Module 1: Key terms used in the context of innovation


This module first and foremost intends to transfer knowledge. Participants are introduced to the key terms and concepts of innovation research so that all participants share the same level of knowledge and have a common understanding of the subject matter.


  • Characteristics, origin and current meaning of the term innovation
  • Invention vs. innovation
  • Technical vs. social vs. organizational innovations
  • Radical, disruptive and springboard innovations vs. incremental innovations
  • Product and process innovations vs. service innovations; innovations without R&D background
  • Circular, coupled and other non-linear models of the innovation process
  • Roles of the individual actors in the innovation process
  • The significance of R&D in the innovation process

The term "innovation" is used in many different contexts and it often seems that each person has a different understanding of this term. Essentially, the purpose of this module is to define the term innovation research and convey its conceptual principles in order to give all participants a common basis at the beginning of the course. The Fraunhofer ISI applies a very broad definition of innovation and the multidimensionality and the facts behind this definition are introduced. Furthermore, this module also shows the essential links to subsequent modules.

Concept and implementation of this module: Miriam Hufnagl and Emmanuel Muller




Courses (in German)


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