We recently ran an open innovation experiment bringing together Baxi Boilers and Coventry University. It was to test to see if an online collaboration platform could deliver value for both partners. We recruited and facilitated a diverse academic crowd, hosted on the Baxi X-Change online collaboration platform. Our challenge was to explore how an Internet of Things enabled heating company could improve the lives of homeowners.
We had an active community of over 100 academics from a diverse range of disciplines including engineering, design, and healthcare. A wide range of exciting ideas and comments were submitted; far exceeding our expectations. All submitted ideas were evaluated by Baxi’s Innovation Leadership Team and five individuals were selected to pitch their ideas and research interests at a pitch panel at Baxi Innovation X-labs. Conversations are now on-going about the best way to take the ideas forward. The finalists were also invited to be special guests at the Baxi Innovation Expo; an annual event showcasing innovative projects across the business.
The experiment delivered fresh thinking and ideas into Baxi and demonstrated that an online collaboration platform can be an engaging and efficient method for Universities to partner with business. Dave Willetts, Head Innovation, Baxi Boilers said
“… this open innovation experiment with Coventry University has provided Baxi with fresh insight and ideas to fuel our innovation thinking. If our business is to continue to grow and adapt, I believe it’s essential we continue to look outside our building and bring in new thinking. Engaging using the online platform is an easy and efficient way for us to do that …”
Open Innovation challenges can be tricky to navigate and we'd love to hear about how you are addressing this in your business. Please get in touch at Hello@freestyleinnovation.co.uk