Innovation Consultant

Innovation Consultant

Innovation allows a company to aim and reach many goals such as : evolving, adapting, winning new markets, better satisfying its customers, creating new consumer reflexes. Whatever the sector, the innovation consultant plays an important role at every stage. This job at the heart of the company's development requires passion, imagination, curiosity and business spirit.

What is an innovation management consultant? 

Innovation is not only related to the technical or technological field. It occurs in four areas that can be classified as follows: 

  • Product innovation: when it applies to products and services
  • Process innovation: when it applies to production or distribution methods
  • Marketing innovation: when it applies to the placement, promotion, packaging or even pricing of a product
  • Organizational innovation: when it applies to work organization or partnership methods, for example.

The field of action of innovation consultants is wide (health, agri-food, social, etc.). It concerns various domains and moments: from the detection of needs to research and monitoring, to the implementation of the innovation, both within production units and at the level of company management. Innovation and its implementation are part of the problems of change management.

The mission of the innovation consultant is marked by several stages: 

  • A time of monitoring, research and collection of ideas,
  • The transformation of ideas and suggestions into projects or concepts,
  • The feasibility study,
  • The development of the project or concept,
  • The implementation, the execution or the production.

Innovation: the qualities and skills to be a good consultant

The innovation is everywhere where one seeks to outperform results, to eliminate or reduce a brake, to invent and or to renew proposals or solutions. All the fields lend themselves to it, thus the consultant can present various profiles: 

  • A transversal profile marked by a capacity of reflection and ideation and which applies to any field, 
  • A profile specialized on a sector, able to use its experience and its knowledge to take into account its specificities (technical, personal, budgetary).

Open-labs, makers, start-up eco-system, ideation sessions, prototyping: the innovation consultant has a strong interest in all the new creative forms of the business world.

In general, the consultant bases his expertise on a permanent watch. Their inquisitive mind leads them to create links and connections between seemingly distant subjects in order to propose new ways of designing, acting or thinking. His technical knowledge allows him to produce or have produced the models or prototypes necessary for testing.

  • Ability to listen and understand
  • Reactivity
  • Ability to move from one world to another (business and technology, company scale to human scale, products and uses, etc) 
  • Ability to ask the right questions
  • Very good interpersonal skills: both with clients and with partners and members of the innovative ecosystem.

Education and innovation courses in France

Access to the position of innovation management consultant is compulsory with a Master's degree, either through a professional training following a Master's degree.

  • Universities offer very selective Masters programs such as French Universities :  

The Master's degree in "Innovation Management" (Université Paris Est Marne-La-Vallée, Université Pierre et Marie Curie - UPMC and Université Paris-Dauphine)

The "Innovation, Business and Society" Master's degree (École Polytechnique, Paris Saclay), which offers a "design innovation project" track and a "technological innovation, engineering and entrepreneurship" track.

  • This type of Master's degree is also available in the major engineering schools for scientific profiles (in France : École Centrale, École des Mines, École des Ponts et Chaussées) and the major business schools. Some schools also offer concentrated training sessions for professionals or people who have already graduated. 

This is the case for the Paris School of Business and its program in management, innovation and creativity.

Salary and career development of innovation consultants

The average annual salary in France is 44,000 euros for this type of position. This is an average, largely exceeded by the salaries of the most experienced consultants. The type of structure, the client company and the value it will apply have a very significant impact on the consultant's remuneration. We also observe disparities according to the specialities: 

Innovation financing consultant and scientific innovation consultant: 40,000 euros on average.

Digital innovation consultant: 54 000 euros on average.

The salaries of Innovation Consultants in the US range from $45,000 to $128,000 , with a median salary of $60,000.

The national average salary for a Innovation Consultant is £42,642 in United Kingdom.

Internal salaried positions exist and are paid slightly less than in specialized firms or agencies. Thus, innovation management consulting is the evolution of the internal innovation manager. On the other hand, the consultant can evolve by choosing to join a company in a management position.