A recently published book, The Innovator’s DNA, by three of the world’s leading innovation academics has ranked Vestas as the word’s 11th most innovative company, in a prestigious list alongside Apple, Google and Amazon.
Published by Harvard Business Review Press, the book took the authors Clayton Christensen, Jeff Dyer and Hal Gregersensix years to study some of the world’s biggest and most innovative companies to discover which companies were placing innovation at the forefront of success. From this analysis Vestas was ranked 11.
The authors said Vestas is the world’s leading supplier of wind power solutions and has spawned a number of innovations, including floating foundations for wind power stations at water depths of over thirty metres.
Finn Strøm Madsen, President of Vestas Technology R&D says it is significant that Vestas’ innovative spirit was recognised by academic experts.
“Innovation is extremely important for wind energy technology,” explains Finn Strøm Madsen. “Through innovation Vestas can continuously develop the best solutions to lower the cost of energy and strengthen our customers’ business case.”
“In 2010, Vestas spent over EUR 370 million on research and development for new wind energy technology. Going forward, Vestas will continue to invest the necessary funds to retain our technology leadership position in the wind industry.”
Investing in new technology
The innovative spirit within Vestas is clearly demonstrated in the number of inventions which Vestas has patented. In 2010 Vestas scaled up its patent investments, increasing the number of applications from 165 in 2009 to 227 in 2010.
In 2011 Vestas announced the successful testing of the ‘stealth’ turbine technology which will open up new markets around the world previously unavailable due to radar concerns, as well as launching the massive V164-7.0 MW offshore turbine, a game changer in the offshore wind energy market.
How the ranking was calculated
In the study, companies were evaluated based on an innovation premium, which was calculated by how much higher a company’s market value was, relative to the cash flows attributed to the existing businesses.
The authors argue that investors are more likely to put their money into companies which are expected to generate profit on new products through innovation. Essentially, investors are putting money into companies which will continue to develop products which will generate profit in the future, not from current or past success.