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Employee-driven innovation - An unexploited potential

Knud Erik Hilding-Hamann

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Employee-driven innovation - An unexploited potential

The Danish Technological Institute’s visit to four companies under the ‘Hands-On Innovation in Construction’ project resulted in 150 employee contributions for inventions or product improvements.

The Institute turbo-charges employee-driven innovation in the construction industry. This is done in close cooperation with the Danish Construction Association, the Federation of Building, Construction and Wood Workers’ Union, KPMG and Skive Technical Institute. The construction industry has a huge potential for inventiveness as illustrated by the ’Hands-On Innovation in Construction’ project. In addition to the hundreds of specific ideas for new tools, employees have contributed with new methods and ideas for improving health and safety at work.

There is considerable potential in increasing the recognition of employee-driven innovation on construction sites and creating optimum conditions for realising and commercialising the ideas. Whether it is a new tool, an adapted version of existing materials or something
else, there is good reason to see whether the invention can be patented and developed for resale.

When the project ended, several of the companies involved chose to continue the work of commercialising some of the ideas employees came up with during the project, e.g. developing equipment for new high-pressure compressors, testing ideas for propping material in excavations and methods for cutting steel in plaster walls.

The project is cofinanced by Danish Agency for Science, Technology and Innovation.