Mining and raw materials companies have long and costly innovation cycles and are typically located far from their potential ecosystem partners. These factors make it challenging for these companies to pursue faster innovation and utilise co-development opportunities.
Adopting a collaborative approach to innovation can greatly benefit companies in the raw material industry. This was the main message of Overcome, a project supported by EIT RawMaterials, in which a set of Open Innovation (OI) best practices and tools was built specifically for raw material companies.
The project consisted of an open innovation assessment and piloting a digital collaboration tool in an online OI-themed workshop in a case mining company.
The assessment was conducted to evaluate the maturity of the case company within the open innovation framework, based on the Open Innovation Key Success Factors developed by Spinverse. Several key development areas were identified in the R&D&I processes of the case company.
There was a clear need for a better way to involve various stakeholders in the company's innovation activities, such as project preparation or project management. It was also noted that creating cross-functional teams and increasing collaboration with external partners could aid in achieving sustainable results from the company’s OI efforts.
To answer these needs, an online collaboration tool was tailored for the needs of the company and piloted in an online workshop among participants from the case company. They found it beneficial for several potential use cases, such as new project preparation and solving specific technological challenges. Through enhanced external and internal collaboration, digital collaboration tools can enhance trust and openness between partners and allow faster and more efficient innovation processes.
Read about the best practices and tools for open innovation here.