Innovative Breakthroughs with Nokia Open Innovation Challenge

Published Dec-18-17

Graphene-based sensing nanotechnology for real-time monitoring of athletes’ biometric and biomechanical health data.

Nokia, Finland

The Story:

Innovative Breakthroughs with Nokia Open Innovation Challenge For many years Nokia has engaged in open innovation practices to expand innovation opportunities exponentially, opening the door to external collaborators from multiple industries. It does this in several ways including partnerships, open innovation ecosystems and open innovation challenges.

Embracing External Innovators

“The industrial revolution is well on its way. Ultimately our aim at Nokia is to create technology that connects the world, a challenge which we embrace with nothing less than our relentless passion for innovation. But we know that we cannot succeed alone.

"Co-innovating in an open ecosystem with start-ups and large tech companies in a healthy balance is so essential,” said Kathrin Buvac, Chief Strategy Officer of Nokia.

To take advantage of some of the opportunities afforded by open innovation the Finnish multinational communications and consumer electronics company launched the fifth iteration of the Nokia Open Innovation Challenge in 2017.

Ideas for the Internet of Things

The purpose of this contest was to solicit concepts for the Internet of Things (Iot) for smart cities, safety and security, mobility and connected industries. Nokia wanted to attract brilliant minds and their ideas for addressing a number of challenges such as improving safety with technology, improving health with digital technologies, solving urban issues faced by cities and enabling the next revolution with robotics, sensors and LTE (Long-Term Evolution, a 4G wireless broadband technology).

Nokia received a record number of entrants for this contest with more than 400 pitches during a two-day workshop in Helsinki, Finland. From this pool, ten finalists were selected. The ultimate winner was a company called Continuum Technologies, from the UK. Their idea was for graphene-based sensing nanotechnology embedded into fabrics. The specific use they are focused on is providing real-time monitoring of biometric and biomechanical health data to help athletes enhance their sporting performances.

"Continuum promises to take athletes to the next level by enabling actionable insights that improve performance, speed recovery and prevent injury, and deliver intelligent goal tracking," added Buvac. "This is exactly the type of human-centric application of sensing and connectivity that we feel passionately about accelerating into the IoT landscape."

Among the other teams that made it to the final stage was Snaptivity, the winner of the Investor Choice Award. Snaptivity is an app that integrates IoT sensors, robotic cameras and intelligent software to capture fans' candid emotional moments during sporting events at stadiums.

Snaptivity and Continuum along with other highly placed startups in the competition were given the opportunity to explore co-innovation and joint business opportunities with Nokia along with access to the multinational's products, resources and global market. Teams retained all intellectual property rights of their ideas.

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