Document Type

State of the Art


One of the major success indicators for applied research sciences is the rate of transfer from research into practice. Only if concrete and economically successful products are derived from research results, such sciences can induce an impact. However, this process of innovation mandatorily needs entrepreneurship. Within the domain of business information systems, the two German enterprises SAP AG and IDS Scheer AG demonstrate that linking research and innovation is the key to lasting success on the information technology markets. German industry has significant disadvantages concerning the cost of human resources. Therefore it can be only successful with products that incorporate a high degree of innovation and that are consequently highly priced. But the invention of such products needs scientific research as a source of inspiration. Germany has a highly developed infrastructure of research facilities and organizations. However, they need to be better coordinated and aligned with business needs. Vice versa, enterprises need to actively approach the scientific community in order to clearly formulate their demand. Such a strategy requires changes on all sides. To achieve a change in the domain of science, it is necessary to change the profile of leading researchers, such as full professors. They should incorporate attributes of an entrepreneur and be profiled more as a research manager who tries to anticipate future needs and to develop their unit in terms of research subjects as well as personnel and financial resources. Consequently, the process of application, selection and review of leading researchers should be more oriented on processes that are common in enterprises. E. g. external head-hunters can be involved in the searching and assessing process in order to obtain the best qualified person for the research vacancy. Also enterprises need to change their attitude towards scientific research. In order to foster this process, executives could be invited to advisory and supervisory boards of research organisations. Furthermore, these executives must be proactively informed about the research activities and results in order to attract their interest and to show potentials for a transfer into products. There is still a long way to go in the hunt for innovation leadership and all these suggestions can only be a starting point.