanced manufacturing expertise; Rochester Institute of Technology’s Center of Excellence for Advanced and Sustainable Manufacturing for digital manufacturing; and New York University’s Tandon School of Engineering for mechatronics and robotics.
ITAC has also recently assisted manufacturers in building and sustaining an innovation culture, where all employees are encouraged to contribute to the overall success of the firm with new ideas and initiatives.
- Innovation and New Product Development
- Technology Acceleration
- Technology Scouting
- Building an Innovation Culture
Innovation and New Product Development
As products age, they lose their uniqueness, and profits erode. The pace of innovation in today’s market dictates that to stay in business, companies must continuously develop new offerings.
Using our wide network, which includes partnerships with the leading engineering and research universities and nonprofits, we make connections others wouldn’t. We help you generate innovative concepts and find and source new equipment and technology cost-effectively. From concept to commercialization, we smoothly integrate with your existing product/process development efforts and work with you to:
- Identify the most promising opportunities
- Significantly accelerate the innovation process
- Better utilize your engineering and marketing resources
- Decrease risk
- Improve productivity
- Develop a pipeline of continuous improvement
- Increase profitability
We help you build a solid foundation to ensure that your company is using the right tools, strategy and timing to introduce new products and processes.
Are you considering launching a new product or entering a new market? Do you need better real-world insight into the specific barriers and opportunities – both technical and market – for your product? Would this type of insight help you make better strategic, development and investment decisions?
Technology-Driven Market Intelligence (“TDMI”) is a systematic and comprehensive approach that is becoming the recognized path to accelerate technology-based manufacturers’ business growth. ITAC works with you to provide you with a framework that facilitates new product development, commercialization endeavors, market expansion/diversification, as well as increased sales and profitability.
Unlike traditional market research, TDMI directly considers the technical and market viability of your asset and provides the customized actionable intelligence you need:
- Identification and characterization of the markets, trends, value chains, competition, and companies of most interest and relevance to you
- Understanding of the prevailing technical performance and user requirements, and assessment of how well your asset meets or could meet such requirements
- Description of your best options for moving forward with development, partnering and market entry
- Assistance with any key knowledge gaps you may have surrounding regulatory, intellectual property, or competitive issues.
This combined market and technical opportunity assessment provides the intelligence you need to make accurate and confident decisions for new technology-driven products and markets.
New or existing technology may be required in developing new products, as well as in correcting problems with products or processes. Unfortunately, small and mid-sized manufacturers may not have access to, or even be aware of, available technologies.
ITAC uses a systematic approach to help SMEs find technology solutions to:
- Enable new product development
- Solve current product issues
- Solve process issues
- Fill in unique gaps / access a specialized resource
This method, combined with MEP’s extensive partnership network (access to government, university, and private sector research), allows you to find technology solutions outside your industry and results in unexpected, effective solutions.
Building an Innovation Culture
As the pace of changing markets, technologies and consumer demand accelerates, manufacturers must create the agility and capacity to remain competitive, and this starts with building and sustaining a culture of innovation across their organization. Embedding such a culture greatly benefits the organization: employees trained to think, act and engage differently are empowered to discover unexploited, potentially transformative opportunities. Yet the path to cultural change, which starts with small, individual adjustments at the employee level, is often met with resistance. Manufacturers often benefit from the assistance of culture experts, who work alongside management to build and sustain winning corporate cultures.