The company was created by the pharmaceutical firm Ely Lilly (US) in 2001, with the objective of bringing together companies with specific R&D needs and scientists from all over the world. The company calls its methodology “Challenge driven innovation”. Innocentive refers to its clients and “crowd experts” as “seekers” and “problem solvers” respectively. The company is incorporated in Waltham, Massachusetts (US) and has its European office in London.
Innocentive provides cloud consultancy to complicated projects mostly, which require experts with solid knowledge in physics, chemistry, and other various natural sciences. Company’s website is used as a platform for connection between client companies (seekers) and experts (solvers). Among Innocentive’s clients are US Air Force Research Labs, EMC Corporation, NASA, Nature Publishing Group, Procter & Gamble, Scientific American, The Economist, and Thomson Reuters.
Company uses Transpay as a payment platform. Transpay is one of the largest cross-border payments platform that offers the world's largest, independent direct-to-bank payment network.
Innocentive struggles to provide ideas and solutions to important business, social, policy, scientific, and technical challenges. The challenges, i.e. products of the company, are divided into the following major groups:
InnoCentive Premium Challenges: Online platform for crowdsourcing innovation problems to talented minds from all over the world who compete to provide novel ideas and solutions to important Challenges. Premium Challenge is developed with the help of Innocentive’s PhD-educated subject matter experts, posted to global community of Problem Solvers in the form of a competition, tracked, rated, and the submitted solutions evaluated and awarded. Challenges are either general (e.g. brainstorming innovative ideas for a process) or specific (providing complex solutions requiring specific experience or education). The challenges are resolved in 45-90 days. Team of Innocentive’s PhD experts fully maintains the challenge, paying a lot of attention to the Seeker’s anonymity and manages intellectual property rights and licensing.
InnoCentive@Work: Cloud-based enterprise innovation management platform for building collaborative internal innovation communities to harness the collective intelligence of employees and partners. Value Seekers get on this challenge is the following:
§ Single Enterprise-wide open innovation System-of-Record - the platform optimizes the entire Challenge lifecycle and enables both InnoCentive-facilitated as well as customer-led challenge formulation and development;
§ Fit-to-Purpose Ideas and solutions to problems – various types of challenges allow Innocentive to support wide array of unique organizational requirements;
§ On-demand access to world class innovation capacity – the platform gives a complete control over challenge distribution to internal and invite-only audiences such as customers or partners. It also provides the full control over who suggests ideas and views and attempts to solve the Challenges. Moreover, Seekers have ability to audit the process of challenge resolving.
Custom Challenge Programs: High-profile Challenge programs and innovation competitions, uniquely tailored to the Seeker’s needs, for solving big problems and encouraging breakthrough innovations. Generally there are 2 types of those challenges:
§ Grand – large problem, requiring complex and comprehensive approach and consultancy. Seeks for radical innovations or breakthrough solutions that can revolutionize the industry Seeker operates in. Provides very high financial rewards to Solvers and often involves experimental testing of the solutions to ensure their effectiveness and worthiness;
§ Showcase challenges – broad problem that calls for innovations (e.g. IT security or energy sector). Innovators are encouraged to submit original proposals that fit into topic and are evaluated by panel of experts consisting of Innocentive’s and Seeker’s professionals. That panel decides on the reward distributions as well. Solvers are encouraged to personally pitch their solutions in front of the panel of experts. Showcase Challenges are often aimed at entrepreneurs, startup businesses, or pioneering small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), giving them an opportunity to promote their businesses and enhance the profile and credibility of their innovations.
Innocentive’s common challenge types include:
§ Ideation: global collaboration for producing a breakthrough idea, these Challenges rapidly engage Solvers and accumulate novel submissions;
§ Theoretical: in-depth written proposals and often includes details on potential implementation options;
§ Reduction-to-Practice (RTP): A prototype that shows an idea in actual practice (though on a non-commercial scale) and requires an “artifact” (e.g., physical evidence).
§ Prodigy "Big Data": a computational challenge with an online scoring and feedback component, often used for statistical analysis, predictions, or optimization of computer programs.
§ Novel Molecule Challenge (NMC): A request for various non-commercial chemical compounds, proteins, extracts, polymers, and DNA sequences.
§ Electronic Request for Proposal (eRFP): A request for a partner or supplier to provide technology, materials, or expertise.
Things making company special
Revolutionary approach in innovations and consulting:
a) Search for solutions for research projects that are done in secret – client companies are completely anonymous to Solvers;
b) Post the problems to people all around the world – 365,000 of experts from almost 200 countries;
c) Very close work with scientists from “company seeker” for thorough and precise problem definition and description – eliminates possibility of misunderstanding of the task by problem solvers;
d) Innocentive employs experts that have necessary knowledge in industries that company works with;
e) Proven confidentiality and IP transfer options for both seekers and problem solvers – included in cost of the Challenge;
f) Seekers pay awards for solutions that meet predefined criteria and company’s needs;
http://www.innocentive.com/ - company website
Company was founded in 2000 in United States. NineSigma is an open innovation services provider that connects organizations with external innovation resources to accelerate innovation in private, public and social sectors. The business model of NineSigma is similar to the model of Innocentive, but the major difference is that NineSigma focuses exclusively on innovations in organizational management. Company helps to find solutions for problems related to services, information or software to improve innovative processes within the organization. Company is incorporated in Cleveland, Ohio (USA), and has offices in Belgium, Japan, Australia, and South Korea.
The company employs professionals from various fields, including business leaders, innovation consultants, and PhD-level scientists.
Some of the NineSigma’s clients are Kraft Foods, Hallmark, Electrolux, Philips, Procter & Gamble, Siemens, Unilever, and Xerox.
NineSigma provides wide range of services, which the company groups as:
1. “I want to create”: - Innovation Impact – search for solutions that will positively impact company, its industry and society as a whole or find ideas to accelerate product development. It has two subcategories – Grand challenge and Innovation contest;
2. “I want to find and be found”: - Innovation Solutions - conduct anonymous search to find new, breakthrough approaches to problems in business (known as Technology Search). Another sub-category is Managed Innovation Gallery (fully managed online portal for search of various ideas for innovations); - Innovation Insights – asking experts on the ways of providing strategic direction on “seeker-company’s” product or market it is part of (Expert Advisory Services) or getting detailed understanding of the technology’s place in the landscape of emerging or current technologies (Technology Landscaping);
3. “I want to build”: - Innovation Capability – custom training sessions for management teams (Workshops & Training) and trainings on leadership for establishing new and developing existing networks with peers and partners (Leadership Summit).
Moreover, NineSigma provides some non-academic publications on open innovations, interviews with CEOs, books, webinars, podcasts, open innovations case studies and more. The company also continuously updates news on open innovation, which includes industry events, press releases, and articles. In other words, company is trying to add value by educating and attracting potential clients and solvers. Additionally, the “NineSigma Innovation Leadership Summit” had been held since 2014 and is already planned on 2016 at the company’s headquarters in Cleveland, Ohio, USA.