We are sure that you have an excellent internal innovation team. But, just like there are innovators in your company, they also exist outside of it. So, what stops you from taking advantage of that? This plethora of external innovators and skill teams brings a fresh perspective to your projects and suggests ideas for new ones from their varied range of experiences and expertise. Such external innovation not only enables you to solve some of the pressing challenges of your organization but also opens doors for novel business opportunities through corporate open innovation.
Now, let’s see how open innovation boosts your internal innovation. We’ll give you five real-life examples of global industry players. These case studies will give you an idea of how to successfully deploy corporate open innovation in your company and what kind of results you can expect!
1. NASA sought help from External Coders
Who would have imagined that NASA, one of the world’s largest hubs of scientists and astronauts, would seek assistance from outside? But it did and was not disappointed. NASA leveraged open innovation for building a mathematical algorithm to determine the optimal content of medical kits for manned missions. It collaborated with TopCoder, the Harvard Business School, and the London Business School.
As a result, NASA received 2 833 code submissions from the UK, Japan, Indonesia, and Brazil through TopCoder alone, which eventually led to the development of the required algorithm. So, by adopting a corporate open innovation approach, NASA was able to develop a cost-effective solution in a very short time period. This is something that wouldn’t have been possible with traditional closed innovation methods.
2. General Electric crowdsources New Ideas
General Electric is one of the bigshots that implements not one, but multiple corporate open innovation models. They are built on its GE Open Innovation Manifesto, which says, “We believe openness leads to inventiveness and usefulness.” To this end, General Electric crowdsources innovation from experts and entrepreneurs worldwide to solve various internal challenges.
One of GE’s significant initiatives is the First Build. It is a platform that enables the collaboration among designers, engineers, and budding innovators to share new ideas, mainly focussing on creating new home appliances. GE then makes the best ideas available for purchase so that companies develop them further and bring them to life.
3. Samsung runs an Open Innovation Program
Have you heard about the Samsung Open Innovation Program for developers? It is Samsung’s corporate open innovation model which we at StartUs Insights had the pleasure to boost to the global entrepreneurial community.
Through this initiative, Samsung supports innovation happening outside its company. It calls for project ideas from startups as well as developers, which could lead to new products or services. The program also offers office spaces, fixed capital, and product support to entrepreneurs so that they build new software and services with more convenience.
4. Coca-Cola takes Suggestions from its Consumers
Coca-Cola proves that corporate open innovation doesn’t always need to involve industry experts. Consumers can equally contribute to your company’s innovation and product development goals.
For instance, Coca-Cola’s Freestyle Dispenser Machines allow its consumers from around the globe to experiment and mix their own flavors. Not only that, but they can also suggest new flavors for Coca-Cola products. More recent models even record the flavors created by consumers so that they can enjoy them even from any freestyle dispensers worldwide through the Cola-Cola mobile app.
5. LEGO gives its Fans Creative Freedom
LEGO adopts a corporate open innovation model similar to that of Coca-Cola. The company’s LEGO Ideas puts its consumers at the heart of the innovation process.
On its website, LEGO enthusiasts can use their creativity to design their own LEGO sets, either with LEGO bricks or 3D computer applications. Additionally, they can start discussions on such ideas and vote for the same. Once the ideas reach a pre-defined number of votes, LEGO considers them as new products, while rewarding the creators with a small portion of the revenues.
We are curious — do you already take advantage of corporate open innovation within your organization? Get in touch & let us know!