Mobility Club Open Innovation Day - October 19th

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Posted on 28.10.21
Open Innovation
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Open innovation has lots of meanings, depending on your business, your organization’s size and strategic objective. However, all corporate innovators agree on one thing: succeeding in innovation heavily relies on collaboration, and it’s quite difficult. Team engagement, top management sponsorship, fit with strategic objectives… There are a lot of constraints to deal with!

On Tuesday 19th October 2021, the Mobility Club organized an Open Innovation Day where corporate innovators from Groupe Inter Mutuelles Assistance, Groupe ADP and Hutchinson shared their insights about the project identification and its required resources (internal and with startups). This event helped all the participants to complete their innovation playbook.

Based on the speakers’ presentations, and the discussion with the audience, you’ll find below a synthesis of the key learnings shared this day. Drop me an email if you want the slides!

Good reading,

Vincent ([email protected])

Nicolas Tissot – IMA 

Inter Mutuelles Assistance provides assistance in all emergency situations. The company was founded in 1981 at the initiative of 3 mutual insurance companies: MAAF, MAIF, MACIF, and later joined by MATMUT, Mutuelle des Motards, AGPM and MAPA. IMA offers B2B2C solutions

Nicolas Tissot is Deputy Chief Executive Officer of IMA. He explained that the pandemic clearly accelerated innovation. According to IMA, the main goal of open innovation is diversifying its services to bring more value.

IMA LAB is structured with 2 streams: animation (partnerships) and investment. Governance is composed by the Marketing, the CEO and the Orientation Committee (composed by BUs’ CEOs and Directors, main objective is getting the adhesion of business lines to innovation). 10 people are working at IMA LAB.

The company built several initiatives:

  • Internal programs, such as hackathons
  • Technological partnerships with other corporates (like with Thalès)
  • Startup accelerator dedicated to their ecosystem: French AssurTech (a startup accelerator based on the coopetition model with other corporates)
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Nicolas Tissot spotted some issues when it comes to open innovation. 

First is secret culture: how do I think by myself to take the lead in my market? For instance, they analyzed Vroomly and thought they’d be able to build a similar solution. 2 years later, it’s too late. Main lesson is to stop trying to do what’s done better by other players.

Another problem to be solved is management: innovation about questioning its knowledge. It’s crucial to get the sponsorship from the top management. Nicolas took the example of What3Words (a voicebot solution), allowing to find a client’s location with 3 words. Teams on the ground didn’t see the interest in the solution. It took 18 months between the test and the development phase.

There are key questions to be answered before implementing an open innovation project:

  • How do I define the partnership perimeter?
  • How do I assess the project performance?
  • How do I share value between the stakeholders?

He also identified key success factors, such as top management involvement/commitment, flexible organization, communication and marketing for the project and defined KPIs.

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In order to truly engage the business lines, one of the objectives is to partly finance innovation initiatives with fees coming from the business units. As of today, IMA Lab is mainly financed by the holding company.


The rest of the article is for Mobility Club members.

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