Open Innovation to connect ambitious SMEs with the automotive industry

  • Posted on: 3 April 2019
  • By: Tom Vranken

Open Innovation to connect ambitious SMEs with the automotive industry

Last December, in the prospect of the official launch of the OI2Lab platform, we were looking for our first project to be published on the platform. 

Incidentally, our previous blog post “Collaboration is key to any innovation strategy today, both for large corporates and for SMEs” caught the eye of two regional bodies working in fostering the development of the automotive industry in their regions. They were intrigued by our OI2Lab approach to digitally connect technology requests with technology offers, an approach supported by dedicated account managers guiding clients throughout the process.

The North East Automotive Alliance (NEAA), whose primary objective is to support a sustainable economic growth of the automotive sector in the North East of England, and the Clusterinitiative Automotive Region Stuttgart (CARS) in Germany, whose goal is to strengthen the Stuttgart region as a world-class hot spot for automotive design and manufacturing, seized the opportunity to embark on an Open Innovation experiment with OI2Lab. Our account management team was approached and assisted them with understanding and defining the needs they thought would make sense for their constituencies. This preparatory work allowed us to launch our first technology request or open call for proposals entitled “Mobile Technologies for Rapid Event Recording and Analysis” on the 24th of January 2019.

 

The challenge to be tackled

 With this open call, NEAA, CARS and OI2LAB are seeking proposals for mobile technologies that allow operators and inspectors in the (automotive) manufacturing industry to log new observations, for example production errors, in a digital manner. Currently, this is being done in a paper-based form, which has many drawbacks. More about the challenge, the type of solutions we are interested in and how to submit your proposal, can be found in the detailed call description and in the guide for applicants.

The 20 most promising proposals will each be awarded with an innovation voucher of 5000€ to kick-start their own cross-border open innovation project to bring their proposed solutions to life. As a bonus, the selected proposals will be shared with the members of NEAA (e.g. Nissan, Caterpillar) and CARS. 

We are less than one month away from the deadline on the 24th of April 2019, 5 pm CET, so do not hesitate to explore this opportunity to engage with some prominent automotive players. Time to act!

Short CV of the Author

Dr. Tom Vranken is Program Manager of NineSigma Europe. He joined the company in February 2015 as technical researcher, made it to Program Manager in 2017 and has since supported multiple industrial clients with identifying technological opportunities and with connecting them to the technology owner(s). Tom has a background in biomedical sciences, bio-electronics & nanotechnology and preceding his position at NineSigma, he obtained his PhD degree at the chemical laboratory of the University of Hasselt, Belgium.