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8 Insights on Open Innovation: Great Interview with Philips

by Stefan Lindegaard
July 2, 20147/2/14 2 Comments

“Open Innovation and technology scouting are vital for us to stay ahead of competition and identify cutting edge technologies that will allow us to propose the best products to our consumers”.

This is the start of an interview on InnovationManagement.se where Steve Vaassen, Open Innovation Leader at Philips Consumer Lifestyle shares his views and insights on open innovation.

It is a great interview and Vaassen makes several points that I buy into. I have inserted 8 of them below, but you should read the entire interview. It’s a good read.

Innovation needs to happen at the business units – not at a big central core.

“The team is kept as small as possible because we strongly believe that the local teams are responsible for making their project work.”

A good sign of open innovation maturity is when you get your people to ask this question:

“The question to have in mind is “should we consider developing it ourselves or should we look for external parties to help identify the right technology, expertise or idea?””

Communication needs more attention in open innovation efforts. Philips is trying to push this.

“We are also encouraging our technology scouts to communicate more to each other.”

Innovation is about more than just products and technologies.

“One other trend/shift that I have observed at Philips, and that I see generally is also on the focus, which is moving away from primarily technology enablers for the success of a new product, towards working with lead users/consumers to identify new opportunities, new trends or needs from a consumer angle.”

There are no clear definitions of open innovation.

“I will define for my sector, or at least how we measure it: Open Innovation is either technology or IP or expertise coming from the outside that enable a key product differentiator.”

Get early success – and everything becomes easier.

“In order for my local teams to be enthusiastic about what an OI intermediary can bring to them, indeed I need to show first successes. Once value has been demonstrated, everything is much easier, for everybody.”

Innovation moves closer to consumers and it happens faster today. This hurts academia.

“Our innovation needs are close to consumers, relatively close to markets – as close as possible in fact. Universities have much longer timeline for innovation, much longer time-to-market.”

Open innovation teams need to be facilitators and integrators that help local teams.

“At the end, the local teams need to be empowered to make Open Innovation work. They can be supported by Open Innovation leaders and alliance experts, but the local teams are the one effectively working with external partners. Local teams are the key for the success of external integration.”

Currently there are "2 comments" on this Article:

  1. Sina says:

    Thanks for the interesting interview. I just recently joined a Austrian company which currently implents a system for Innovation Management. Reading this blog and the many ressources is very useful for this..

    • Stefan Lindegaard says:

      Thanks. Let me know if you have some questions. Best of luck with the implementation. Stefan

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