R&D strategies

R&D strategies form the bridge between the higher-level corporate strategy and its implementation at the level of innovation. The high complexity and the often significant and long-term costs of innovation require comprehensive and prudent planning and effective coordination of all relevant aspects of research and development. The development of the R&D strategy takes place by answering key issues that result directly from the company’s current and future business model: 

  • Which positioning should be chosen in terms of cost and technology leadership and what role do product and service innovations play?
  • What technologies must be used to implement the strategy and develop and build up skills or specific know-how resources?
  • Which system elements of a product ecosystem should be used?
  • What relevance should be assigned to technology and product platforms and what strategic innovation partnerships are necessary? 
  • What importance do regional product variants have in the context of the business model?

Based on these questions, decisions on architecture, processes, personnel and portfolio of the R&D department must be made in the context of the R&D strategy. These must then be transparently communicated, and continuously checked and fine-tuned. Therefore, the flanking of the strategy process with a suitable monitoring system, which detects central indicators, initiates strategy adjustments and thus enables active control of the R&D strategy, is an indispensable step in the process.

ROI supports companies in formulating, developing and implementing R&D strategies as well as building effective tools for strategy management in global R&D networks. In particular, we focus on the following: 

  • Architecture (footprint): Organisational and geographical structuring of R&D activities
    • Centralisation/decentralisation 
    • Application development/platform development/technology development
    • Assignment of R&D activities to products or markets 
    • In-/outsourcing
    • Dimensioning of R&D units, network organisations, etc.
  • R&D processes: Definition of process models and governance structures 
    • Adaptation of process models to suit the characteristics of target innovations and technologies, customer requirements and risks
    • Development of ‘smart R&D’ integration of: Hardware, firmware, software and networking
  • R&D personnel: recruitment, onboarding and qualification of developer teams 
    • Management of fluctuations
    • Cooperation and knowledge management
    • New development culture and development formats in the context of digitisation 
  • R&D portfolio: Specifications regarding the content structure of R&D activities
    • Dimensioning of the use of resources in the form of ‘strategic buckets’ for innovation fields and individual R&D categories 
    • Decision-making processes and criteria for selecting and prioritising projects