’s 11th Annual Open Innovation Conference

June 17, 2011

We hosted our 11th annual Open Innovation conference in Boston 2 weeks ago.  It was a huge success.  We talked about; trends in innovation and best practices.  A few large companies presented their learnings and plans, a few small companies presented their breakthrough technologies and we had a few case studies…..and a personal favorite – we ate lobster.

In total, we had executives from 3 Continents, with a large group from Japan.  Some of the companies  participating included; Canon, P&G, Agfa, AirProducts, Applied Materials, AveryDennison, Baxter, Bayer, Clorox, Colgate,  DuPont, Ecolab, GSK, Kimberly-Clark, J&J, Kisco, Mellon, Nissan, Panasonic, Parker Hannifin, P&G, Ricoh, Sony, DSM, Invista and NASA!   Add to this, we had 2 dozen selected small companies, with breakthrough technologies.

     I liked the robust Q&A after each presentation.  When Canon’s CTO, Dr. Ikoma-san, presented, 4 other CTOs asked questions.  You cant beat that.  Some themes that emerged

  1. Be ready for disruptive innovation from the bottom of the pyramid
  2. Regional R&D, with Global Sourcing
  3. Squash the immune response – accept ‘fuzzy data’
  4. Enable personal risk taking
  5. Engage ‘Renewal Searches’ – at the middle and the end of R&D

We spent a lot of time discussing how to optimize deals between large and small companies.  This has been a reoccurring theme are our events.  Even when there is a great technology fit, deals take more time than both parties would like. Read the rest of this entry »


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