ISPIM Grand Prize 2016 – finalists announced

Making innovation happen, all the way from idea to customer isn’t usually straightforward. The process of innovation management is often under-recognized because the attention goes to the end product, service or business model. That’s why ISPIM, the International Society for Professional Innovation Management, launched the Grand Prize in 2015, to recognize excellence in innovation management.

This year, with great help from our media partners, including Innovation Excellence, we again had a very impressive array of entries. The eminent judges had a tough challenge to reduce the field to a final three. These will be voted for by ISPIM members and go on to present live to the ISPIM conference in Porto, Portugal on Monday 20th June, where the votes from ~450 attendees will be added to the tally to decide the winner.

The three finalists, with brief summaries of their entries in alphabetical order are:

Huawei Innovation Research Program

The revolution in the ICT sector demands that players spearhead innovation and progress, particularly using outside partners. Huawei has developed the Huawei Innovation Research Program (HIRP), a diverse, efficient and effective ecosystem that spans both China and the world, overcoming traditional relationship barriers and maximizing investment. HIRP is made up of two key stages: collaboration development (finding the right partners); and co-creation (delivering for success).

It’s underpinned by three consistent and consecutive approaches that have been developed to address the challenges of enterprise-academia collaboration, and differentiate it: 1) shared objectives; 2) relationship multiplier, and 3) portfolio-level connections. Since 2010, HIRP has gone from projects solely with the top 30 Chinese universities to almost 200 universities in 29 countries, and areas covering over one hundred Fellows of IEEE/ACM.

Imagine with Orange

Imagine with Orange is a crowd innovation platform and a launchpad for entrepreneurs worldwide. Imagine helps ideators connect to an international innovation community, which includes Orange experts, so local ideas can have a global impact. The first challenge was to develop and implement a successful global marketing plan to attract participants internationally. The second challenge was to build an open community, which encouraged community members to post ideas. The last challenge was to offer rewards for highly-rated ideas that were attractive for participants from around the world.

Imagine with Orange has successfully hosted seven campaigns over its first year of operations. More than 1,300 ideas have been posted on the platform. Our Twitter account has just under 6,000 followers and over 56,000 people have liked our Facebook page.  Currently, the community has over 7,800 members from 50 countries.  Several of these ideas are under development, e.g., Club365 (

Service Centre for Business Model Innovation – SAP

OR; how to use, manage or avoid the corporate immune system….

SAP needs to pursue the right business models faster; not only finding new ones but also overcoming institutional resistance to adapting existing successful models. Organizational structure allows for strong economies of scale but presents little incentive or ability for the functional areas to collaborate. An innovator must, therefore, tackle the comprehensive corporate design in order to bring together the necessary functions for a truly new business model.

SAP set up the BMI Service Centre, a federated network to jointly shape the design, incubation and implementation of new business models; and the BMI Council, a group of high-level executives. The BMI Service Centre eliminates the historical ping-pong between silos and departments and connects intrapreneurs across the company.  The BMI Council reduces approvals and provides “air cover”.  The time to market has been significantly reduced.

You can find more details about the final three entries on the Grand Prize section of the ISPIM website.

We’re excited about the final; if you can’t join us in Porto, keep an eye on the ISPIM website for the result.  If you want to attend the ISPIM conference, there’s still time to register, you can find more details here.

ISPIM – International Society for Professional Innovation Management – is a network of researchers, industrialists, consultants and public bodies who share an interest in innovation management. Founded in 1983, ISPIM is the oldest, largest and most active innovation association in Europe, rapidly expanding in the Americas and Asia.

ISPIM produces scientific and educational material and events to help people understand and share thinking and experiences on how individuals, organisations, and society can be better organised to create and distribute new products, services, and processes to make the world a better place.

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Kevin McFarthingKevin McFarthing runs the Innovation Fixer consultancy, helping companies to improve the output and efficiency of their innovation, and to implement Open Innovation. He spent 17 years with Reckitt Benckiser in innovation leadership positions, and also has experience in life sciences.

Kevin McFarthing




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