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Open Innovation - Best Practices for Raw Material Companies


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Mining and raw materials companies have longer and costly innovation cycles.The objective of the project was to build on top of the established Open Innovation (OI) body of knowledge a set of best practices and tools specifically tailored to raw material companies. The project consisted of an open innovation assessment study and piloting a digital collaboration tool in an online OI workshop in a mining company.

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Open Innovation - Best Practices for Raw Material Companies

  1. 1. Project Overcome: Open Innovation methodology, best practices and tools for raw material companies
  2. 2. Supported by: Project Overcome: Open Innovation methodology, best practices and tools for raw material companies • The objective of the project was to build on top of the established Open Innovation (OI) body of knowledge a set of best practices and tools specifically tailored to the specificities of raw material companies • Also new open innovation methodology, increased cooperation, shorter innovation cycles and development of a new service • The project consisted of an open innovation assessment study and piloting a digital collaboration tool in an online OI workshop in a mining company
  3. 3. Supported by: Spinverse is the Nordic leader in innovation consulting, specialised in open innovation, arranging funding and commercialisation of emerging technologies. LUT University is a pioneering science university in Finland, bringing together the fields of science and business since 1969. LKAB is a high-tech international minerals group, world leading producer of processed iron ore products for steelmaking, and a growing supplier of mineral products for other industrial sectors. Project partners
  4. 4. Supported by: What is open innovation? “Distributed innovation process based on purposively managed knowledge flows across organizational boundaries, using pecuniary and non- pecuniary mechanisms in line with company’s business model” (Chesbrough and Bogers, 2014) Open innovation is no longer a strategic option available to companies but a major paradigm shift in business culture that all competitive companies must embrace if they want to survive. The notion of open innovation has gained traction in the last years especially in the ICT sector, but open innovation is more than a new business model - all companies, regardless of their sector, can benefit from a collaborative approach to innovation.
  5. 5. Supported by: Principles of open innovation Closed innovation Centralised, inward-looking innovation Open innovation Externally focused, collaborative innovation Smart people in our field work for us. Not all smart people work for us. We need to work with smart people inside and outside the company. To profit from R&D, we must discover it, develop it and ship it ourselves. External R&D can create significant value. Internal R&D is needed to claim a portion of that value. The company that gets innovation to market first will win. Building a better business model is more important than getting to market first. If we create the most and best ideas in the industry, we will win. If we make the best use of both internal and external ideas, we will win. We should control our IP so that our competitors cannot profit from it. We should profit from others’ use of our IP (license out) and we should license in others’ IP whenever it advances our business model. We will own all our deliverables generated in contract research with universities. We will partner with universities to create knowledge and encourage the use of results outside our field. Source: Chesbrough, 2003
  6. 6. Supported by: Why do companies implement OI? • Shorter time to market • Finding new technologies • Access to additional competences • Finding new ideas • Cost reduction and efficiency • Access to new markets • Influencing innovation in an ecosystem • Access to vital information for decision making • Flexibility of skills • Exploiting technologies from inside • Increasing quality
  7. 7. Supported by: Spinverse has identified six key success factors in open innovation Active engagement in existing and potential partner networks to push for new opportunitiesTop management engagement Portfolio process linked and optimised across internal and external business partnersCurrent portfolio Proactive utilisation of internal and external views in initiation and decision- makingInitiation Partner search covers ecosystem-centric, cross-organizational innovation networksPartner search Win-win situation for all actors involved Trust and openness Collaborative attitude Identification of additional innovations with partnersCommercialisation
  8. 8. Supported by: How does an open innovation approach benefit companies in the field of raw materials? • The goal of the project was to demonstrate the effectiveness of OI in sectors with longer and costlier innovation cycles, starting with the raw materials sector and related industrial companies • Digital tools enable increased internal and external collaboration for raw materials companies, which are often located far from their existing and potential partners • The project focused on the existing innovation processes at the case company and how they can be enhanced within an open innovation framework
  9. 9. Supported by: OI assessment at a mining company • In-detail stakeholder interviews were conducted in the case mining company to assess the company’s innovation processes within the OI framework • Key results and identified needs at the case company: • Better way to involve various stakeholders needed in open innovation activities, such as project preparation or project management • Stage gate model in R&D was considered too long • The company had been too protective of their IPR • It was noted that creating cross-functional teams and increasing collaboration with external partners could aid in achieving sustainable results from the company’s OI efforts
  10. 10. Supported by: Piloting the digital collaboration platform tool • A digital collaboration tool was piloted in an online workshop on open innovation with participants from the case company • The piloted digital collaboration platform tool was based on commercial software developed by a Finnish company called Humap Software • Howspace (previously REAL) is a web-based engagement platform for digital facilitation and a collaborative way of working and running projects • The tool was modified for the purposes of the pilot case • Suitable for e.g. project collaboration in multi-partner projects for meetings, ideation and online workshops
  11. 11. Supported by: Key features of the digital collaboration tool • Videos and chat • Invitations, reminders and notifications • One-click participation on any device • Hiding and sharing content in real-time • Real-time polls • Co-created documentation • Exporting all data
  12. 12. Supported by: Benefits of using the digital collaboration tool 1. Extending the impact of workshops The tool enables engaging with the participants in an easy way. By combining the use of virtual workspaces along with physical workspaces, it’s possible to work even with very large groups before, during and after workshops. 2. Easy debriefing and sharing Digitalization makes sharing thoughts and documents easier. Every discussion can be coordinated in the same place in real time. Ideas, thoughts and comments can be shared and accessed by participants, and if appropriate, seen and discussed openly throughout the organization or between organizations. 3. Transparent collaboration The platform enables facilitators to create structured, staged processes which support and enable collaboration that can be made visible to anyone in the organization or project. Teams can connect with each other’s thoughts and ideas, and management team can participate discussions.
  13. 13. Supported by: Benefits of using the digital collaboration tool 4. Involving a large group of people In a face-to-face setting, facilitators typically work with groups of 20-30 people. Digitalizing the facilitation methods has made it possible for facilitators to work with hundreds or thousands of people. With the platform, everyone can be involved at the same time and all the participants become responsible for documenting and debriefing each other. 5. Collaborative prioritisation and decision making Using digital tools, brainstorming, liking, voting, prioritizing and decision making is much easier. Everyone can be involved in the conversations and in prioritization and decision making before, during and after the workshops. 6. Visualizing discussion The platform enables capturing and visualizing both quantitative and qualitative content. Tools can capture people’s views and choices, as well as their words and phrases.
  14. 14. Supported by: Feedback from participants was very positive • The functionalities and use cases for the tool were considered clear, and the tool is adaptable to different purposes and projects • From a project partner’s point of view, the time savings can be huge: it’s possible to ideate, prioritize and end up in joint decisions in a short time • Quotes from participants of the pilot workshop: “Tool that is easy to use and follow.” “Can be used in workshops and discussions.” ”The tools worked successfully.” “IT tool can be useful.” “One thing is to learn more about Open Innovation. Second, this tool can be used designing meetings and workshops.”
  15. 15. Supported by: Several potential use cases for the collaboration tool were identified in the case company • New project preparation • The tool is very suitable for project preparations where one needs to involve or get input from many people (internal or external) and collect, rank and prioritize inputs • Brainstorming • If there’s an existing project which considers future developments in the company and/or mining in general, the digital tool is suitable for brainstorming ideas and showing initiative to employees by involving them in the ideation process • Input for a specific technological challenge • If there’s a challenge related to e.g. a technology, a process or anything else where lots of people need to be involved to give their opinions, views or comments, the tool is suitable for that
  16. 16. Supported by: Project branding-Flag Le Supported by: