There is no doubt that incremental innovation is the dominant form of innovation. Radical innovation is generally complex, involving a lengthy and risky process.
Especially smaller firms, or new market entrants, can play important roles in introducing radical innovations. The distribution of radical innovations nearly always depends on incremental improvements, refinements and modifications of complementary technologies.
It is important, however, to keep in mind that innovation differs by sector.
The type of innovation and the rate of technological changes obviously differs from sector to sector.
Some sectors are characterised by rapid change and radical innovations, others by smaller, incremental changes. Interestingly enough, in the high-technology sectors, R&D plays a central role in innovation activities, while other sectors rely to a greater degree on the adoption of existing knowledge and technology.
Mats Nilsson, R&D Manager at Alfa Laval attended the Nordic Cleantech Innovation Day 2015 and emphasized the importance of constant radical innovation. Mats Nilsson illustrated that radical innovation may not yield higher gross margins on short-term, but looking ahead a couple of years, the benefits of radical innovation is clear – radical innovation yields higher gross margins, as illustrated in his Research RoInnovation Level model.
… Keep experimenting!