Innovation management at Sika permeates the entire organization. In order to create value for customers and other stakeholders, Sika established an interdisciplinary innovation team which creates ideas around how things could be. This practice was coined by the concept of speculative design as a way to speculate and imagine about how reality, current and future solutions, have to be in order to drive value for your customers.
Giving answers for tomorrow’s world – the objective of the interdisciplinary Sika Innovation Team
While customer and market-focused product development is essential for short and mid-term growth and margin protection, it is not enough for the long-term, sustainable protection of bottom line growth. To improve long-term market impact and influence, a set of investigations of future challenges and customer requirements was initiated in 2018. The objective is to use Sika’s broad knowledge for breakthrough innovations. Research in this context encompasses the identification of innovation potentials, independent of core technology and target markets. Within defined “Innovation Platforms”, such as new foams for insulation, new construction materials and high-performing water-based systems, feasibility studies were initiated.
Engineers, chemists and researchers promote and develop strategies and tactics aimed at transforming business as usual. This special team works to localize a range of innovation and futures approaches ensuring that research and development at Sika remains agile while cultivating an anticipatory mindset to meet the needs of solutions for future problems. The team collaborates with customers, academics and development partners to challenge existing solutions, to break patterns in order to create new solutions based on future challenges. The overall objective is always to create value for customers.
The team contInuously deals with megatrends like digitalization in construction, sustainability and environment, and with news ways of mobility. Among the first projects has been the development of a new best in class water based liquid applied membrane. Another project is focusing on a new recycling process for concrete production by retrieving aggregates and powdery mineral material from demolition waste. Once implemented at an industrial scale, this new process can also significantly help to reduce CO2 in the environment.
The innovation team recently opened a newly designed space with the objective to give, in the strict sense of the term, more genuine room for new types of cooperation and tools such as speculative design, horizon scanning, trend and emerging issues analysis, as well as agile project management. Ultimately, the Sika team is testing methods to implement agile principles to create true value for customers. Giving answers for tomorrow’s world – for the interdisciplinary Sika innovation team, that’s only possible by using frequent feedback and collaborative decision making, learning and collaboration to ensure that the company and its know-how are moving as close as possible to the reality customers and business partner are facing today and tomorrow.