Our Open Innovation Service
An Open Innovation Search (OIS) is a tailored, continuous worldwide trawl of innovative technology, product and other alliance orientated opportunities aimed at delivering business growth for our clients.
I’m frequently quizzed as to WHY a large multinational manufacturing organisation requires the skills of an external, focused team when it comes to technology scouting. The question is usually then further expanded….. “with all their resources surely they are better placed to undertake that type of work?”
Well from experience the better “large organisations” know this is untrue and I’ll try to explain why.
The majority of innovative ideas often originate in small, sometimes “singular” organisations. These small organisations tend to be innovative by necessity, its in their DNA, and of course they are usually more or less unencumbered by hierarchy and bureaucracy. Their problems however start when it comes to commencing the commercialisation of their own innovative ideas. So maybe connecting innovative ideas from SMEs to the market access offered by larger organisations presents an ideal scenario and this is indeed a major part of our partner search philosophy.
Larger companies find it difficult to speak the “language” and understand the anxieties and environment of the SMEs and of course the reverse is equally true.
SME’s don’t usually have experienced resources available to market their innovations whilst larger organisations often find it incredibly “complex” to deal with multiple possible solutions from numerous potential suppliers.
It needs the focus, tenacity, connections and experience of a customisable group, working together to be able to maximise the potential for deal and people matching.
At Strategic Allies Ltd we work with you, the client, to understand the markets you serve, your strengths, weaknesses and positioning in those markets in order to specify the type of opportunities that would potentially strengthen your position or fill identifiable gaps/opportunities in those markets. This results in a skillfully crafted confidential profile of your requirements, which is tightly aligned with your corporate strategic direction. It’s not too tight that it eliminates the ‘whacky’ discoveries that can often ‘seed and feed’ your innovation process, even if you don’t take them on board. But, most importantly, it will provide the focus to enable highly relevant opportunities to be uncovered by our tenacious network of motivated international technology scouts whilst searching through their networks, contacts and specialties.
Using a mixture of ‘WIDE SEARCHES’ via established contacts and associates around the world (most of whom we have worked with for over 30 years) plus a series of sequential ‘NARROW SEARCHES’ focused on agreed target areas, we generate practical options specifically for you. Opportunities come disguised in many ways. Some will be clear once the correct source is established whilst others need professional questioning to establish their value; we will discard some of what we see before it can ever waste your time.
Following the initial search process, we apply our experience in filtering the projects we find to ensure we only present you the best opportunities for an initial review. With our help, you quickly (and without committing significant resource or revealing your identity) gain experience in assessing the front runners. You are then able, if necessary, to further refine the search criteria as the search progresses. Outside of recognised technical, academic and other acclaimed R&D sources, the best opportunities may come from organisations in distant and often unconnected markets who have already developed or are evolving technology that would be of value to your / our clients’ markets.
Most importantly, after searching and filtering, we will actively assist you in securing your chosen opportunities. The continuous search and filter cycle results in a large number of opportunities being identified and investigated by us and, together with you, we will keep filtering out the least attractive projects. From the resultant shortlist, we then start to assess the selected projects in greater detail and initiate appropriate relationships for you with the sources that will hopefully lead to securing a final deal.
Our objective is to secure relevant, value-enhancing, possibly disruptive, opportunities for our clients as quickly and inexpensively as possible.
The client is always in control via regular update meetings but has effectively sub contracted the activities that maximize the potential for innovative partnerships.
We have a summary pdf that outlines our approach here.