The keyword “Industry 4.0” is no longer an empty cliché or a black box; it is currently probably the most important topic within the German economy. Not only will existing processes be revolutionized – but also new businesses and business models will arise. More and more companies have already started to tap into its potential.
Before the radical shifts in technology disrupt the industry fabric, there exists a great potential to appropriate value from the market through incremental product and business model innovations. The less intense the competition, less matured the market – larger is the potential. The emerging markets of the world the BRICs (where s could stand for the plurality as well as South Africa), have long been projected as the markets to invest in.
Not so long ago, internal R&D activities were considered one of the most valuable assets a company could have. The rather “outmoded” concept of closed innovation, in contrast to open innovation, was built on self-reliance and on the principle that successful innovation required control and secrecy.