Accenture has launched South Africa’s first Innovation Index to promote business growth and development of new, sustainable enterprises that would in turn spur much desired job creation. The global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company aims to use the index to measure, promote and reward innovative ideas and commercial concepts across the public and private sectors in the South African marketplace.
The index will offer both policy-makers and businesses a national benchmark for innovation by showcasing how innovation creates value in new ways, drives profitable revenue growth and enables organisations to maintain a competitive advantage over the longer term. Participating organisations stand to raise their corporate profiles, build networks, promote their concepts in support of their business growth and potentially access funding.
The index is supported by a robust adjudication process and an expert panel of judges, comprised of key industry figures and prominent business leaders, who will evaluate South Africa’s innovation leaders and their innovations. TransUnion has been enlisted to help with verifying the details and assessing the risk profile of participating organisations.
Expressing his excitement about the initiative, Accenture South Africa Chief Executive William Mzimba said: “An increasingly volatile and competitive market landscape demands new ways of thinking about, and acting on, business challenges and opportunities. Continuous innovation underpins sustained growth for both business and public organisations. By developing an authoritative and objective snapshot of the current state of innovation in South Africa as well as recognising local ‘role models’, we hope to make a meaningful contribution to a better South Africa.”
Accenture has partnered on its Innovation Index with The Da Vinci Institute, a school of management leadership, which established the Technology Top 100 awards (TT100) in 1982. Professor Roy Marcus, chairman of The Da Vinci Institute, commented, “In South Africa, the very notion of innovation, and creation of a national psyche on innovation, was inscribed in the 1996 White Paper on Science and Technology. Unfortunately, whilst there are very distinctive pockets of innovation, the concept has not been widely accepted. The programme has an ambitious agenda at its core: to re-energise South Africa through cultivating an innovation mindset and demystifying the very notion of innovation.”
“Entrepreneurship and innovation are key to job and wealth creation – essential issues for South Africa. We welcome this initiative and applaud Accenture and The Da Vinci Institute for investing in the future of our country in this way. We look forward to hearing of many successes that result from this initiative,” said Minister of Science and Technology, Derek Hanekom.
The index has also been endorsed by the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.
Entries for the Accenture South Africa Innovation Index open on 29 January and close on 30 April, culminating in an Innovation Showcase where innovative concepts will be exhibited. A gala dinner will be held in August, which will reveal a national Innovation Index, as well as recognise an Innovation Master and innovative concepts across a diversity of industries. Organisations can enter at www.innovationindexawards.co.za.
Defining innovation and the methodology:
Accenture defines innovation as a new way of doing things that creates or adds value. Innovation entails ideas that can be translated in action. It is a good idea that is brought to fruition. The idea must generate a successful outcome to be qualified as innovation. This underpins the methodology we have developed in support of the creation of an Innovation Index and related measures thereof.
The Accenture South Africa Innovation Index has two aspects:
- A National Index, which looks at areas of excellence and those of development across five key categories: Technological Process Innovation, Social and People Innovation, Service Delivery Innovation, Product Development Innovation and Market/ Brand Development Innovation. Together, these form a South African innovation index. This will be benchmarked year-on-year to understand and track changing trends.
- Awards, which recognise innovation in its truest form – concepts – which are changing the way the world lives and works. To be considered, concepts must already have been commercialised and in the market from at least one day and up to three years. They should also be proudly South African. Each year, following a robust judging process by doyens of industry and innovation experts, winning concepts will be recognised by industry sector at a gala awards ceremony, along with an Innovation Master of the Year who will be lauded for their systematic approach to inculcating innovation as part of their organisational culture.