Open innovation is quite a new definition in Vietnam which provides both opportunities and challenges. While many Vietnamese companies have apparent views about open innovation to embrace competition, they are finding a way to involve it effectively.

Over 50 experts and startups in Vietnam as well as other countries had attended to “Open Innovation” workshop hosted by Innovation Lab on April 11th, 2019. As open innovation allows companies to look beyond their internal resources to have a wider network in which to co-create and leverage fresh expertise, the “Open Innovation” workshop provides them an apparent view about generating new ideas to embrace competition.

Mr. Pham Hong Quat – General Director, National Agency for Technology Entrepreneurship & Commercialization (NATEC) started the workshop by sharing about innovation in Vietnam. By his experience and observation, he added that many countries in Southeast Asia had angel networks supporting startups which Vietnam was currently lack of and needed to expand. Furthermore, the government played an important role in motivating startups through their supporting policies.

Mr.  Pham Hong Quat – General Director, National Agency for Technology Entrepreneurship & Commercialization (NATEC)

Last but not least, he emphasized that building innovation ecosystems was very potential and important not only in Vietnam but also in all over the world.

Following was “Open Innovation – Why and How” presentation of Mr. Laurent Levan – President of Universal Robina Corporation (URC) giving attendees much valuable knowledge about the importance of innovation and methods to apply it in companies with real examples.

Mr. Laurent Levan – President of Universal Robina Corporation (URC)

As his sharing, the common thread for the company from “ground zero to success” were building new ventures and partnership. Besides, “Do not be afraid to fail, test and learn” attitude was a crucial characteristic that he focused on to develop a new company.

Taking Vietnam as an example of a particular country with an unprecedented pace in developing innovation recent years, he shared industry 4.0 helped Vietnam to look at the supply chain, procurement from materials to distribution goods, and use technology to change management. For example, Vietnam develops Blockchain and IoT to make the distribution process easier and save money for companies in the next years.

To sum up, Mr. Laurent shared “tips” to be a (big) company with the agility and the mindset of an innovative startup. Innovation should be implemented every day, with one team – one goal, with products, with partners and with innovative attitude for industry 4.0.

After that, a final panel discussion on “Building the culture of innovation” created spaces for experts and executives talking about real innovation case study in their companies.

With the question from Mr. Thang Huynh – Co-Founder of Innovation Lab, Moderator of the panel, about involving in open innovation in companies, Mr. Hareesha Narayana Shirankallu- Head of Engineering at Bosch, Vietnam, shared that Bosch applied open innovation by contacting to universities via creating hackathon and innovation campaign such as last year tool events at Sihub supporting  students in universities to incubate.

Mr. Hareesha Narayana Shirankallu- Head of Engineering at Bosch, Vietnam

Meanwhile, Mr. Chris Elkin – InnoLab Design Thinker”/Doodle Brands provided solutions through design thinking to position brand and Ms. Nguyen Lan Yen – Marketing Senior Manager of Sparkling Brands, Coca-Cola Indochina admitted that Coca-Cola’s success was based on open innovation as they realized they could not do alone and look forward to innovating of products and industry like e-commerce.

Mr. Chris Elkin – InnoLab Design Thinker”/Doodle Brands

And of course, they had many challenges to face. In Bosch, they faced to customer insights problems and realized that customer interview was very important to get new ideas. On the other hand, Coca-Cola was willing to accept 95% failure of innovation, so they can adapt how to balance between long-term and short-term goals.

Mr. Thang Huynh – Co-Founder of Innovation Lab & Ms. Nguyen Lan Yen – Sparkling Marketing Manager CocaCola Indochina

Sharing about key factors that corporations need to foster innovation, Ms. Yen said Coca-Cola always focused on finding solutions in different issues like customer, packaging or digital platform; right strategies and infrastructure; and built innovation cultures to boost innovation mindset. Coca-Cola and many companies usually find solutions from startups which are sustainable and practical in every issue from these companies. Besides, Bosch was focusing on negotiation; encourage; and doing step by step.

Innovation Lab’s vision is to create an innovative collaboration platform where all stakeholders in the innovation ecosystem meet, collaborate and succeed together. The First Innovation Vietnam 2019 was co-hosted by Natec, Magic, Enterprise Singapore, Enterprise Ireland, La French Tech, MBAN, Bansea, Vietnam Angel Network, Saigon Innovation Hub.

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