In Food Technology’s March cover story, Helmut Traitler, Head of Innovation Partnerships, and Sam Saguy, Visiting Professor from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, give an elucidating account of Nestlé’s open innovation model. At the heart of Nestlé open innovation model is a “Sharing is Winning” mindset.
Nestlé’s strategy of open innovation
Throughout its 140 year history, Nestlé’s impressive internal R&D capability has been driving most of the company’s innovations. Nestlé’s internal network of 27 research, technology and development centres world-wide had a record spending of 2billion CHF in 2008.
More and more, however, the fast pace of scientific discovery combined with its increasing complexity, makes it impossible for any one company to have all the answers in-house. Partnerships bring many advantages. By exploring beyond the company’s traditional boundaries, partnerships can provide access to state-of-the-art knowledge, help to create innovative ideas and know-how, and they facilitate shared risk-taking. Nestlé’s external network comprises universities, venture capital, key suppliers and government bodies.
The open process
The co-creation process is not easy. The whole process requires leadership, trust building, goodwill creation, sharing and agreements - all are integral components of Nestlé’s open innovation model.
One example of how new ideas can be generated is IdeaStore™, a novel creative-problem-solving tool created by Helmut Traitler. IdeaStore™ brings together people from diverse disciplines in order to brainstorm and prioritise ideas – and identify one or two with the potential for commercial success.
Open vision and culture
Visionary leadership and an open mindset are essential. Open innovation can only be successful in a culture that welcomes new ideas, calculated risk taking, new competencies, and new ways of thinking about collaborations with external partners.
Coming up with new ideas that can be executed successfully requires a consumer-centric approach. In this way consumers not only benefit, but they also welcome innovation.
“True innovation is actually generated in a spirit of deep understanding of people’s needs, dreams, desires and hopes”.
Helmut Traitler, VP, Head of Innovation Partnerships, Nestec Ltd.
Full paper: Creating Successful Innovation Partnerships (pdf, 383 Kb)
PDF kindly provided by Food Technology Magazine
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