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Innovation resilience research

The idea for the study was born in the beginning of April 2020, just a couple of weeks after the “intelligent lockdown”, that urged everyone to stay at home as much as possible: to work from home and to only go out when absolutely necessary.

We contacted 40 companies that have an active corporate venturing strategy, which was a criterion to be included in the study. From these companies we contacted the persons responsible for corporate venturing. Data was collected through a semi-structured interview supported by a questionnaire. In addition, we held a number of interviews with regional development agencies to obtain more background information and an external perspective on the recent developments. In total, we conducted 2 rounds of data collaction in the periods April – May 2020 and September – November 2020. 

It became clear that Corporate Venturing is one of the key factors that helps explain why some firms are able to continue their innovation efforts during a crisis and others are not. The mindset, ways of working and networks that are essential in Corporate Venturing are also effective in dealing with the disruptions of the core.

Although we expected firm resilience to be highly dependent on the extent to which these firms were hit in their core operations, we found no evidence for this conjecture. Instead, we found that organizations with a history of Corporate Venturing were able to sustain operations, while firms with a short history or no history at all were experiencing major difficulties to keep things going.

A summary of the quantitative findings of the study can be found here: Round I & II Questionnaire Results

Based on the insights we also have developed a Pandemic Resilience Scan with which companies can see for themselves how well they are positioned to grow after the pandemic; To take the test go to: Pandamic Resilience Scan

We will continue our research and are planning to conduct a third round of interviews in the fall of 2021 to research the evolution of corporate venturing beyond the pandemic.

We gratefully acknowledge financial support of ZonMW under the funding scheme "COVID-19 Wetenschap voor de praktijk".