In order to meet the challenges of increasing urbanisation, global warming and diminishing resources, the capacity to innovate has become a necessity. The era when companies innovated alone in their corner has gone. Today SUEZ is interdependent on an ecosystem combining universities, start-ups, SME/SMI and industrial partnerships. The Group deploys a strategy of openness in its innovation processes through the SUEZ Ventures, the “Innovation Technologies Tests” and the Ideas Competition.
«Innovation is everybody’s business, it’s a state of mind, a culture but is also a process and a set of tools». Its efficiency is the result of how it is managed; from the selection and sharing of an idea to the industrialisation and the marketing of the solution, while checking at each stage that it meets the needs of clients and users alike.” stressed Jean-François CAILLARD.
Innovation is a necessity for supporting the Group’s growth.
It enables the:
- Strengthening of our current position within our businesses
- Positioning of ourselves on new markets thanks to the acquisition of new technologies and know-how developed internally or outside the Group
- Development of an entrepreneurial approach and an ecosystem of innovation
What does “open innovation” mean?
“Open innovation” is a theoretical approach introduced in 2003 in the United States . It is the result of observations of reactive innovations which are the product of work performed together by start-ups and R&D laboratories belonging to large groups. It encourages a spirit of team work and exchange with a group of partners and is the opposite of so-called “closed” innovation .The challenges and the interest in open innovation is to be able to create synergies in order to accelerate the innovation processes and to share the risks associated with the development of new products.
In keeping with environmental issues, open innovation leads to close work with not only the Group’s entities but also with start-ups, universities, research centres, industrials and local authorities. It aims are to stimulate, promote and co-fund innovative initiatives and projects which meet the needs of clients through an efficient international network of experts.
… IDEAS COMPETITIONS
The ideas competitions fully illustrate the open innovation in SUEZ.
This device encourages the Group operating units to organize contests for innovative projects on concrete issues and real raised customer expectations. They identify and express the needs and ideas of customers on thematic trades, to co-construct with them innovative new services. Already four ideas contest has been conducted in Goussainville Courbevoie, Lyon and the eco-distric of the Union (Lille, France) on topics as various as “the fight against illegal dumping” or “the reintroduction of water and nature in a neighborhood”.