Lessons Learned from the Siemens Smart Grid Innovation Contest


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Presentation at the Front End Innovation (FEI) Europe 2012 in Zurich. Repeated as webinar. Recordings available at http://www.frontendofinnovationblog.com/2012/12/webinar-recording-available-siemens.html . The talk includes some experience (and numbers) about crowd recruiting and conversion rates.

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Lessons Learned from the Siemens Smart Grid Innovation Contest

  1. 1. Smart Grid Innovation ContestLessons Learned Dr. Michael Heiss Siemens AG Chief Technology Office © Siemensthe four happy winners reserved. Photo: AG 2011. All rights Open Innovation Program in front of the German Parliament, Berlin 2011.
  2. 2. Concept, facts and figures of the Smart Grid Innovation Contest: new top university cooperations Phase I: Public Idea Contest Phase II: Call for Research Proposals (for everybody) for universities only Apr – Jun 2011 Oct – Dec 2011 Topic cluster NDA Research Topic (confidential) Evaluation Award Submission RTR2) ContractingProcess Submission & Jury Abstract RTR2) social ranking by Siemens decision ceremony submission accept/ of full decision & Rec. by (incl. MVC*) (Qualification) deny proposal implementation MVC1) 15 000 € (total) 1 Mio. € + Berlin trip budget (total) RTR2)+Selected Siemens experts: Public: Selected Siemens experts: Public & Peers: • Abstract submissionVisible • All submissions • Internal ranking (5 stars): public • Nothing, except the generic • Full research proposal submission • All comments • no internal comments! topic cluster description, • Internal comments • Crowd ranking (5 stars) • no crowd ranking • Communication with submitter • Decisions Recruiting of participants: via social media (e.g. LinkedIn groups) via SCOPUS all authors of scientific papers in the field were invitedParticipants • 100 countries • 500 ideas • 40 countries • 172 abstracts submitted • 35 000 unique visitors • 5 000 comments & evaluations • 200 universities • 25 accepted for full proposal • 1 500 registered users • 300 000 minutes on the site • 400 registered users • 10 to be contracted Awareness & branding High quality research proposalsResults Top experts © Siemens AG 2011. All rights reserved. Page 2 1) 10/05/12 Rec. By MVC: Recommendation by Most Valuable Contributors, pre-evaluated by Core-Team 2) CT O RTR: Research Topic Responsible (from Siemens) OI
  3. 3. Innovating Innovation is not for free Lessons Learned from the Smart Grid Innovation Contest Emotions Seismograph / Timeline © Siemens AG 2011. All rights reserved. Page 3 10/05/12 CT O OI
  4. 4. The „stock market price“ of the project shows the challenges of applying a new method Condensed Emotions Seismograph / Timeline estimated Return of Invest based on your own investment # Comments 1.4. 15.6. 21.7. 15.9. 4.10. 30.11. 14.12. 1  Doubtfully at the beginning  Too many proposals that were not in  positive 6 9 10 2 Siemens business.  Loss of both power sponsors 3  Some interesting submitted ideas 8  New confidentiality policy disrupted 4 plans and caused extra challenges for 5 the tool. 3  Definition of Research Topic Clusters 1 time 5 and Detailed Research Question  The Award Ceremony in Berlin and the 6 community feeling hat was very positive 7 7  Technical issues behind the scene 2 4  The contest was successfully launched negative 8 and immediate response was positive, but quality of submissions at the beginning not convincing.  Very high quality of submission. 9 Due to the high number of submissions high effort.Preparation Idea Contest Online Jury Preparation Topic Award CfP Online Evaluation of 13.4-15.6.2011 21.7.2011 Definition for Ceremony 4.10.-30.11.2011 proposals  Contracting on the way 10 CfP Berlin Research Topic Responsibles from BU 15.9.2011 Core Team © Siemens AG 2011. All rights reserved. Page 4 10/05/12 CT O OI
  5. 5. Lessons Learned in Phase I:Smart Grid Idea Contest © Siemens AG 2011. All rights reserved.
  6. 6. Crowd Ideation in complex technology fields is more challenging Topic selectionhttp://led-emotionalize.com/ the winner http://smartgridcontest.com/ the winner web platform by WYSIWYG*-topics (e.g. light design) can be understood & evaluated faster than complex topics like smart grid technology.* WYSIWYG: what you see is what you get © Siemens AG 2011. All rights reserved. Page 6 10/05/12 CT O OI
  7. 7. Attracting participants via social media communication is “free of charge” but hard work Recruiting of Participants Estimated* costs just for attracting participants (not including the costs of performing the contest) 1 Mio. to 90 Mio.* page impressions of contest announcements (more then 200 non-Siemens web platforms, e.g. smart grid communities, wrote about the contest) conversion rate: 30 to 2 500* 35 000 unique visitors (50ct* each) would lead to approx. 17 500€ advertisement costs conversion rate: approx. 25 1 500 registered users (12€ each) conversion rate: approx. 3 500 ideas (35€ each) 4 winning ideasAddressing individually selected expert communities is more focused thanjust posting ads via Google or Facebook, but do not underestimate your effort:it will not be cheaper than via Google or Facebook. * Facebook offers/recommends for contest advertisements approx. 50ct per click or 20ct per 1000 page impressions -> estimated conversion rate: 2 500 © Siemens AG 2011. All rights reserved. Page 7 10/05/12 CT O OI
  8. 8. Customers and Government are also attracted by the contest but are more observing than submitting own ideas. Recruiting of ParticipantsMake the contest also attractive for technology providers – this needs specialcare at the terms and conditions regarding intellectual property rights (IPRs). © Siemens AG 2011. All rights reserved. Page 8 10/05/12 CT O OI
  9. 9. Obligatory key-visuals make submissionsmore unique, attractive and understandable Idea SubmissionEven for such complex technology fields like smart grids key-visuals work.Most of the submitters are better in visualizing than in writing ;-) © Siemens AG 2011. All rights reserved. Page 9 10/05/12 CT O OI
  10. 10. It is beneficial to ask the Most Valuable Contributors* for their recommendation of the winners Involvement of Most Valuable Contributors Niels Mast João Batista Gomes Netherlands Brazil Shmuel Goldfisher Israel Donatas Gatavynas LithuaniaThe Most Valuable Contributors have commented and evaluated more ideasthan each Siemens expert. Their recommendation was very valuable.* Participants with the highest number of valuable comments and evaluations © Siemens AG 2011. All rights reserved. Page 10 10/05/12 CT O OI
  11. 11. Meeting the winners personally and discusstheir ideas was a highlight for all participants Award Ceremony in BerlinThillainathan LogenthiranSingapure (1st prize) Vassilis Nikolopoulos Thillainathan Logenthiran Christian Huder © Siemens AG 2011.Slobodan Matic All rights reserved. Greece Singapure Germany Berkely, USAPage 11 10/05/12 CT O OI
  12. 12. Lessons Learned in Phase II:Smart Grid Call-for-Proposals © Siemens AG 2011. All rights reserved.
  13. 13. If the research topic is confidential, a pre-qualification for (non-confidential) research topic clusters is helpful Topic Confidentiality non-confidential research topic cluster Example: non-confidential confidential confidential topic 1 topic 3 research topic clusters at http://smartgridcontest.com/university confidential topic 2Do not underestimate the additional effort for IT security for confidentiality.These requirements do not fit (economically) to a “two-month application”. © Siemens AG 2011. All rights reserved. Page 13 10/05/12 CT O OI
  14. 14. The abstract should be limited to 250 words. Abstract Submission (Qualification) Photo: © amras_de at http://www.flickr.com/photos/51243943@N00/423875472/in/pool-visualizationIf the abstract is 500 words, then submitters do not focus on the main idea.This leads to more evaluation effort of the abstracts andno clear separation of the abstract and full proposalSiemens AG 2011. All rights reserved. © submission. Page 14 10/05/12 CT O OI
  15. 15. One of the main motivations of participants: be visible at Siemens and get a job at Siemens Job RecruitingWhen we met the winners and Most Valuable Contributors we asked themhow we attracted them to participate. The surprising answer: not the awardis the attraction but the chance to get visibility within Siemens. All rights reserved. © Siemens AG 2011. Page 15 10/05/12 CT O OI
  16. 16. Siemens Smart Grid Call-for-Proposalsfurther lessons learnedOwnership  Project needs to be fully adopted by the Business Unit – Project Lead from Business Unit. Recruiting of Submitters  Management support from CTO level required.  SCOPUS gave us access to all the  A wide spread management support leads to robustness scientists who published in the search field. against organizational changes. Optimization  Early involvement of Product Managers.  Having a pre-qualification process ensures that the Siemens Experts spend most of theirConfidentiality time with the best proposals and ensures  The more concrete the search field description, leads to a that only trusted submitters have access to trade off between the more confidential information.  the more valuable the submissions  Limiting the words and having a tool-  the higher the risk of disclosing Siemens strategies. enforced structure helps to focus submitters  The higher the security level of the tool, the more expensive, answers – helps to minimize Siemens effort less flexible, more complex to handle. for evaluating.  The quality of the submissions is higher if it is submitted  Explaining what type of proposals Siemens in a closed environment (not public) - at least in a highly wants and does not want helps to optimize competitive search field. the expectation of the submitters and theTiming workload at Siemens.  It is more important to align the contest with the Siemens  Very high usability is required for the web budget planning than with the academic year. tool both for submitters and  First receive all the submissions before making accept/deny backend operations – End to end decisions. process/workflow support. © Siemens AG 2011. All rights reserved.Page 16 10/05/12 CT O OI
  17. 17. Conclusion „I thought I knew the best universities but obviously didn’t“ “Call-for-Proposals are a great method to indentify the best university partner” “The Call-for-Proposals has a clear ROI*. A coupling with Phase I (Idea Contest) is not required”* ROI: Return on Investment © Siemens AG 2011. All rights reserved. Page 17 10/05/12 CT O OI
  18. 18. Contact Twitter: twitter.com/heisss Dr. Michael Heiss Slideshare: www.slideshare.net/heisss Xing: www.xing.com/profile/Michael_Heiss2 Siemens AG LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/michaelheiss Chief Technology Office Flickr: www.flickr.com/photos/michaelheiss Blog: heisss.wordpress.com Open Innovation Program Phone: +43-664-88 55 15 26© Siemens AG 2011. All rights reserved.Page 18 10/05/12 CT O OI
  19. 19. Appendix © Siemens AG 2011. All rights reserved.Page 19 10/05/12 CT O OI
  20. 20. Siemens uses the new rules of "Open Innovation“ to develop its portfolio of innovation methodologies~1900 2003 First university Siemens Technology Open Idea Contests cooperation Accelerator First lead customer TechnoWeb2.0 workshop First centers of Management of Competence E-Broker employees‘ ideas Traditional innovation mgmt. rules New options in the "Open Innovation" game:  Focus on bilateral partnerships  Use unobvious sources  Workshops or mailboxes as frame  IT-based methodologies ("Web2.0") for ideation  New levels of scalability  Limited speed of network dynamics  Enhanced speed in the dynamics of networks  Default: Maximize IP protection  Balance between IP protection and openness © Siemens AG 2011. All rights reserved. Page 20 10/05/12 CT O OI
  21. 21. New Open Innovation approaches are set tocomplement the portfolio of innovation methodologies Ideas Technologies Open Idea Contest E-broker External Absorptive Capacity TechnoWeb 2.0 Internal Integrated Technology Company TechnoSearch Collaborate with Find the expert to creative masses solve your problem © Siemens AG 2011. All rights reserved.Page 21 10/05/12 CT O OI