Innovation in Manufacturing

Mark Marich

A new Boston Consulting Group study examines how American manufacturers view innovation.

Not surprisingly, they recognize that innovation is a key to future success, but they are not happy with their own firms’ performance. Only 43 percent of surveyed executives are happy with the return on their innovation investments. The report also finds that the most successful firms are more disciplined, setting up clear processes for investing in and managing the innovation process. 

The report examines US states on both innovation inputs and performance. So which states scored as 'above average' in terms of both? California, Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts and New York. A handful of states were recognized as above average performers, although their innovation inputs were fairly low: Idaho; Montana; Oregon; and, Texas.

The report also ranks national economies on their International Innovation Index. Consistent with numerous other reports taking a global view, the US is slipping. Singapore takes the top spot, followed by (in rank order): South Korea, Switzerland, Iceland, and Ireland. The US falls into the 8th spot overall in these rankings--5th in terms of actual performance and 15th in terms of inputs.

Report: "The Innovation Imperative in Manufacturing: How the US Can Restore its Edge" by James P. Andrew, Emily Stover DeRocco, and Andrew Taylor

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