The Research & Development (R&D) department has been the symbol of creativity and innovation. Enterprises, such as Nokia, IBM, Microsoft and so on, have been pouring millions of dollars into their R&D centre, hiring PhD, experts and super smart people to turn great ideas, highly advanced technology and some other amazing things into very cool products or prototype. This seems to have been working very well in the past few years.
However, in the last few days on the Orange Blogger Bus tour in Silicon Valley, we keep hearing the similar opinion that Enterprise’s R&D is dead and Open Innovation is the way to go.
Think about Nokia. Probably 2 years ago, we were super excited when we watched some demos from Nokia’s innovation centers. Today when we look at what these centres are doing, LBS, AR, QR-code and so on, these are interesting projects and ideas still, but there are tens of startups that are working on the same fields with lean startup methods, better understanding and the ability of fast responding to the market. R&D somehow becomes too academic and is drifting away from the real market.
This issue has been addressed from different people who come from different background during this Orange Blogger Tour,
Georges Nahon, head of Orange Silicon Valley,
Established giants have invested so much on R&D and do not want to enforce the change too soon, but the new guys are bringing innovation in the market.
Silicon Valley is now dominated by a handful of giants that have become acquisition monsters.
Orange Silicon Valley has set up its Innovation Lab to incubate several projects in different areas, such as social TV, remote healthy monitoring systems, etc…
One of the key values RocketSpace brought to startups is the relationship with big companies such as IBM, Sony. This is so-called Open Innovation. Big companies should be inside the startup cycle and working with all sort of startups. Startups and young founders are more creative, talented and also cheaper (to acquire) than running a R&D.
Swipp, a startup still in stealth mode,
Big companies may not be able to take risks any more, so they need to work with startups who want to take risks.
Citrix Startup Accelerator, which has been seed invested ~13 enterprise service startups with $250k each,
The reason of setting up the startup accelerator is to find startups which we can potentially work with and leverage the resources of Citrix to help them, which is the way to keep us fresh and innovative.
The idea of R&D was to incubate the innovation, but it now becomes a walled garden which keeps talented people away from the industry and innovation. The wall between an enterprise and its environment has to be broken down so that innovations can easily transfer inward and outward. Silicon Valley has realised it, will the rest of world catch up?
[image credited to coinnovative.com]