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The ISO 56000 Series provides all businesses with a state-of-the-art innovation playbook and set of practical support tools and methods, developed by global experts to provide useful innovation management guidance to help you to successfully build and grow your business.  This best practice guidance will enable you to move from ad hoc to systematic innovation management practices to deliver improved and more consistent business performance.

Can smaller businesses put a framework in place to ensure that their “Eureka” moments are not rare and isolated events, but are sustainable and consistent? If you manage an Irish SME or start-up with ambitions to scale your business, then innovation management needs to be on your radar.

To be competitive at a global level, Irish SMEs need to take a focused and systematic approach to what they do and that means embracing innovation management. Standards in Innovation Management, available from NSAI, provide a set of parameters to work within so that SMEs can concentrate their energy on creating tailored and impactful solutions regardless of their sector. When adopted, international Standards can act as a credible and trusted foundation on which to develop and scale your business and to successfully access competitive global markets.

The systematic management of innovation activities is key to sustained competitiveness, productivity and growth. The ideas and innovations stemming from using these Standards can make your business stand out in the European and global markets in which we operate. NSAI works with SMEs to identify what Standards are applicable to their technology, product or service and show them how to implement them.

ISO, the International Organization for Standardization, produces Standards on Innovation Management that contains the distilled knowledge of leading international businesses and innovation experts, and they are available to you through NSAI.

The new ISO 56000 series, “Innovation Management Systems” provides businesses with the fundamentals of innovation management principles, describing why and how organisations can engage in innovation activities – both internally and in collaboration with external innovation partners in the new world of ‘open innovation’. The different Standards it contains gives businesses a guidance framework and common language that can be adapted across any sector regardless of the size of your business.

The Standard series is the result of years of work from National Standards Bodies and innovation experts from around the world, including NSAI. It focuses on the system companies can put in place as a driver of improved and consistent innovation performance in their business.

The ISO series on innovation management includes the following published documents:

ISO 56000, “Innovation management – Fundamentals and vocabulary”

As a starting point for the ISO 56000 series, this document defines a consistent vocabulary used in innovation management. It also explains the core principles behind innovation, establishing a coherent, consistent framework for effectively understanding, supporting, and facilitating innovation in a business.

ISO 56002, “Innovation management – Innovation management system – Guidance”

This standard provides guidance for the establishment, implementation, maintenance, and continual improvement of an innovation management system for use in all organisations, including SMEs. The guidance is generic, meaning it is applicable to all types of organisations and all types of innovations – for example, a product, service, process, business model and organisational – ranging from incremental to radical innovations.

ISO 56003, “Innovation management – Tools and methods for innovation partnership – Guidance”

ISO 56003 provides recommendations for engaging in external partnerships to realise innovation. It describes the global gold standard for innovation partnership frameworks, and equips the user with  tools to select, evaluate and manage lucrative partnerships.

ISO/TR 56004, “Innovation management assessment – Guidance”

This Technical Report advocates for the many benefits of Innovation Management Assessment, also known as IMA. It outlines an effective assessment process, describes the attributes of a good assessment, and suggests how IMA findings can inform future projects.

ISO 56005, “Innovation management – Tools and methods for intellectual property management – Guidance”

The latest standard to join this suite, ISO 56005 provides guidelines for effective Intellectial Property (IP) management within an innovation management system. Effective management of IP is key to support the process of innovation, is essential for an organisation’s growth and protection, and is one engine of their competitiveness.

The ISO 56000 series also has several forthcoming publications, including:

ISO 56006, “Innovation management – Strategic intelligence management – Guidance”

Due to be released in 2023, ISO 56006 aims to provide guidance to leadership teams on how to implement Strategic Intelligence when it comes to decisions impacting the vision, mission, and innovation activities within the organisation. Strategic intelligence plays a key role in helping organisations to define their strategy, supports risk reduction and as a result enables growth, regardless of the external environment.

ISO 56007, Innovation management – Idea management

Ideas are fundamental to innovation and have the ability to make incremental and/or breakthrough improvements to efficiency of an organisation. ISO 56007 will provide guidelines for the management of ideas, the people who have them and the benefits they bring. The standard is due to publish in 2022.