Innovation Signals – Development of a Social Web Innovation Signals Amplifier

Utilisation of social web and user generated content for innovation purposes for companies in the sports and leisure industry.

The continuous innovation of products and services is imperative for companies in the sports and leisure industry. Companies have to be quick to spot the first signals for innovation and subsequently translate them into concrete innovative products and services. Signals can be manifold, including opinions and ideas, requests, latent needs or changing consumer perceptions. Before these signals become apparent in the wider society, they already surface in the social web. Every day the social web is flooded by a plethora of authentic and quantifiable information that we can exploit for innovative solutions. The utilisation of social web and user generated content for strategic innovation purposes is still at its infancy and the untapped potential is huge. This is the thematic focus of the Innovation Signals studio.

Innovation Signals studio will a) develop the social media mining technologies to identify, amplify and monitor these signals; b) develop the methodology to filter, enrich and assess them; and c) translate them into business opportunities, i.e. strategic options, measurable user needs/outcomes and concrete commercial ideas and innovation options. By doing so, Innovation Signals will bridge the social media mining technology and innovation strategic foresight.

Social media mining technologies combine data mining and information extraction (e.g. Named Entity Recognition, Latent Semantic Indexing) and play an important part in detecting and monitoring innovation signals in the Web. Purely technology-driven approaches, however, are of limited benefit for companies: The signals we come across are usually “silent”, ambiguous and their relevancy for innovation is often not clear. They can, however, be reliably assessed if we associate and link them with additional information, statistics, trends, innovation theory and sector- specific know-how. In other words, we can contextualise and amplify these signals (i.e. to separate the signal from the noise), assign them to concrete consumer needs and, subsequently, translate them into promising new ideas and solutions for innovation.

These will be packaged into “Innovation Subscriptions”, i.e. tailored, scalable and visualized short reports which companies will receive several times a year (between two and six times). They include relevant trends and ideas for concrete products, business models or process innovations. They will allow companies to develop tailored products and services that meet the demands of consumers and thus strengthen the company’s position in an increasingly competitive market.

Our primary target group will be companies in the sports and leisure industry situated in German speaking countries. Within the consumer goods sector, especially these enterprises have to react swiftly towards changing customer needs and interests and market conditions and will therefore be able to benefit strongly. Innovation Signals will enable them to vigorously enhance their innovative capability and reduce the flop rate when introducing new products and services.