Bold Innovators Sparking Both Business Impact and Social Impact

Bold Innovators Sparking Both Business Impact and Social Impact

Open innovation is a term coined by Henry Chesbrough in his 2003 book, “Open Innovation: The new imperative for creating and profiting from technology”. Open Innovation assumes that valuable ideas can come from inside or out of the company and can go to the market from inside or outside the company as well. At the heart of the open paradigm is the assumption that enterprises cannot conduct all R&D activities by themselves; instead, they have to capitalize on external knowledge.

For example, in 2000, Procter and Gamble (P&G) faced several major difficulties: an increased pace of innovation, higher costs, constrained resources and growing consumer demands had all made certain elements in P&G’s traditional research and development (R&D) model obsolete. The company required a “growth rate which exceeded the industry growth rate”. This required collaboration with external elements; or in other words: Open Innovation. This initiative was dubbed Connect and Develop where the company collaborated with external sources for innovative ideas and technologies. When the process began some 10-15% of the innovations at P&G included ideas from external sources, and this increased to about 50% in under a decade.

There are clear advantages of exercising Open Innovation practices: reduction in the time and cost of innovation projects; incorporation of solutions and innovations which would have never been internally generated, due to lack of time, knowledge and resources; and commercialization of inventions which for various reasons cannot be achieved by the company owning them. At the same time however, Open Innovation has its own challenges: managing intellectual property issues and other legal risks; processing ideas quickly, and efficiently; and establishing an efficient internal structure that supports and facilitates Open Innovation.

Over the years I have followed closely many companies that provide open innovation services and platforms; and it seems that the market in buzzing. The Innovation Management Market is projected to grow to $1.5 Billion by 2022, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 29.2% during the period 2017-2022.

The BOLD Awards 2019 has a category for the Boldest Innovator, sponsored by Surcle, which is itself an open innovation platform that evolved from a eureka moment breakthrough at an online supply chain for electronic components. They can now provide their clients with access to a global network of both professional and citizen scientists to tackle their issues and devise novel solutions.

There’s a company that recently caught my eye, and if it was just a little bit younger maybe its founders would have entered: SparkBeyond. Established in 2013, the company’s platform is designed to tackle the cognitive bottleneck and bias inherent in human thinking, augment data with a multitude of external data sources, and enable adaptive AI systems. Their platform discovers complex patterns, identifies root causes and drivers of business outcomes.

By leveraging their Knowledge Mining capabilities they are enabling companies to deepen the scope of their R&D, expand into the long tail of factors affecting the problem, reduce researchers’ efforts, and identify technological breakthroughs. On top of their sophisticated AI mechanisms, they harness humanity’s collective intelligence to generate millions of insights and empower organizations with strategic and operational intelligence for maximal impact.

Bold Innovators Sparking Both Business Impact and Social Impact

Moving forward, SparkBeyond is creating its “Invention Machine”, which analyzes millions of inventions to create a stream of thousands of new directions for inventions, which would be further refined and enriched through a dynamic crowd-sourced process.

What I really like about SparkBeyond is that in addition to business impact, they are committed to generating social impact on a planetary scale. An exciting project that has come to my attention that has been driven by some standout people: SparkBeyond partnered with a leading HMO to analyze one of the world’s largest and richest EMRs – in order to improve early disease and high-risk state detection.

The current research paradigm fails to address clinical research needs due to a number of factors: the ever-growing volume and complexity of data; time-consuming data construction; human bias in defining the hypotheses space; the high cost of error (so research remains in the comfort zone); and the skillset gap between clinical experts and data analysis.

By combining medical expertise with machine intelligence, the problem-solving platform discovered that a reduction in hemoglobin levels over time was a high contributor in identifying patients at risk for Colon cancer. The result: in a very short time, the platform generated a lift of 13x in identifying patients at risk for Colon cancer, among the top 1% of the at-risk population. Now that’s what I call impact!

Chesbrough argues – and I agree – that the future of Open Innovation is more extensive, more collaborative, and more engaged with a wider variety of participants. But to that I would add that the future of open innovation is within the development of AI-based tools that enhance the ability of individuals, groups and organizations to reach a deeper level of research and analysis, thus improving decision-making processes.

The combination of human crowds and sophisticated machines will enable organizations to acquire real-time understanding of previously obscured connections and relationships and to use artificial intelligence to point research in the right direction. Such tools will be the ultimate analytic resources for creating synergy between data-information knowledge, software-hardware and human experts. Put differently, the next generation of open innovation will be based on leveraging humanity’s collective intelligence to augment AI-generated solutions and vice-versa.

Author: Dr Shay Hershkovitz

Have you voted yet for your Boldest Innovator? The time for submitting entries to the BOLD Awards 2019 has closed and right now we are in a public voting phase until February 20. After this an international panel of judges with specific category knowledge will become involved to decide the winners in 12 categories. Be involved and vote now for your favourite projects. You can also apply to attend the gala dinner award ceremony in Venice, Italy, on April 5.

PRESS RELEASE: Meet the BOLD judges who are going to go BOLD.

Feb. 12, 2019 – Singapore, Venice, New York

Crowdsourcing Week has launched the new BOLD Awards to highlight the very best projects across a range of key categories – from advertising and crowdfunding to scientific projects and the space frontier. The concluding Gala Dinner award ceremony will be held at H-FARM in Venice, Italy, on April 5th 2019.

Entries are already being submitted and from February 9 finalists will be selected via public voting, then jury members with category-specific expertise will evaluate the shortlisted entries based on their criteria and select 5 nominees per category. The public vote is weighted 50% and the judges’ final vote is also 50%.

H-FARM Founder Maurizio Rossi, Millennium Project Director José Luis Cordero, and best-selling author Julian Guthrie are among the judges we are proud to announce for the inaugural BOLD Awards.

Also on the judging panel are Karin Mayer Rubinstein, CEO at Israel Advanced Technology Industries, Ranjita Ghosh, Global Marketing Director at Wipro, and Crowdsourcing Week CEO Epi Ludvik. Between them the full panel of judges will represent a diverse range of business and industry sectors from around the world.

We are happy to be partner of the BOLD Awards, with which we share a DNA that believes in the opportunities that arise from the sharing of knowledge and skills born through digital platforms.” Comments Maurizio Rossi, co-founder and vice chairman of H-FARM, “today more than ever it is important to give support and visibility to the best minds in the field of innovation to motivate them to do, and do even better”.

Our judges will consider each project in detail – such as how it has a significant direct impact on society, its scalability and transparency and its H-Factor (Human & Social) – to determine category winners.

About H-FARM:

H-FARM is an innovation platform which supports the creation of new business models, as well as the digital transformation and education of young people and Italian companies. Founded in January 2005, H-FARM was the first in the world to adopt a model that brought together education, investments, and business consultancy in one place. Since its founding until today, H-FARM has invested €27,3M to support the development of over a hundred innovative companies, has helped 200 of the most important international brands take advantage of the opportunities made possible by digital transformation and educates more than 1.000 students through an international and digital didactic path. Structured like a campus, it is destined to become the most important innovation hub in Europe and is currently undergoing an expansion that will grow its facilities from 14,000 mq of buildings with a 20-hectare park to 42,000 mq of buildings distributed over 51 hectares of land close to Venice. H-FARM employs more than 600 people in 5 different locations in Italy and is considered a singularity at an international level. BOLD Awards will be hosted in the events room and the evening will continue on the terrace together with lots of surprises.

Press Office H-FARM:

Giulia Franchin: [email protected]

Gaia Veronese: [email protected]

About Crowdsourcing Week:

Crowdsourcing Week is the first global platform on crowdsourcing and open innovation. As the global network and forum for the Crowd Economy, CSW is committed to help organizations, innovators and entrepreneurs transition into a more open, connected, and socially productive society enabled by the Internet and online tools powered by the crowds.

Press Office BOLD Awards:

Mia Zamora: [email protected]


Global Corporation is BOLD Enough to Disrupt Itself

Global Corporation is BOLD Enough to Disrupt Itself

We’re getting increasingly used to witnessing the commercial disruption taking place due to mass digital connectivity giving rise to new business models. In many instances it’s where existing players in a market place come under threat from newcomers who have torn up the old play book, and if the incumbents are unable to respond well enough or fast enough they can soon be eclipsed. Many well-known retail brands have disappeared as people increasingly shop online, hotel margins are under pressure, worldwide car sales have plateaued and are in decline in developed markets, and ‘mass services’ including healthcare and education are under the spotlight of the technology revolution.

But how about when a global corporation is bold enough to disrupt itself? This is what some think the Philip Morris International tobacco company did when it set out to create a smoke-free future through the development of Reduced Risk Products (RRPs).

Reduced Risk Products is the term PMI use to refer to products with the potential to reduce individual risk and population harm in comparison to smoking cigarettes. PMI’s RRPs are now in various stages of development and commercialization, and the company is conducting extensive and rigorous scientific studies to determine whether they can support claims for such products of reduced exposure to harmful and potentially harmful constituents in smoke, and ultimately claims of reduced disease risk, when compared to smoking cigarettes.

As part of their process to develop smoke-free products in a way that would be robust enough to withstand intense scrutiny, PMI launched sbv IMPROVER as an industry initiative to harness the wisdom of the crowd in science. The purpose was to provide a measure of quality control through gaining external third-party validation of the methodologies used. sbv IMPROVER stands for Systems Biology Verification combined with Industrial Methodology for Process Verification in Research.

The verification would be provided by a global community of scientists, all busy with their own research and projects. Scientists who want to get involved can do so individually, in teams, or could look for a currently involved team and seek to join it. They gain contacts and achieve personal exposure among their peer group which can enhance their reputation and career progression. The best performers are rewarded with gift cards and/or a travel grant, based on their individual performance rather than their team’s performance. Additionally, for it to succeed, an important part of getting this community on board is to let them also use the sbv IMPROVER platform to seek third-party validation of their work.

The sbv IMPROVER platform is sponsoring the “Boldest Scientific Project” category in the BOLD Awards 2019. Entrants in this category had to demonstrate an innovative approach to crowdsourcing in a scientific project. The project should also have been able to demonstrate a quantifiable global benefit. Entries were submitted up to February 8 and the first stage of selecting a category winner is an online public vote. After this, an international panel of judges will examine the entries and select a final winner who will receive their award – presented by a representative from sbv IMPROVER – at a gala dinner ceremony in Venice, Italy, on April 5 2019.

In the meantime, a current challenge on the sbv IMPROVER platform is the updated iteration of the Network Verification Challenge which aims at refining biological network models representing the three phases of liver xenobiotic metabolism. Xenobiotic  metabolism is activated in response to exposure to chemical substances foreign to the body (i.e., xenobiotics, such as toxic compounds, drugs, etc.) and is therefore relevant for multiple applications in toxicology and pharmacology. Those networks were built based on scientific literature, with one or more excerpts from a scientific publication supporting each edge in the network.Global Corporation is BOLD Enough to Disrupt Itself

The goal of the challenge is to verify the evidence supporting the network as well as to add/remove nodes and edges, as supported by the current scientific literature. Any scientist able to read and understand a scientific publication should be able to take part in the Network Verification challenge. Participation is encouraged by a leaderboard highlighting the best performers on the platform as well as by some monetary and scientific incentives.

The time for submitting entries to the BOLD Awards has closed and right now we are in a public voting phase until February 20. After this an international panel of judges with specific category knowledge will become involved to decide the winners in 12 categories. Be involved and vote now for your favourite projects. You can also apply to attend the gala dinner award ceremony in Venice, Italy, on April 5.