Possibilities of Accelerating Open Innovation Capabilities in Monterrey

One of the main objectives of the REAP1 Mty program is to promote the adoption of two business capabilities in the region:

  • Entrepreneurship Capabilities: Ability to start and scale new companies, from inception to market establishment.
  • Innovation Capabilities: ability to identify and develop new innovations from inception to maturity (operation / commercialization).

These capabilities are mainly based on creating demand for collaborative projects between 5 sectors described by the MIT REAP model: Business, Academia, Entrepreneurs, Venture Capital and Government; since this dynamic, proven by MIT in various regions of the world (+40 cities), creates well-being and prosperity in society, alters the mood in a positive way for productivity and creativity in general, public policies evolve, modifies the dynamics of the environment in the region, attracts investment, attracts and retains talent, among other advantages with a positive impact.

In other words, it makes the region attractive and competitive for its growth and sustainable development.

On this occasion I will share some possibilities or routes (see – Marco de Trabajo) for the creation of Open Innovation projects from the business perspective, for the Monterrey region; knowing in advance that the region exists in the Innovation and Entrepreneurship ecosystem2:

  • Universities (16) – Institutions of higher education that are involved in.
  • Innovation and entrepreneurship (33) – Independent innovation and entrepreneurship centers, belonging to a university or a company.
  • Research (114) – Small and large research centers, belonging to government, a university or a company.
  • Industry (47) – Nuevo León companies of any kind that are involved in innovation, research or entrepreneurship processes.
  • Government (5) – Government agencies that support and regulate innovation, research or entrepreneurship processes within Nuevo León.
  • Clusters and chambers (18) – Groups of companies from different industrial sectors that seek to potentiate industrial growth through strategic alliances within the triple helix: academia, industry and government.
  • Startups and Entrepreneurship (224) – Companies of different ages that were created in Nuevo León, thus contributing to the economic and industrial growth of the state through highly innovative products or services.
  • Initiatives or Programs – initiatives such as Nuevo León 4.0, Monterrey Digital Hub, INCmty Entrepreneurship Festival, among others.

Marco de Trabajo

You will be able to observe in this framework the elements that I consider relevant to develop the Innovation capacities and the possible routes.

  1. Declare in a general way the challenges, opportunities or business needs that the company has.
  • Describe each of these needs in the best possible detail, the current situation and first expectations for the future, provide general data. An example of this detail can be found in the format used by Nuevo León 4.0 & MIND 4.0. It is relevant that the owner and sponsor of the project be clear, since this is a guarantee of a formal conversation with the entity with whom it is decided to collaborate. This owner is the one who designs and prepares the exhibition of the need (narrative or pitch).
  • Decide according to expectations with whom in the ecosystem to carry out the project. It is important that they are previously aware of the Academy-Company linkage programs the Universities have for projects, and the existing initiatives that promote the Company-Entrepreneur linkage, since this is a decision factor.
    • If the decision is to work with the Universities, and depending on their relationship programs (e.g., confidentiality agreements, and in some cases have a contract), first explore which collaboration scheme is the closest to the company’s expectations to advance in the solution(s) for your business. You will see in the framework some examples of possibilities in gray.
    • In the same way as the previous point, having prior knowledge of the initiatives will be important to select the best collaboration option. This option brings additional challenges, since it leads to commercial and legal agreements. In the framework you will see some examples in green.
  • Develop and Validate. At this stage it is very important to be validating, internally and with key clients, the business value of the possible solutions. It is highly recommended that your clients participate in this stage when they are looking to bring a product or new service to market. In the event that in the end the business value is not sustained, proceed to cancel the project, capture the learning obtained and communicate the results to the audience involved; and start the cycle again with other needs, challenges or opportunities.
  • Once supported by the business value, depending on the case, design and execute the implementation process. The impeccable management of the change project is key to be able to capture the business value and fulfill the promises declared both for the company and for the partner (academy or entrepreneur). It is important that the knowledge generated by the process is documented and shared at all times.
  • Conclude the project, evaluating results, documenting and sharing the experiences of the entire cycle. Getting to this stage is when we can really assess and determine if there is innovation!

In conclusion, the following points:

• Know the programs and initiatives (scope, calendars, prices, etc.) offered by the region’s ecosystem

• Recognize and document needs

• Have the commitment of the owner and sponsor of the challenge to be solved by the company.

• Define which collaboration option is close to what is sought, and also according to the available resources

• Carry out the legal agreements required by each program

• Make the decision whether to conclude or continue with the development of the project based on the potential business value

• Constantly validate business value, internally and with key customers

• Document and share the learning and knowledge acquired in each phase

• Impeccably handle the implementation of the solution

• Once the solution is implemented, evaluate results and share the experience of both parties

• Go through the cycle repeatedly until this innovation practice of the company matures