In today’s knowledge-based economy where know-how and innovation define business success, forward-looking cement and concrete producers have made knowledge management the cornerstone of their business models. Recently, Robert Madeira, M.D. and Head of Research of the CW Group, spoke with Dr. Davide Zampini, Head of the Cemex Research Group, about the key ingredients for successful innovation in the industry and about the role of the research group within Cemex.This article captures some of the highlights from this exchange.
Robert Madeira notes that "Innovation” doesn't have to mean a monolithic, centralized R&D machine. Rather, says Madeira, “Competitive advantage can be developed by shepherding vast amounts of ideas percolating throughout the organization in a manageable and systemic manner.”
On that note, Dr. Davide Zampini, head o f the Cemex Research Group, explained that Cemex decided early on to make the exploitation of knowledge and information a central part of its corporate strategy. He explains that the firm founded the research group in Switzerland in order to act as the operating unit responsible for leading research and development and generation of intellectual property (IP). Thus, the business model lends itself naturally to a central platform for leading, developing, managing, coordinating, sharing and monetizing of know-how and information across the company.