How to Open Innovate

We have seen a few best practices from leading companies who have adopted Open Innovation as a standard. 

  • The impulsion should come from top management. VPs and CxO must sponsor this new approach.
  • Open Innovation Champions should be appointed, one in each department or business unit.
  • They should regularly communicate together, and report to a central person within the company at the highest level possible.
  • Their role is to keep up with all practices and intermediaries out there: software, processes or intermediaries (such as SpecialChem). They act as sponsor and advisors, but the responsibility of product development launch remains to the operational team.
  • Ideally they have a dedicated budget, and clear metrics (such as filling in the pipe of ideation, the success rate of NPD, the number of product launch, etc.).

A typical workflow process for New Product Development at advanced mature Corporation is the following:
  • Identify a market need for a new product development, 
  • Evaluate the resources available (budget and manpower), 
  • Make a decision whether the project should go external or internal
  • Iterate these steps after each Gate during the Stage Gate process.


  • Not Invented Here Syndrome: researchers are proud of their own results and don’t want to admit that others might found something they didn’t. They are afraid that they might be replaced.
> Internal teams are crucial to implement outside technologies as it won’t happens on its own.

  • Budget allocation: if not organized around Open Innovation, the costs are unplanned and perceived as additional, reducing the local team budget.
> Most of the time, the work load of a team of engineer and PhD on a project for a few weeks is much more expensive than the costs of an Open Innovation service provider.

  • Confidentiality: by going external, companies fear they will loose their innovation initiative. Open Innovation does not fit all projects, but the truly disruptive innovation for an industry require more than core competencies at one R&D organization.
> By using an intermediary, you will hide your name and still scout the world.

  • Heavy and painful process: it’s very difficult to allocate time, especially when it is about something that you don’t know well. It is not a magical process, it requires time and close follow-up.
> Working with experts in open innovation will free you some time to work on other projects, while we work on the challenging one for you.

Not sure if Open Innovation is a good strategy for you? Contact us to get an introduction.

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