Innovation can happen anytime, anyplace, anywhere and in any industry. According to the Innovation and Productivity report published by ANZ bank, companies who invest in research and development, can have significant productivity gains over those that don’t.

The research studied companies that received funding from the Government of New Zealand for research and development. Over 500 companies working in the same sector were studied for this project.

It is important to be clear about the difference between invention and innovation. Invention is a new idea, while innovation is the commercial application and successful exploitation of the idea.

Fundamentally, innovation means introducing something new into your business.

Innovation is of 2 types:

  1. Product innovation: A new product/ service that is developed with the aim of solving a certain problem or making something simpler.
  2. Management innovation: A new way/ process of doing something. This could be distribution, finance, sales or marketing. Any new strategy that can help a business get a significant advantage over its competitors is classified as a management innovation.

Whatever form it takes, innovation is a creative process. The ideas may come from within the business, i.e. from employees, managers or in-house research or from those external to the business, ex: suppliers, customers, universities, etc.

The research found that 49 firms that invested in research, generated a return of 14.1% over 4 years, compared to 10.9% for the entire group of 504 companies. Sales revenue of these 49 companies also grew at a faster rate of 9.3% per annum compared to the entire group, whose growth rate was 6.4%.

Research data shows that the companies who invested in research and development for innovation get rewarded with gains in productivity. Innovation can seem risky and sometimes beyond the reach of smaller companies, but it is still something which must be encouraged.

One of the best examples for the study cited above is Fintech. Many start-ups in New Zealand have worked towards developing unique payment, banking and fintech solutions for consumers. The results are here for all to see. New Zealand banks had started adopting fintech much earlier when compared to their global peers.

They are in a better position to expand their global footprint due to their access to superior technology. This new technology is very easy to use and can be easily adopted by banks and customers. New Zealand is already said to have a great financial network that caters to its entire population. With this new technology, banks predict an uptick in the amount being spent by the consumers, using their payment options – thus, helping many retailers and other businesses.

Financial service companies have always been some of the best recruiters and provide substantial remuneration in New Zealand. It is their desire to be on top of their game, which has pushed them to invest in new technology and enjoy better returns than their global counterparts. With new innovation and adoption of technology, New Zealand banks have prepared a great launchpad for themselves.

Other major Kiwi companies, which focus on manufacturing and have invested in innovation, have seen their productivity improve significantly. New Zealand is a great destination for any individual who hopes to work on product/ management innovation. As a nation that is steeped in promoting innovative technology and business, New Zealand is a great place for anyone willing to work towards promoting these two ideals.

Now you can learn in an atmosphere that promotes innovation. Learn at one of the best Universities of New Zealand, the University of Otago, with BSE Institute’s Masters of Business Administration Program. Students get to interact and learn in an environment similar to that the corporate world has. It is truly one of the best experiences that a student can get, to build an international career.

There are very few developed countries in the World, which support innovation and research as aggressively as New Zealand. It is surely the best place for those wanting to build a new business and tech from scratch. It is only with innovation, does the human race progress and only with innovation that we are able to lead a better life.