Keywords: technological innovation management, technological monitoring, Research and Development, project appraisal
Innovation management: experience from the perspective of the electric power industry
IBERDROLA's Corporate Unit for Research and Development (R&D) is charged with the task of defining the strategy, general policies, and criteria of technological innovation that shape the development of projects and the utilisation and commercialisation of products and services. With this aim in view, several tools to assist innovation management have been developed. The Technological Information Office (GIT) and the Database of Research Concepts and Contacts have been designed to promote knowledge of the firm's sphere of action. The role of the R&D Project Appraisal Methodology is to aid in the selection of innovative projects that afford a competitive advantage to the firm. The GIT is a service of IBERDROLA that responds to the technological monitoring requests of the professionals who work in the areas of Research, Technological Development, and Innovation. The GIT is part of an in-house information service and acts in the capacity of information broker making use of the technology of the World Wide Web (Intranet). The Database of Research Concepts and Contacts is one of the underpinnings of the GIT. This database furnishes information relative to leading institutions and researchers in their fields who carry out activities in technological areas of interest to IBERDROLA. The information gathered defines the scientific and technological environment that serves the firm as benchmark. The aim of R&D project appraisal methodology is to optimise the allocation of R&D resources through the prioritisation and selection of R&D projects and programs. To evaluate the merits of each project, as well as the costs and risks associated, criteria consistent with IBERDROLA's strategic objectives have been established. This article explains the characteristics of these tools and their different stages of exploitation, as well as the results obtained.