Innovation managers' network

To remain competitive in the global market the Australian red meat industry requires an industry wide culture of innovation, professionalism and continuous improvement.

An important component of MLA's efforts to build and maintain an industry culture to acheive this is the Collaborative Innovation Strategies program (CISp).

One of the key components of the CISp is the employment of an Innovation Manager by each partner company to coordinate and drive the development of their company's innovation capabilities. 

The Innovation Manager is central to a company's success in the Collaborative Innovation Strategies program, so MLA has formed the "Innovation Manager's Network" to assist in the ongoing professional development of Innovation Managers workign within partner companies.

The purpose of the Innovation Manager's Network is to create a supportive mechanism to enable Innovation Managers to develop the skills and experience required to undertake this role effectively and to maximum potential.  Membership of the network is an essential component of the Collaborative Innovation Strategies program and included in all relevant contracts.

The network is designed to ensure that the Innovation Managers are exposed to leading edge tools, techniques and knowledge to assist them to develop their own organisation's innovation capabilities. 

The Innovation Manager Network provides multiple opportunities to facilitate increased collaboration between participating companies. In addition, members of the Network are assisted to form linkages with other innovation networks and organisations relevant to their company's specific needs.

Two network meetings are held each year with attendance by all innovation mangers within partner companies encouraged. Topics discussed at the Innovation Manager Network meetings have included:

  • screening ideas and evaluating opportunities
  • innovation strategy and process development
  • systematic innovation 
  • structuring innovation
  • consumer based innovation

Site visits to companies with successful innovation programs are considered an important part of the program at the network meetings. These visits give Innovation Managers the opportunity to interact with companies outside the red meat industry and ganin knowledge and insight that would otehrwise not be possbile. Companies that have hosted Innovation Manager Network site visits include:

  • Fonterra Brands
  • Armstrong Flooring and Ceilings
  • Powercor Citipower
  • CSC