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Corporates are from Mars and Startups are from Venus

Corporates are from Mars and Startups are from Venus

By: Adi Barel & Yoni Levenfeld

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As a leading entity supporting European corporations on their innovation journey, we have news for you: if you’re looking to crack the code of corporate innovation success, you may need to keep looking a little further. Although open innovation might be everywhere, it seems to be lacking when it comes to delivering on promises. The concept of breaking through corporate walls to invite more brainpower to examine, identify, inspire, and innovate as a collective for your organization sounds revolutionary. However, the cold, ugly truth is that often, open innovation simply doesn’t work. 

We’ve seen it firsthand, have learned from others’ mistakes, and want to share our data-driven insights with you.

Research indicates that over 80 percent of new product launches fail. Indeed, open innovation failures can be likened to head-on collisions. In most cases, no single failure is at fault. Instead, singular failings, such as the steering wheel locking, a fly buzzing through the vehicle, a patch of ice on the road, or a moment during which the driver is caught up in thought, all come together with tragic ramifications. 

Working with dozens of corporations on their open innovation journeys has taught us that the majority of open innovation activities fail for five main reasons:

1. An attempt to go solo: Success starts and ends with the management’s involvement and commitment to the open innovation process. When they lead by example, their ongoing support places an emphasis on the importance of innovation across its teams, allowing innovation managers to engage the entire organization. When they don’t, innovation managers struggle to gain the support of team members and hit brick walls  repeatedly, especially when seeking to advance new initiatives and make an impact.

2.Fear of change: It’s not a secret that people usually don’t like change. Although innovation has a buzz around it, at the end of the day, you will be needing to convince company stakeholders on what and how they can do things differently. A lack of understanding of the innovation manager’s role and responsibilities poses many obstacles. When team members do not comprehend why innovation managers do what they do, they often resist change processes and withdraw support from new innovations, preventing successful implementations.

3.High expectations vs. slow performance: Innovation tends to match executives’ expectations for brainstorming speed, but the development side of innovation takes far longer than this model allows. Implementing new solutions takes time and money, and sometimes several pilots must be conducted before a best-fit solution can be reached.

4.Steering the ship –  Innovation related KPI’s too often take the back seat to immediate revenue- driven KPI’s. This creates a difficult incentivisation scheme across the organization, as innovation is a marathon which requires stamina and perseverance. This is especially iminent when external sources join forces to promote open innovation and there is often a lack of clarity regarding the organization’s vision and which KPIs must be promoted. As such, disappointment is an unfortunate, yet likely result.

5.Perfectly Unbalanced: Startups move fast, while corporations move slow. New changes and paradigms are quickly adopted by startups, whereas corporate transformation takes several years. This is because startups are established with a specific goal that they would like to achieve and they are very focused on how to reach that goal. An established company must adhere to stricter processes and regulations, and too often have long bureaucratic processes that can squash the innovation spark. Innovation success can be broad and subjective; there are no real success points, but rather conditions that you can use to define and measure the metrics that are important to your company, team, and target audience. It’s up to you to come up with the best possible strategy and mix it with a positive, inclusive, and motivational organizational culture for your company, one that fosters growth and success from the outside in. 

To best leverage your organization’s innovative spirit and maximize your open innovation results, we recommend that you first evaluate your open innovation process, and then support your teams through its implementation. Some best practices, based on EIT Disrupt Me’s experience include:

Involving and engaging executives in ongoing activities – Encouraging senior executives to promote open innovation activities, as well as define and reward employees based on innovation metrics will steer the organizations’ innovation culture forward.

Building your innovation roadmap -pre-defining work plans and milestones, based on company strategy, designed together with the business units, executed to achieve innovation and company goals.

Communication is Key- celebrate small wins along with achieving success stories with speed to gain internal validation and buy-ins. Work hand-in-hand with the communication team to brand and share your messages internally and externally.

Inspiring and staying up to date – Generating new deal flows from new and existing startup ecosystems and always learning and increasing your innovation toolbox and capacity.


Here’s some small tips to get you going:

Nominating ‘innovation champions’ to assist innovation managers in multiplying their efforts;

Clarifying the end-goals of innovation activities and translating them into KPIs that match the organization’s targets and ambitions;

  • Developing a “fast track” for collaborating with startups, engaging legal and procurement departments to speed up contractual processes.
  • Create a monthly/quarterly newsletter- celebrating your wins, sharing your past achievements and future plans.
  • Joining an innovation accelerator, like the Disrupt Me program, to help optimize and internationalize your innovation strategy and implementation.

EIT Hub Israel, leveraging the untapped potential of the start-up nation since 2019

When it comes to effective innovation in Europe, there’s a lot that can be learned from Israel, the “Start-up Nation.” That’s where we come in. At EIT Hub Israel, we strive to tap into Israel’s vast knowledge, innovative prowess, and connections within the global innovation space. Our end-to-end innovation program was designed for European corporations seeking to advance their company with groundbreaking Israeli technologies. We support the growth of innovative start-ups and increase the numbers of EU-Israel collaborative projects by helping you redefine your open innovation processes, as well as with scouting and matching Israeli start-ups, and guiding you through the different stages of your journey.

Open innovation isn’t easy, but we can help you disrupt your existing innovation practices, so you can open the door to endless opportunities.

 Click here to learn more and join

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Access to Healthcare

The Health not The Death is a fundamental human right. A healthy population is not to be seen as human and social capital, an input, or by-product, towards economic growth. Alongside a healthy and sustainable environment, a solidarity, a healthy population must be the ultimate goal especially nowadays in helping Ukrainian migrants with cancer and their families.

Solidarity in health is a cornerstone of EU health policy. There are wide disparities in many health outcomes across the region and those outcomes. The access rules dramatically affect healthcare systems which are at the forefront of the migrant way, the people who are searching for help and the way how we could enhance and support their healthier and wellbeing status.

In order to ensure their access to care and continued cure in need, the probability of receiving a timely diagnosis and of surviving differs greatly from country to country where they are now. There is lack of information, help and inequalities in access. People need help in navigating cancer knowledge, diagnostics, secondary monitoring and prevention, way of treatments, and care.

Shifting our mindset, supporting healthcare connectivity, removing inequalities overall across Europe is our mission and even more now in a time of crisis, helping the Ukrainian people dealing with cancer is a good place to begin this transformative revolution.

1) Whether we have a chance to foster more holistic and integrated approaches to receive information and care, by supporting coordination and maximising an enabling and health-enhancing effect of care across services from different countries?

2) Whether actions should address the social determinants of health, the countries where they are now, the health need which they have, the social and language barriers are the conditions which have to be taken into consideration in a coordinated manner?

How might we improve patients and /or people who seek healthcare support, access to healthcare services at an EU & the Member States Healthcare systems level? Especially in a time of crisis in Europe.

How might we support refugees fleeing from their countries by navigating them to medical centres to receive best available care?  

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Predictive Treatment

Precision medicine aims to personalise care for every individual. Nongenomic and genomic determinants, combined with information from patient symptoms, clinical history, and lifestyle (nutrition, physical activity, stress etc.), can facilitate personalised diagnosis and prognostics. Yet this goal requires access to massive amounts of data which may come from different structured and unstructured sources; these can be our medical records, laboratory testing, a range of medical devices as well as from the patient himself. AI & ML can combine input from these multiple sources, analyse them and identify biomarkers that can support health professionals make more informed decisions. The convergence of precision medicine with the advanced AI capabilities will improve the ability to personalise care – improve diagnosis, risk prediction as well as therapy planning.  

HCPs want to better predict treatment response, given uncertainty around which treatment to prescribe to which patient and when to prescribe. How do we risk assess the patients, match them with the right treatment (personalised). How can we transform the wealth of data and link it to the predictive nature of how the patient will respond?

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Patient Journey Navigation

Being diagnosed with cancer is overwhelming and comes as a blow. Patients may feel on a roller coaster of emotions—they are scared, lost & confused not knowing what to expect, who to refer to, what to do and how to tell their loved ones.  They directly refer to “Dr. Google” to look for information about their disease, possible treatments, QoL strategies with the aim to have better understanding of their disease and learn how to better cope with their disease & treatment, yet information is not always valid, accessible, nor personalised or tailored to the patient’s status and needs therefore left with huge amounts of non-relevant information. Coming to the doctor, the physician’s time is limited and mostly focusing on the physical aspects of the disease & treatment, not leaving much time to ask questions nor discuss more holistic aspects of the disease such as emotional, psychological, social aspects. The patient (& caregiver in many cases) leaves the room with unanswered questions, doesn’t remember much of what has been said, and feels he is not heard, nor seen as a whole.

The need for navigating this journey along the emotional psychological stress is overwhelming & patients and their caregivers look for support (case manager/companion/partner) to help manage their disease holistically – starting from having clarity around their disease and treatment by having access to reliable and personalised information during their journey as well as having an integrated holistic care system , supporting them and their loved ones to navigate through the different aspects of their disease – medical, emotional, logistical, psychological, social, rights.

How can we support patients to navigate through the complexity of their disease and treatment ensuring they have validated holistic information about their disease journey & treatment and be empowered to  effectively manage their care 

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Peer-to-Peer Medical Exchange

As medical events pivoted from conference centres and meeting rooms to the virtual settings, learning opportunities continue. Lectures and presentations are translated to the new digital world, yet the ability to connect and network is relatively lost. Peer interaction is essential not only for information exchange but to share practical insights, allows consultation & in-person experience cross country and across borders leading to better disease management.

This peer-based learning/ consultation is highly valued amongst practising clinicians and was generally achieved when HCPs and KOLs met their peers in national & Intl conferences, group debates, advisory boards and even during quick corridor conversations. Attempting to replicate these in-person experiences into the digital space creates challenges and are not effective nor impactful as face-to-face engagements. 

How might we improve HCP medical exchange enabling physicians to easily communicate, consult, exchange opinions leveraging individual experts & centres of excellence knowledge, experiences, and practices?

How can we leverage the technological expertise to allow HCPs to connect with leading experts across countries to get advice / counselling for their cases?

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