Global partnership delivers a unique proposition for any organisation seeking to solve business challenges and drive innovation.
Idea management scaleup Wazoku has announced a major new partnership with US open innovation firm InnoCentive, which will create the world’s most comprehensive and powerful innovation platform and community.
InnoCentive has built a global network of more than 400,000 expert problem ‘solvers’ comprising CEOs, PhD students and faculty, entrepreneurs, retired technologists and leaders, which with its Challenge Driven Innovation™ methodology, will be integrated with Wazoku’s Idea Spotlight innovation platform.
Wazoku customers – which include Waitrose, MoD and HSBC – will now be able to tap into the collective knowledge and fresh perspective of the InnoCentive solver network adding new capabilities and a powerful external audience to the Wazoku offering. InnoCentive customers will benefit from a platform partner that brings a far richer and broader suite of features and functionality.
The joint offering is thought to be the world’s biggest innovation community and broadest innovation offering, allowing the crowdsourcing of solutions to the most pressing of business challenges anywhere, anytime.
“Wazoku is always looking for ways of bringing new ideas to the market and with this partnership we can offer a solution at a scope and scale that no other company can,” said Simon Hill, CEO, Wazoku. “Our Idea Spotlight platform is widely recognised by analysts, customers and peers for its rate of product innovation and by combining that with InnoCentive’s solver network we have created a unique proposition for problem solving and crowdsourcing ideas.”
The InnoCentive solvers have helped to solve thousands of innovation challenges, including making tuberculosis medicines cost effective, helping NASA astronauts to exercise in zero gravity and supporting national security innovation by speeding up the ability to respond to bio-terror events anywhere in the world.
Clients (seekers) submit their challenge to the InnoCentive solver network, which includes experts from within that user’s own industry, but also experts from outside of that industry to offer diverse perspectives and fresh insight. Prizes are awarded to solvers whose solutions meet the clients’ challenges and the client often acquires IP for the ideas.
Initially the partnership will see the integration of Wazoku’s Idea Spotlight with InnoCentive’s external network of more than 400,000 solvers and its Challenge Driven Innovation™ methodology. Following this, the two companies will develop the Wazoku ‘Spotlight.ai’ functionality, adding more AI and machine learning to the open innovation offering to help global businesses more effectively source, evaluate and identify the best outcomes to address their innovation challenges.
“We see a lot of demand from our customers for a more integrated offering, enabling open innovation challenges, while also supporting internal and ecosystem focused innovation,” said Alpheus Bingham, CEO and co-founder of InnoCentive. “Wazoku’s platform is feature-rich, inherently scalable and has already proved its commercial viability and effectiveness. It will add a new dimension to our challenges and together we create an open innovation platform, community and marketplace unlike any other in the world.”
Dr. Thomas Malone, Professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management and Director of the MIT Center for Collective Intelligence, sees the partnership as the natural progression of open innovation:
“Integrating the components of idea management and crowdsourcing allows companies to solve problems and create opportunities using many channels both outside and inside the organisation. This combination of market leaders, Wazoku and InnoCentive represents a substantial maturation in the open innovation sector.”
For Wazoku, the partnership with InnoCentive also provides a further footprint into the important US market, as Simon Hill, CEO, Wazoku, explains:
“The global idea management market will reach more than £1bn within two years, and a significant part of that is within the US. It’s a key market for Wazoku and partnering with InnoCentive is the perfect way for us to make more significant inroads into the US and attract new customers. It’s also a gamechanger for our current customers seeking a fresh approach to their challenges, gaining diverse perspectives from the world’s most powerful innovation community.”