European Innovation Fireside Chat - European Champions Alliance
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European Innovation Fireside Chat

European Innovation Fireside Chat

What are the key challenges and best practices for a successful European open innovation initiative?


Each participant presented their open innovation strategy and key targets.

Alix DE LA GIRAUDIERE from Framatome

Lamin BEN HAMDANE from Infineon

Frederic MONTAGARD from Thales

Julien MAILLARD from Hager

12 best practices for a successful European open innovation initiative

  1. Working with startups in a fair manner
    If we want to grow the startups we need to educate the companies to make them trust the startup. We need processes in the company that handles the way on how to cope with each other. These are our internal practices to work with startups. 
  2. Internal processes are not always best 

    We need to tailor our interaction with the startup. One startup is different from any other. The more flexible we are, the easier we can create value.

  3. Being selective in choosing the right partners
  4. Limitation of NDAs that need to be signed
  5. Being a matchmaker; suggesting startups/ companies to each other
  6. Giving and getting valuable feedback to and from the startups
  7. Early management of IP topics
  8. Internal startup programs and events
  9. Also, an internal open innovation/ startup collaboration team 
  10. Being present at hot spots 

    They connect with an ecosystem where they work and leverage startups from the group. The positive experience they have with some startups is very practical and potentially very useful takeaways. They are learning by doing. It is not only processes and strategy, but human interaction and giving a chance to innovation and failure. They need to deal with all those sets of tools.

  11. Support in accessing grants (e.g. from the EU)
  12. The corporates search for long-term partners, not one-shot opportunities

How can we share good startups between companies in Europe?

  • Referrals for other companies 
  • Getting to know the fields of interest 
  • There is no structured process to share this information on a European level 
  • Connecting with VCs 
  • Opportunistic way of sharing information 
  • Dive deeper into best practices in corporates on how to master challenges 
  • Need a set of tools 
  • Have a common discussion about “golden nuggets”

Andrea Vaugan