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Creating a culture of collaboration to drive open innovation  

 

 

Ideas have always been the lifeblood of a technologically creative company like Philips. We have some of the most pioneering minds in the fields of healthcare, lighting, sustainability and urbanization collaborating to help us lead better lives and transform the future.

 

Inspiration, however, does not always come from within. The greater scope that a business has and the wider its perspective, the more likely it is to discover innovative solutions.

Which is why we hope that the Open Innovation Challenge will become an integral tool to the way Philips brings truly meaningful products to market quicker.

The project is open to anyone with an engineering or scientific background who can identify a need that is not being met, a societal problem that requires a solution or an innovation that they believe can be made even better.

 

It’s an opportunity for the winners – there will be two – to work with Philips in bringing their idea to fruition and it’s an even more valuable opportunity for Philips to engage with outside talents to energise the business and bring a different perspective to the way innovation can transform society.

Many talk about the need for a business to look outside its boundaries for inspiration – but we’re actually already doing it, leveraging the power of partnerships and trying to identify the potential of new products to stay one step ahead of our rivals.
For while the idea itself is, of course, the most crucial element, so is the process of collaboration. It allows us to question and challenge the way that we work, improve our practices by learning new methodologies, understand better our own strengths and weaknesses by assessing those of others.

And creating partnerships like this allows us to break even further from the silo mentality which can hamper the kind of creative agility that our new, always-on digital world demands. When you experience a highly condensed activity such as the Open Innovation Challenge – where ideas are turned into winning concepts and then potential products in a matter of weeks – new disciplines come into play, a requirement to exhibit a nimbleness of both mind and action. And a need for internal departments to combine forces and act in unison.

 

In this way can you more easily identify relevant needs for both the business and customer, fulfilling the Philips brand aspiration of establishing great innovation.

 

So what are the kinds of transformational ideas we are looking for? Certainly, personal healthcare is one of the key areas, with data-fuelled wearables that can be embedded within the healthcare continuum – from patients being empowered to take preventative measures for their own health all the way through to medical diagnosis. Making our cities more liveable is another key area, as is the way lighting can be a powerful influencer of our moods and personalities.

 

The Open Innovation winners will be those that fulfil the criteria of Philips needing to manage probability rather than hope for serendipity. We are the enablers to ensure success but we need to identify ideas with strong potential, to ensure that a real proposition exists.

 

No one has a monopoly on innovative ideas and no company can rest on its distinguished laurels. Open Innovation is a chance to reach out and activate relevant innovators from the outside – and give them a chance to see what we are all about. For the winners will receive our so-called ‘accelerated innovation’ sessions and be invited into the heart of our creative hub.

 

And Philips will benefit not only from finding innovative new solutions but helping to change the perception others have of it as an employer. That more than a century after our foundation, we are continuing to change, adapt and stay one step ahead, solve the most pressing problems of society and enter into collaborations with the most forward-thinking partners.

 

Most of all, though, it will be a learning experience for everyone. While ideas might be the key to innovation, learning new skills, thought processes and methods of inclusivity are the keys to making those ideas work.

 

So are you the innovators we’re looking for to build a richer, deeper and more enlightened Philips road map?

Mike Schavemaker

Open Innovation program manager

As the Open Innovation program manager in Philips I2M Excellence, Mike drives the transformation on Open Innovation across Philips, ultimately with the aim of developing Philips to the Partner of Choice to Innovate with in the markets of choice.

 

Follow Mike on:

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