Innovation plays a central role for a growth company such as Novozymes. A considerable share of Novozymes’ revenue is allocated to research and development (R&D) each year, and many employees across the globe are engaged in innovation.
Novozymes is associated with innovation, and customers and strategic partners recognize us as being amongst the best in our field.
Novozymes has a track record of continuously delivering new products and technologies. The formula for our success is a good balance between short-term product improvements, mid-term development of new concepts, and long-term radical innovation in our pipeline. In this way, we are able to meet the demands of today and tomorrow.
For Novozymes, innovation is more than just the creation of future products. Optimizing our production to maximize output and reduce costs is part of our ability to meet our customers’ demands. Significant optimization of this kind is possible due to the nature of our business where we can find new ways of getting more from our production strains, whether by using traditional methods of optimizing the production parameters or by optimizing the enzyme itself, for example by means of screening or protein engineering.
Novozymes’ organizational structure and working methods have been designed to create the optimal environment for innovation and support a pioneering culture, creating a balance between a systematic approach and the space to let ideas develop freely. The organization incubates new ideas, concepts, and business areas both within and outside the enzyme field. But in 2009 a new Innovation Office was also set up to manage the front-end pipeline across our businesses, and a number of interactive forums have been created.
Novozymes has R&D functions all over the world, and the approach and methods vary from place to place. We embrace the educational and cultural diversity in the Group, believing that it strengthens our overall capabilities, but we also acknowledge the challenge of utilizing our global R&D community to the full.
To manage, trace, and share the enormous quantity of ideas, information, learning, research data, etc., we have consolidated all our databases and local data into one single database covering the entire R&D workflow from soil samples to samples for customers. Furthermore, we have created working platforms for teams across projects, areas, and sites to facilitate collaboration. With the introduction of the “electronic laboratory notebook,” traditional paper-based laboratory notebooks have become obsolete, changing the way we record experimental work and freeing up more time in the labs for creativity and innovation.
While Novozymes has always developed products and business areas in collaboration with customers and partners, we are experiencing a paradigm shift within the field of innovation. For Novozymes and our customers, this new openness is leading to greater communication, wider sharing of knowledge, and endless opportunities.
At present, new concepts and radical innovation constitute a large proportion of our pipeline. Both areas are associated with greater risk than short-term product development due to a higher level of uncertainty. We therefore seek partners with the relevant knowledge or sufficient demand to reduce these uncertainties. Greater openness about innovation has created greater visibility and enables us to scout around for the best connections. At Novozymes, we will continue to develop our partnership skills and to search for the best partners for fruitful collaborations.