VTT´s Customer Impact Survey 2006: VTT projects enhance the customers´ business operations
The effectiveness of VTT’s projects and their benefits to the customers are monitored on a regular basis. According to the latest survey the most significant benefits of VTT’s projects to the customer are the increase of basic knowledge and know-how, acceleration and intensifying of R&D, and novel or improved products and services. The customers felt that VTT brings added value to their business operations especially by combining possibilities provided by different technologies in a creative way.
Taloustutkimus Oy carried out a 2006 survey on the effectiveness of VTT
research projects on the business operations and competitiveness of VTT’s
customers. The respondents were 202 Finnish customers representing both
companies and the public sector. For the first time 27 international customers
were interviewed, too. However, since the proportion of the international
customers was so small and their answers slightly different from the answers
of the domestic customers, the following exact percentages are taken from the
survey of the Finnish customers. The survey is carried out every second year.
As VTT’s special strengths the respondents regarded VTT’s neutral position, and ability to combine different areas of knowledge
Almost all customers (93 %) felt that their basic knowledge and know-how increased in VTT projects. Demonstrations, prototypes, marketing material, or documented methods were developed within a VTT project to 77% of the customers. Research and development activities were intensified and boosted with 67% of the customers. VTT projects promoted the networking of the customers (63%) especially with other domestic companies, domestic universities and research institutes, and other actors of the field.
VTT projects improved the competitiveness fo customers (56 %), too. Novel or improved products or services or production methods were developed in 63% of the projects. Nearly 40% of the customers felt that VTT project enhanced the opening of new business possibilities and nearly 20% introduced entirely new technology as a result of a VTT project. The effect was emphasized in small and medium-sized enterprises and in enterprises that spend more than 3% of their turnover to R&D.
90% of the customers say that VTT has at least accelerated the development of the above mentioned benefits. VTT’s status as a developer of new technology is well described by the fact that on many occasions at least a third of the respondents estimated that the benefit in question would not have emerged without VTT’s know-how.
70% of the customers have already utilized the results of their VTT project commercially or in production, or is going to do that in the next three years. 10% of the customers will utilize the results later, in the time span of over three years, and for 15% of the customers the commercial or productional utilization was not a goal in the project in the first place. 20% of the innovations that came up within the projects were entirely novel solutions and 54 % were significant improvements.
83% of the respondents regard VTT as socially responsible and nearly two thirds of the respondents feel that VTT boosts the competitiveness of industrial life. VTT’s role has been considered important in promoting the use of technology, in participating in preparation of standards and norms, in supporting the decision making in society, and in participating in preparation of national strategies and legislation.
The international customers emphasised the increase in their competitiveness (67%) and the introduction of a completely new technology as results of their VTT ptrojects.
VTT has actively developed the methodology of monitoring the effectiveness of R&D, and VTT can be regarded as a forerunner in monitoring effectiveness of research institutes on international level.