Global strategy and management consulting firm A.T. Kearney has recognized the leaders in innovation excellence in China through its “Best Innovator China” awards in Shanghai today. The local China operation of Dow Chemical was declared the overall winner and eight other companies were recognized as being the champions of the country’s new innovation agenda.
A.T. Kearney’s Best Innovator program celebrates innovation management by assessing how participating companies’ achievements and internal processes compare with global best practices. The awards recogniae not only achievement, but also the management practices that are crucial to sustainable innovation success.
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A.T. Kearney has run the Best Innovator program for more than 10 years in 20 countries seen as global innovation hotspots. With Chinese companies expanding their focus on innovation and R&D and increasingly exporting innovation on a global scale, A.T. Kearney brought the program to China in 2014 to recognize and track the unique competitiveness of China’s home-grown innovation.
“China’s economy has entered an era of transformation as it moves from an investment and export-led growth model to one driven by domestic consumption and innovation. Forward-thinking companies are looking to secure their futures by developing superior models and R&D capabilities, reinventing sources of competitive advantage, and being faster and more agile than the competition,” says Dan Starta, managing partner at A.T. Kearney, Greater China.
“Given its rich history and expertise as well as understanding how innovation is a key enabler of transformation, A.T. Kearney is uniquely qualified to help companies in China—both domestic and international—improve in all of these areas,” Dan explains.
"Innovation provides a major driving force for the ongoing transformation of the Chinese economy and businesses. We are proud of our role in driving innovation in Asia Pacific and China, especially in facilitating cross-business and cross-industry collaborations to innovate what is essential for tackling the most pressing world challenges,” said Dr. Yao Weiguang, Dow Asia Pacific's Chief Technology Officer. “The favorable reception from A.T. Kearney has reinforced our reputation as an innovation leader and will encourage us to continue excelling in innovation to create greater value for our customers.”
The winners of this year’s program were evaluated based on the achievements and practices of their China-based operations. They were judged across all stages of the innovation life cycle in areas that are crucial to innovation such as fostering talent, supply chain management, and incubating and exporting innovation.
The Best Innovator awards winners for 2015 were:
- Best Innovator China 2015: Dow Chemical China
- Incubating Innovation: Haier
- Innovating through Chinese M&A: H.B. Fuller-Tonsan
- Building Future Talent: Honeywell
- Potential Industry Game Changer: Le Vision Pictures
- Executing Innovation: Master Kong
- Digital Innovation: Siemens China
- Innovating Global Supply Chain from China: Solvay China
- Most Innovative Industrial State-Owned Enterprise: Weichai Power
“The exceptional level of submissions for the awards this year reflects the innovative transformations and outstanding performances of Chinese companies. We certainly look forward to the next wave of innovation coming out of China,” says Kai Engel, partner and leader of the Innovation Practice at A.T. Kearney, Europe.
Each participating company was evaluated by a jury consisting of Professor Chen Dongmin, Dean of School of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Peking University, members of Bloomberg Businessweek, and A.T. Kearney. The evaluation consisted of interviews, onsite visits, and a comprehensive submission.
“China’s economic and business landscape is changing. Companies operating in the country need to adapt to a new model of increased productivity and innovation. Chinese firms have realized this and have increased their focus on R&D and innovation. The R&D investment in China is already higher than that in Europe and Chinese firms are emerging as global leaders in various sectors. A.T. Kearney’s “Best Innovator China” program is our way of recognizing the leaders on various fronts,” says Kai Engel.