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Bror Salmeilin, Adviser, Innovation Systems, European Commision presents “Challenges for innovation; how to respond in systemic way”


At first, he introduced the essential drivers of innovation:

  • connectivity
  • openness
  • interaction
  • “organic”


Regarding creating innovation platforms, Bror quoted Prof V. Ramaswami, “Assemblages of persons, interfaces, processes, and artifacts, purposefully designed to intensify engagements to co-create value.” He continued with discussing the discovery of valuable ideas by crowds, and talked about the paradigm change from closed innovation through open innovation to Open innovation 2.0.


Stephane Grumbach, Research Director of INRIA, talked about the role of intermediation in innovation which offer new platforms and eco-systems for innovation and enable easy move from the supply side to the demand side of markets of new, innovative solutions. He also talked about the disruptive role of these information intermediaries.


Audrey Scozzaro Ferrazzini from Qualcomm talked about patents as incentives for inventors to take risks and effective tools to drive innovation, growth and employment.


Michael Stankosky, Research Professor, from George Washington University, USA talked about competitive collaboration, the new paradigm that is critical to innovation. In a traditional way, many companies innovate by themselves, and protect their innovations with patents. However, innovation is not only very expensive, but also too long for any realized tangible benefits. A new model has been seen that we call: competitive or business collaboration. Instead of going it alone, several companies are now teaming with their competitors to research on significant issues for their respective industries. One example of this are automobile companies. Where it is too expensive and risky to do research on the next evolution of the gasoline and electric engine, they are now collaborating with all their resources (people, know-how, money) [BMW & Toyota are sharing costs and knowledge for electric battery research]. The results will be shared, and their competitive advantage will remain in how they integrate the engine with all the other aspects of the car: design, safety, features, marketing, price, maintenance, etc., as well as their brand name. There are many other examples, to name a few: Coca-Cola + Heinz [collaborating to develop more sustainable containers], Philips [collaborating on multiple fronts], GMV + Lavina [using cross-sector know-how to advance neurological rehabilitation], and Reebok + Marvel [where athletes meet superheroes]. The old mantra: innovate or die; the new one: collaborate or die.


As a professor, he suggested to be innovative by daring to be curious, break the rules, challenge authority, and bringing change to the next level.


Evgeny Obrazstov showcased the use of innovative technologies in nuclear modelling in designing in Atomproekt.


Francois Stephan from IRT SystemX, talked about new innovation strategies for smart territories – digitization of territories which can be as small as a single city and as large as a whole continent – to achieve sustainability and security. One of the key issues to be addressed with this strategy include:

  • How to guarantee confidence and security of data management?
  • How to model and stimulate smart territories with all scales integrated?
  • How to design sustainable architectures for territories development?


The key enablers of innovations for smart territories include: speed, interdisciplinarity, cross-sectoral collaboration, co-location work, continuum from upfront research to field testing, large communities working with startups, public-private partnership, joint research by academy and industry etc.


Jemery Millard, Chief Policy Adviser, Danish Technological Institute, Denmark, shared his insights in achieving greater societal impact through open, social and inclusive innovation. He further defined each kind of innovation:

  • Social innovation is meeting a social need in meeting a social need in new ways which also collaborates with, and empowers, the beneficiary, rather than just doing something to them. He used “In Our Back Yard” from USA as an example of social innovation.
  • Inclusive innovation – reaching the poorest and most excluded (Prahalad’s BoP) using the example of “Mission Leben” from Germany using ICT to adapt traditional work places to needs and capacities of individual workers offering easy interfaces.
  • Frugal Innovation illustrated by the example of “Narayana Cardiac Care” from India which significantly dropped the cost of a cardiac surgery to just $3,000 and decreased the rate of mortality to just 2%


The underlying aspects of these types of innovation are:

  • Continuous asset squeezing (more effective use of assets) and
  • Moving from linear economy to circular economy which is characterized by shift from mass consumption/ production to mass customization; from Porter’s shareholders’ value to shared value and from abundant to constrained investment capital and resources, and new business models marking the shift from ownership and exclusive use to new forms of shared and collaborative consumption and increased importance of access over ownership.