Print Friendly and PDF

Findings in Plante Moran’s annual innovation survey reveal major gains, with momentum continuing into 2014

SOUTHFIELD, Mich., Oct. 11, 2013 – Innovation is a priority for 94 out of 100 business leaders according to Plante Moran’s 2013 Innovation Survey results. That is 15 points higher than last year and indicative of a trend consistent with other recent high-profile surveys focused on corporate innovation.

2013 saw major gains in innovation:
• More organizations tie innovation to sustainability and growth (94 percent this year as opposed to 79 percent in 2012)
• Three out of four respondents think collaboration, rather than going it alone, speeds innovation
• New or improved products increased 10 percent, to 71 percent this year as opposed to 61 percent in 2012
• New or improved processes increased 7 percent, to 85 percent; it was 78 percent last year
• Innovation as part of strategy increased 8 percent this year, to 74 percent
• New or improved services increased by 4 percent, to 71 percent

Findings in the annual Plante Moran survey reveal strong evidence that organizations are taking the necessary steps to create a richer environment for innovation. New or improved strategies, management techniques and organizational structure all increased 3 percent year over year.

In an effort to support the increased appetite for innovation, the CPAs and consultants of Plante Moran used the survey results as a jumping off point and offer a companion report with case studies in collaboration and game changing business models, as well as conversations with experts in entrepreneurship, commercialization, innovation strategies and global matchmaking — all topics relevant to the survey respondents.

“Based on our data and that of our collaborators, we feel justified in saying that 2013 saw major gains in innovation,” said Chris Jones, leader of the Plante Moran innovation team. “And we wanted to do more than just report on the survey results. We wanted to provide information that business leaders could use. In addition to benchmarking innovation attitudes and practices, our report engages more than 50 experts, provides the best practices, and warns against pitfalls.”

Going Global
Plante Moran survey data indicates that entering new markets is the number one reason for small and middle-market companies to collaborate. Accordingly, Jones points to an article in the report that brings together experienced global alliance matchmakers to help middle market companies understand what makes a good partner.

Surfacing this year was a trend toward seeking business partners for collaboration. Three out of four Plante Moran survey respondents said they were fully convinced that they could be more successful with innovation through partnership and collaboration. Supporting this finding, the report looks at how fierce competitors General Motors Co. and Ford Motor Co. overcame barriers to work together to develop 9- and 10-speed transmissions.

Research and Development
Finding new sources for innovation was another trend among the respondents to the Plante Moran survey. The report explores options like incubators, research institutions, and ecosystems. There is also a discussion about when a middle market company should consider separating its R&D from operations to maximize results.

The innovators that contributed to Plante Moran’s study talk about a can-do attitude, and the report echoes that newfound confidence.

Five organizations collaborated with Plante Moran on its 2013 Innovation Survey: The National Center for the Middle Market, The TEC Institute at Fisher College of Business at The Ohio State University, Detroit CBS Radio/Technology Report, World Industrial Reporter and NewNorth Center for Design in Business. To read the Plante Moran 2013 Innovation Study, please visit:

In addition to the study, Plante Moran also offers a series of webinars on various business and tax-related topics. For a complete listing of Plante Moran’s fall webinar series, registration and CPE information, please visit

Plante Moran is among the nation’s largest certified public accounting, tax and consulting firms and provides a full line of services to organizations in the following industries: manufacturing and distribution, financial institutions, service, health care, private equity, public sector and real estate and construction. Plante Moran has a staff of more than 2,000 professionals in 21 offices throughout Michigan, Ohio, and Illinois with international offices in Shanghai, China; Monterrey, Mexico; and Mumbai, India. Plante Moran has been recognized by a number of organizations, including FORTUNE magazine, as one of the country’s best places to work. For more information, visit