Enabling cross-industry innovation through the InnoDays

Enabling cross-industry innovation through the InnoDays

The opportunity: Innovating across boundaries

The fast pace of innovation and technological change are making cross-industry collaboration imperative. The definition of cross-industry collaboration has evolved from traditional partnerships along the value chain to the joint delivery of new business models and customer experiences. Several multinational companies have started to engage in cross-industry collaborations to drive their innovation efforts. Among the others, Ericsson and ABB are working together to develop a technology to allow touch properties to the virtual world; Nestlé and L’Oréal are partnering in the field of nutricosmetic health, an industry segment between nutrition and pharmaceutics; Schindler and Microsoft established BuildingMinds, a startup aiming to optimize real estate management.

Setting up cross-industry collaborations involves challenges that may undermine the innovation potential. Differences in organizational structures, strategic intent, and culture have to be considered. To curb these challenges, several companies turn to intermediaries, such as innovation labs, incubators, and hackathons. Innovation intermediaries offer a non-confrontational starting point to discuss collaborations and kickstart the innovation process. The InnoDays provides a safe and creative place outside the company walls where cross-industry areas of mutual interest can be explored with the input of young talent and experienced mentors.

Case Study

Company partners: Kapsch Business Com,  Zumtobel & Microsoft

Challenge question: How might we design the smartest office imaginable?

Link to challenge brief: https://www.innodays.org/challenge/smart-office/

Event: InnoDays Bregenz 2019

Link to event: https://www.innodays.org/bregenz2019/

Outcomes: 30 participants developing 7 prototypes; 2 internships to build the idea

Collaboration highlights: Kapsch BusinessCom operates as a consultant, system supplier, and service provider to businesses that are facing digitalization. Microsoft is a technology provider aiming to support individuals and companies to realize their full potential. Zumtobel is an international supplier of integral lighting solutions at the interplay of light and architecture. The three companies identified a mutual interest in the area of “Smart Office”. The proposed challenge question was based on the insight that data have become an integral part of the workplace. As three leading technology partners in overlapping spheres, Kapsch, Microsoft, and Zumtobel asked the InnoDays participants how they could combine and integrate their expertise to design new solutions, products, and experiences around the future of the workplace.


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