Archive for February, 2015

Walk instead of drive? A billboard that cheers your eco-mindedness

February 27, 2015 Cheryl Perkins No Comments » Cool Inventions and gadgets

Here’s an innovation and an inspiration: A billboard that cheers you on if you choose to walk, jog or run instead of drive:

This idea might just catch on. You can add it to the list of innovative billboards that can make clean drinking water, track air quality, house the homeless, and advertise art instead of products.

Fast company has the story here. Just click on the billboard:

Fast Company: Billboard

Hand held 3D Printer has interesting applications

February 27, 2015 Cheryl Perkins No Comments » Cool Inventions and gadgets, Cool videos

I’ve been watching the evolution of 3D printing technology over the past several years, and came across this interesting video of a hand-held prototype.

Read more here and watch the video:

6 sustainable innovation and design trends to watch

February 25, 2015 Cheryl Perkins No Comments » Green Innovation

free photo green innovationI spotted this via GreenBiz, and I think we can glean some general trends to watch this year:

Over the last 20 years, businesses have played their part in the increasing global discussion of climate change and how to adapt to it. Resource efficiency and security have moved up the policy and business agenda, and the more recent discussions have been reframed under the circular economy banner.

From a relatively small number of green niche players and a few leaders in the manufacturing sector implementing eco-design in the early to mid-1990s, we have seen a broadening of the sectors and stakeholders engaged in the “greening” of products. However, most of the focus is still on eco-design rather than sustainable design, and product-related environmental compliance rather than innovation or new business models.

Sustainable innovation continues to move up the business agenda. But what will it look like this year?

1. Smarter city activities will start to factor in the people/social dimension alongside innovation and technology

The concept of smart cities and regions has emerged over the last decade. It’s been predicted that 70 percent of the world’s population will move to urban areas by 2050, which will mean that we are likely to see a rise of more powerful city-states or city-regions.

As a result, cities easily could become hotbeds for sustainability problems but if people, networks, technology, innovation and information are engaged, mobilized and marshalled appropriately, cities have the potential to become platforms and catalysts for new resource-efficient and low-carbon solutions. Engaging people in new visions is key.

2. Eco-innovation will continue to broaden and become more pervasive

Policy thinking on eco-innovation is moving towards a more horizontal view, based on a pervasive “greening” of industry, and the development of a diverse array of eco-innovative products, services and technologies.

This is reinforced by policy makers starting to explore more systemic approaches to eco-innovation and recognizing the limited impact that existing policies have had; for example, delivering only incremental environmental improvements.However, grassroots innovation interest is also starting to increase on the ground.

3. Pressure for action on climate change will re-emerge as we move towards the climate summit in Paris in November

Increasing resilience and adapting to climate change as well as developing low-carbon, resource-efficient solutions are being hand-wired into future European policy scenarios. But we will see a re-emergence of citizen engagement in the debate. There is likely to be increasing activity by civil society groups as we move towards the Paris summit, with increased awareness through growing media interest after the summer.

4. Circular economy proposals will re-emerge from Brussels with more of a business slant

There will be continued discussion around the need to make products more circular. Circular economy proposals are likely to re-emerge from the European Commission with more of a business focus. Leading companies are implementing products that are designed for disassembly or for up-cycling but are finding a lack of infrastructure, knowledge, network and skills to support these initiatives.

There will be more discussion over standards and terminology, and over the proactive role of design in moving towards a circular economy. The number of repair cafes and re-use centers are likely to increase and we will see a growing interest in economic, environmental and social benefits of remanufacturing.

5. Grassroots innovation activity will continue to grow focused on making, mending and fixing

Green growth is permeating global policy thinking; however, grassroots innovation is emerging from civil society and entrepreneurs rather than from government, big businesses or NGOs.

Making, modification, mending and fixing are being driven by a new “do it” spirit and the public has increased access to information and ideas as well as new tools such as 3D printing being used to produce parts to enable repair. The growth of places and spaces for this has enabled more experimentation and the potential for more circular manufacturing.

Stronger grassroots innovation is emerging through people power, which has been facilitated by social networks and ICT. You can see this in the growing trend of crowdsourcing ideas and funding, such as Kickstarter, and the rise of makers, modifiers and fixers.

6. Open green innovation will increase focused on completion, crowdsourcing, crowd-funding and opening-up green patents

Open innovation and crowdsourcing approaches break down potential boundaries to setting up new eco-innovative businesses and enable those with ideas to reach people quicker. As a result, they’re being used to co-create new businesses where collaboration and partnership are essential to success.

Developing and building relationships and trust will be increasingly recognized as central principles to co-creation. The number of companies using open green innovation is likely to increase, building on pioneers such as Unilever.



February 23, 2015 Pat Clusman No Comments » CoDev, Conferences


Hopefully you had an opportunity to attend the CoDev 2015 conference in Scottsdale, Arizona with us. If not, you missed one of the best CoDev conferences ever! This year, we saw how many companies are defining and implementing new business models to deliver growth through Open Innovation. There were a variety of models discussed and if we learned anything, it was that no one model fits all.

More companies are looking outside their boundaries for ideas, technologies and intellectual property, and they are working internally to integrate across functions to drive commercialization. It was very evident at the conference that the “what” of the solution is more important than “where” and “who” it comes from. Fostering collaboration with customers, suppliers, end users and employees is becoming a way of doing business at many companies that delivers growth and new revenue sources.

Numerous presenters spoke about the benefits of Open Innovation and Co-Development in their companies. Through OI they were able to extend their reach and capability for new ideas and technologies; conduct strategic experiments at lower levels of risk and resources; and overtime, they were able to evolve to a more innovative culture, from the outside–in.

Of course, there were challenges highlighted as well like gaining alignment top down and bottom up; finding the dollars and resources to fund OI activities; predicting the optimal level of openness; defining the “right” business model and deal structure; and defining what to measure.

Over the last several years, it has become evident that companies have been focused on open innovation culture, leadership, process and structure and they are now becoming more focused on talent and metrics. We like to call this the “who” and the type leader you need to drive success. We all learned a lot in this area from our peers at CoDev 2015. Reach out to us at Innovationedge if you would like to learn more.

If you’re involved in innovation, open innovation, co-development or partnership management, you owe it to yourself and your company to be part of the Open Innovation and CoDev community. Join the LinkedIn group and make plans now to attend the next CoDev Conference to network with your peers and extend your personal network.

Pat Clusman the Chief Operating Officer at Innovationedge and he was a member of the CoDev 2015 conference planning team. Check out CoDev2015: Launching Products and Business with Partners, Customers & Ecosystems, held February 9-11, 2015 in Scottsdale, AZ.


15, a CEO, and a caring young lady with vision

February 20, 2015 Cheryl Perkins No Comments » Cool videos

Fast Company

I saw this incredible story at Fast Company: Do you remember what you were doing when you were 15? Lillian Pravda is 15, and she is the CEO of a non-profit that has brought free vision care to over 24,000 children in need.
WATCH here: