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Maintaining R&D excellence despite demographic changes

The power of expert career paths
: Wohlfart, Liza

Fraunhofer-Institut für Arbeitswirtschaft und Organisation -IAO-, Stuttgart; Univ. Stuttgart:
The R and D Management Conference 2014 : Management of Applied R and D: Connecting high value solutions with future markets; Stuttgart, Germany; June 3 to 6, 2014
Stuttgart: Fraunhofer Verlag, 2014
ISBN: 3-8396-0746-9
ISBN: 978-3-8396-0746-6
R&D Management Conference <2014, Stuttgart>
Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung BMBF
01HH11015; DOMINNO
Fraunhofer IAO ()

High-tech and knowledge-intensive companies depend on the creative potential of their R&D teams. Faced with the demographic change, many of these companies fear the impacts it may bring along, such as the need to handle an altered age structure, attract new work force in the war for talents and retain experts with specific competencies. While the challenges are obvious, the most urgent needs for action and suitable instruments for tackling them often are not. Dominno, a research project funded by the German government and the European Union, aims at understanding how companies can identify and successfully cope with the demographic side of innovation. First findings come from in-depth interviews and large-scale surveys with two companies from different industry sectors (care an d automotive), which have now started to define and develop suitable tools for their most critical challenges at hand. The paper will present highlights from the empirical research and a short snapshot of the ongoing work. In addition, expert career paths in R&D are presented as a powerful instrument to keep and leverage a companys strategic expertise in times of demographic changes.