GE today unveiled the results of the 2014 "Global Innovation Barometer," which indicate that Kenyan business leaders consider collaboration to be a risk worth taking to successfully innovate nowadays.
The results were revealed at the GE-Economist Events Breakfast Roundtable in Nairobi.
Now in its fourth edition and spanning 26 countries, the GE Global Innovation Barometer is an international opinion survey of senior business executives actively engaged in the management of their firm's innovation strategy. It is carried out by Edelman Berland, a consulting and research company, on behalf of GE. The Barometer explores how the perception of innovation is changing in a complex, globalized environment.
Over 3,000 Kenyan executives participated for the first time in the GE Global Innovation Barometer Survey conducted in April and May 2014.
The findings indicate that Kenyan executives at 77 per cent are in line with global average in saying that collaboration is a risk worth taking to successfully innovate nowadays. They expressed their willingness to explore increased collaboration activities, open sourcing with entrepreneurs to innovate and crowdsourcing for ideas and content. Kenyan executives at 38 per cent view smaller businesses such as SMEs and start-ups as driving innovation in Kenya. The results also show Kenyan executives have an overwhelmingly positive perception of the role innovation plays in society with more than three-quarters of respondents agreeing that people in the country live better than 10 years ago because of the impact of innovation.
In his opening remarks, Dr Fred Matiang'i, Cabinet Secretary, ministry of ICT reiterated the government's commitment to supporting innovation saying: "We are open to collaboration with partners across sectors to help us address bottlenecks and challenges to innovation."
Speaking at a panel discussion on "Innovating in Kenya- The Business Perspective", Thomas Konditi, chief financial officer, GE Africa said: " Kenya has demonstrated a strong record in innovation with many executives viewing collaboration, skills development and regulatory support as key contributory factors for broaden the innovation play in Kenya. GE Africa is committed to working with stakeholders to help Kenya realize its full innovation potential."
Regarding the perception of the efficiency of government support for innovation, only 36 per cent of executives agree that government support for innovation is efficiently organised - this is in line with the global average of 40 per cent. When it comes to the priorities for government to tackle, executives in Kenya are aligned with executives globally as 88 per cent of them would want to see government align students' curricula with business need; 87 per cent would like to facilitate research cooperation with other countries while another 88 per cent would like to see a better protection of business confidentiality and trade secrets. Another 83 per cent would like to see fight bureaucracy and red tape for companies willing to access funds and incentives allocated to innovation.