NIRO strongly supports their member companies during the development and implementation of innovative processes in the areas of product engineering and production. The driving force behind this approach is the exchange and transfer of know-how. Moderated work groups and expert meetings are used to impart knowledge by discussing “good examples” and applying innovative formats. These work groups allow for networked innovation management that is rooted in expertise:
- In the area of production, the member companies come together at workshops to exchange their views on the topic of “holistic production systems” and ways to adapt them to each specific corporate culture. Regular plant visits provide the members with an opportunity to “look beyond their own backyard” and bolster their ability to “learn” from one another.
- When it comes to matters concerning product development, the member companies seek to answer the question of what a production development process would look like that systematically utilises state-of-the-art methods and tools. In their attempts to answer this question they also take into account future trends that may give their plants a decisive edge over their competitors. Examples of the trends they discuss in this regard are the “development of future scenarios", “open innovation”, “design in machine engineering” and the “use of collaboration tools". The discussions are accompanied by formats such as “cooperative consulting” or “PEP to go” (an on-site tour undertaken by developers to familiarise themselves with the production development processes applied by the member companies).