In order to keep up, innovation needs to be a key part of any company’/s digital diet. But having an event every now and then to kickstart some new ideas into action isn’t innovation – a culture of new ideas and thinking differently needs to be embedded into the fabric of the company’s operations.

For many companies this means providing employees with time to pursue their own ideas. For others, it means ensuring high-level metrics for new products and tech are constantly reiterated through to every person in the company.

Dyson has consistently shown a desire for innovation. Sir James Dyson appeared in Japan yesterday, where he showed off the company’s new hand dryers. There he also made comments regarding the importance of R&D within the company’s structure:

“We’re doubling the size [of research and development]… we already have within the last two years and we’re going to double again. Partly we want to make extra products, but in order to be competitive, globally, you have to have better technology than all your competitors.” 

“A company that doesn’t double its R&D team every two years, I think, is in trouble.”

This comes after Dyson has already made strategic investments in robotics, (alongside companies such as Google, which has spent tens of millions on robotics companies).

Dyson also made a significant comment – that competition is now global and “everywhere”. This breakdown in traditional business models is placing more importance on constantly innovating and coming up with new ideas.

For businesses large and small, Dyson’s approach is another reminder that R&D in the digital age is not optional – it is a constant effort, and most continuously be revisited, changed and expanded to meet the ongoing challenges the digital economy presents.