Translucent Innovation is a platform for Open Innovation developed by RISE. There are many different forms of Open Innovation. Translucent Innovation is a form based on Request for Proposals (RfP), and works a little bit like a number of well known Open Innovation Servce Supplier platforms. Translucent Innovation is free of charge and more secure than similar RfP-based Open Innovation platforms.
Start with a problem
You start with a problem in your innovation process – often a technical problem, but it can indeed be any kind of problem related to your business development. Then you describe the problem in a Request for Proposals (RfP): what kind of solutions are you interested in, what are the technical specifications and how would you like to collaborate with a partner who has a solution or the capacity to develop a solution? You are welcome to use our Word template below or any other template as long as we understand your need and how you would like to collaborate.
When we have gotten your RfP we will set up a Skype meeting with you in order to better understand the RfP. We are especially interested in which details in the RfP might be sensitive, and for whom. You will be in full control of who will see what. Maybe you decide it’s okey to show the entire RfP for anyone in the Swedish technical institute sector on a need to know basis, but you prefer to be anonymous with your company name removed, and business case and certain technical details masked if we contact external solution providers. In theory you may set up one unique RfP for every potential partner. In practice our clients normally set up three versions on the RfP:
- Internal in the Swedish technical institute sector
- Academic partners – in Sweden as well as globally
- Other companies
You may also supply us with lists of companies or industries we absolutely not should contact, such as competitors or suppliers, or on the other hand companies or industries you believe it would be beneficial to contact. This is a unique benefit of Translucent Innovation, which makes the platform far more secure than traditional forms of RfP-based platforms or an own Open Innovation web portal. With Translucent Innovation selected “friendly” experts will be able to read your RfP, but not your competitors.
Microfication of your RfP into a µRfP
To be able to efficiently scout relevant solutions to your RfP we boil it down to a so called µRfP of maximum 140 characters. This text is long enough to find the right competence. Still it is too short to contain any confidential information, and if you like you can keep the right to approve the µRfP before we start using it. The aim of this µRfP is not to find the ultimate solution but to scout the right competences in our network. When these have been identified they will get the entire RfP (after your approval) to be able to propose a real solution.
Techscouting with an Internal Cell Phone App
We do not publish the µRfP – we will still handle the µRfP as semi confidential information. Instead we have developed and own proprietary cell phone app, which is distributed to selected experts throughout the Swedish technical institute sector. The cell phone app is protected by a password and only possible to use with a cell phone number connected to RISE’s switch board. The app is based on simplicity with only two buttons. Either you have the right competence and click Call me, and you will be called by RISE’s Translucent Innovation Team, or you click No clue, if you don’t have any input to the µRfP.
We Search in both Coffee Rooms and Laboratories
The cell phone app is distributed to hundreds of scientists in RISE. There is at least one ambassador for the process at each daughter institute or unit, and soon in every single coffee room and laboratory in the Swedishtechnical institute sector. The idea is that the app user should read the µRfP and respond, but also interact with colleagues. When it rings in the pocket and a new µRfP has come the app, the user will show the RfP to colleagues in the coffee room, in the corridors and out at the laboratories, and ask both for solutions and relevant competences.
RISE is a large organization with more than 2000 scientists at 34 daughter institutes or separate units, and often we are able to find relevant solutions within RISE, but in order to increase the quality of the technology scouting we also search actively outside RISE. Each single daughter institute or unit naturally has a huge external network, for instance university groups, SME:s, entrepreneurs, EU projects and global companies. When we scout for competences among colleagues internally in RISE, we also ask them of any of their external contacts might be able to contribute to a solution. Do we know any university groups with interesting patents for the request? Do we know any companies that might have technologies of interest? However, we do not contact any external partner without checking with you first.
When we think we have identified an external contact that may be able to contribute we check with you that it is okay to contact the external partner. Then we stick strictly to the short µRfP in our external communication, to not reveal any confidential information. However, the person from RISE calling the external partner has read the RfP and knows the background, and is therefore able to judge if it is a valuable contact for the RfP.
After 20 business days from the submission of your RfP we will come back to you with a report which we present at a Skype meeting. We believe in simplicity: the report is a PowerPoint presentation with one single PowerPoint page per proposal. The proposals may be:
- Complete solutions – This is how you should solve your technical need.
- Project proposals – We understand your need and have an idea for a solution. Therefore, we suggest a project to develop the idea or prove the concept.
- Contact proposals – University groups or companies with interesting patents or technologies that we think you should contact.
Summary of the Process
- You have a need; often a technical need, but not necessarily.
- You describe your need in an RfP – a two page document template in which you explain the need and all your technical specifications. In the RfP you also describe how you would like to collaborate and what your collaboration partners would gain.
- You send the RfP to your own team at RISE, which works with your requests and are under NDA.
- Your team at RISE sets up a Skype meeting with you to discuss the request. First of all they need to understand the degree of confidentiality – which parts of the RfP can be shown to whom, and which companies and industries should absolutely not be approached. At the Skype meeting the team also gets a chance to ask technical questions regarding the RfP in order to understand it better, since they are under NDA.
- You and the team together translate the RfP into a µRfP of maximum 140 characters.
- With the µRfP and our cell phone app we start scouting both for solution proposals and valuable competences within RISE and externally.
- After 20 business days we will get back to you and present the results at a Skype meeting. The report is a PowerPoint presentation with one single page per solution or proposed contact.
- All technology scouting, including the final report, is free of charge. Translucent Innovations is a beautiful win-win: we can offer this service at no charge because our clients often follow-up on our proposals, generating industrially financed research projects within RISE .
Translucent Innovation® is Free of Charge!
RISE is able to offer you Translucent Innovation free of charge, simply because it is a perfect win-win both for you and for us! Roughly half of the revenue stream in RISE is from industrially financed research projects, and it is crucial for us to constantly get new research projects from industry. To do that we need to understand and act on the needs of industry, and that is exactly what Translucent Innovation is about: the report you get for free will contain both project proposals from RISE and valuable contacts for you in RISE, and our hope is that this will be the first step for you to entrust us with further projects. If you choose to continue with an external contact we have found and recommended we will charge you a smaller finder’s fee, but not before you are happy and done a formal deal with the external partner (e.g. signed a joint development agreement or acquires a patent license).
Next Step for You…
Would you like to test Translucent Innovation in your company’s innovation process or are you generally interested in Open Innovation? Please contact Erik Ronne, Head of Open Innovation at RISE and process owner of Translucent Innovation. Erik has previously been Global Innovation Manager at AkzoNobel and worked more than ten years with Open Innovation and technology scouting in different forms. Erik also gives presentations and workshops related to Open Innovation at all levels: for beginners, top management or research and innovation leaders.
- Tel: +46 708 97 49 21
© 2016 Research Institute of Sweden (RISE)