Innovation Incubation Study

Innovation Incubation Study

Executive Summary

The Innovation Incubation Study is conducted by the Department of Technology & Innovation Management at TU Darmstadt. It examines the effectiveness of innovation support programmes – also known as accelerators, incubators, innovation centers or labs. The study addresses funding programmes of established companies from Europe, America and Asia.

Your benefit

  • Final report of the study with critical success factors and recommendations for action for a successful promotion of innovation
  • Individual evaluation in comparison to other study participants by category
  • A scientifically proven questionnaire for further internal evaluation

Your contribution

  • Participation includes the completion of a questionnaire (completion time approx. 25 minutes)
  • Participation by the head of the funding programme (ideal) or by assistant/employee
  • Optional (in case of interest) we offer individual interviews as well, which will enrich the individual final report


The pressure on established companies to be innovative is increasing continuously. Many industries are already generating about 1/3 of their profits from products launched in the last 5 years. In order to strengthen their innovative power, companies are increasingly establishing innovation support programmes to support employees independent of company restrictions and to profit from the entrepreneurial spirit of innovative start-ups.

However, research in this field is still in its infancy and companies are often unsure how to make such programmes a success. Our study starts right here.


In particular, the followingquestions are examined:

1. Why are innovation funding programmes successful and why do they fail?

2. Which mechanisms increase ?the innovativeness of the funded projects and the benefits for the parent company?

3. How can these funding mechanisms be successfully implemented in the form of structures and processes?

Target audience

Our study focuses on innovation promotion programmes of established companies. The locations of the funding programmes are widely distributed in Europe, America and Asia.

The objectives of the funding programmes considered include in particular the acceleration of innovation processes, the development of new sources of income, the disruption of core business, support of business units and/or promotion of cultural change. Objectives such as external ecosystem development and brand image rejuvenation are also represented.