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Messe München a pioneer in Open Innovation

December 18, 2013

- First year-round Open Innovation platform by a trade-fair organizer
- Trade visitors serve as interdisciplinary co-developers
- Pilot is ISPO and its community of sports business professionals

Messe München International is the first trade-fair corporation to offer a year-round Open Innovation service. As a result, companies will be able to open their innovation processes to experts who are among the visitors at various trade fairs. What makes this so special: Instead of just solvers from one’s own branch of industry, creative minds from a wide variety of economic sectors and fields can also be brought on board. The pilot project will be the ISPO Open Innovation platform, where end consumers will also participate in the development process.

What should the perfect backpack for city bicycle riders look like? Who solves high-tech problems using laboratory analysis equipment? And how can the controls for an excavator shovel be optimized? Open Innovation means that a company announces its clearly defined tasks and brings in creative solution ideas from the outside. Messe München’s service works like this: “We give companies access to an interdisciplinary community of solvers that is based on the various networks in our exhibition portfolio,” explains Klaus Dittrich, Chairman/CEO of Messe München.

Product development considerably faster and more affordable
Open Innovation can reduce a company’s development time by up to 42 percent and cut development costs by as much as 20 percent. In addition, companies have a chance to establish close ties to their customers and find out their needs directly. Products get better, and there is less risk of an innovation becoming a flop. Messe München International’s Open Innovation service gives companies access to a unique community of solvers: “This will allow us to bring together networks from our entire exhibition portfolio. Besides the ISPO Open Innovation platform, we want to initiate other industry portals. The trick: Everyone is supposed to have access to the same solver community—one that covers all branches of industry, all areas of expertise and all countries,” says Klaus Dittrich.

International sports business as a pioneer
ISPO Open Innovation will serve as a pioneer for this new service. “ISPO is one of the world’s leading communities for sports-business professionals and consumers who are sports enthusiasts. It is a community that is interested in innovations, enjoys participating in product tests and has a high online affinity,” explains Dittrich. In this case, the platform also addresses end consumers, and companies can incorporate their new development partners in two ways: As co-creators, customer experts are integrated into the innovation process from the very beginning, and as product testers, they provide comprehensive feedback about product characteristics—also long before the product goes to market.

Brands that are already on board include The North Face and Lasse Kjus. Arne Arens, Director of the Consumer Goods Division at The North Face: “The key factor for us was that this platform is independent and has a high range in our industry and beyond. It brings together the right participants on neutral ground.” Nico Serena, Member of the Board of Management at Lasse Kjus: “We view the ISPO Open Innovation platform as an excellent opportunity to gain valuable insight into constantly changing skier needs as well as the ability to speed up the response time on new innovation ideas.”

Partnerships with innosabi and Voycer
Messe München has brought some strong partners to the project. Munich-based innosabi is a leading supplier of solutions for collaborative innovation management and crowd sourcing. “We were also convinced by the fact that, if necessary, innosabi sends its own engineers and other specialists to customers who are willing to participate in the bidding process to formulate a problem in a clear and concise manner,” explains Dittrich. Catharina van Delden, CEO of innosabi: “This project has a great deal of potential because Messe München can bring together a large number of international networks as part of the collaborative innovation process”. Voycer, a leading international provider of innovative community and social-media technologies, is also on board. The company is helping to set up the community with services in the field of community management and marketing.

Further informationen: https://innovation.ispo.com/home