Toymaker’s Open Innovation Success Story

littlepeopleToymaker Fisher Price has revealed how its crowdsourcing strategy is paying dividends with the creation of new products at lower cost and in truncated timeframes.

At a recent iMedia Summit in Atlanta, Georgia, Olga Patel, Senior Manager of Open Innovation at Mattel (owners of Fisher Price), told the assembled throng about the open innovation success story of its Little People line of toys.


Crowdsourced DNA Project to Speed Up Research

phytoA new crowdsourced citizen science project could speed up some microbial research by nearly 40,000 years. Uncovering Genome Mysteries is a new project being hosted on IBM’s World Community Grid. Researchers are hoping to unlock the biological secrets of marine microbes from all over the world, whether they are in Botany Bay in Australia or the Amazon River in Brazil.

Understanding the genetic similarities between microbes could lead to new medicines, new crop technologies and new eco-friendly materials.  And that’s just for starters! (more…)

UAE aims to be a Global Innovation Powerhouse

Sheik_Mohammed_bin_Rashid_Al_MaktoumThe UAE (United Arab Emirates) has set its sights on being one of the most innovative nations in the world within the next seven years.  Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE has launched an ambitious innovation strategy that focuses on seven sectors – education, health, renewable energy, space, technology, transport and water. He also wants to create a national culture that encourages innovation and entrepreneurship.

And who would bet against him achieving these ambitions?  After all, it was Sheikh Mohammed’s drive and vision that turned a tiny patch of desert into the global city of Dubai.


Open Innovation Challenge Offers $1 Million for Ebola Protection

ppeThe Ebola outbreak that has now spread outside of Africa, could become “the next AIDS” unless there is a fast global response. That’s according to Thomas Frieden, Director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In Africa alone, the rate of spread is faster than the efforts to care for those infected.

The fight against the deadly hemorrhagic fever is happening on several fronts, and to boost protection for health workers, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has turned to the crowd for help.


Crowdsource Map for Ebola Response Help

Biosafety_level_4_hazmat_suitThe current Ebola outbreak is the deadliest to date, having so far claimed more than 3,000 lives according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).  The hemorrhagic fever has  spread to multiple countries in West Africa including Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone.  To help tackle the problem and provide help to those suffering, online volunteers from more than 80 countries are involved in a crowdsource mapping initiative.


Open Innovation to Accelerate Development of Home Appliances

Objet500_Connex3_at_FirstBuildCrowdsourcing and 3D printing appear to be all the rage at the moment.  Earlier this month, Local Motors created the world’s first 3D printed car, based on a design submitted to a crowdsourcing contest.

Now there’s news that a General Electric (GE) affiliate called FirstBuild is going to use crowdsourcing and 3D printers to build the next generation of household appliances, revolutionary products to make our lives easier.  They could be anything from food blenders and garbage disposal units to grilling machines and feature-packed water systems.

The aim is to get novel products to market quickly without spending heaps of cash on production tools. (more…)

Crowdsourcing News Stories with the BBC

BBCBroadcastingHouseA team of journalists from the BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) is currently travelling across the United States, crowdsourcing news stories from members of the public.  The aim is to broadcast local stories to a global audience, the kind of news that really matters to people, but is not usually covered by major networks.

Typically, news organisations set the daily news agenda with editors and reporters deciding how to fill their programs and bulletins. The BBC’s crowdsourcing project democratises the news by allowing the public to have a say in what is covered.


3 Articles to Boost Your Innovation Endeavors

3446551557_4489d34fea_zIs there an innovation drought in your company?  Are you desperately in search of the next big thing, but don’t know where to turn?   Are your innovation endeavors too conservative?  Do they lack the risks inherent in trying to do something new and break new ground?

Three articles caught our attention this week that convey powerful messages to those who seek to innovate.  The boldest among them being a warning to innovate or die.