The creation of new companies based on technological innovation requires high specialisation, contact with researchers, and the capacity to test technologies and to successfully launch them in the marketplace
Corporate technological innovation strategies
Business leaders claim that innovation will play a decisive role in the development of their businesses. 50% expect half of their companies’ revenues five years from now to come from products, services or businesses that do not yet exist. The latest survey by McKinsey on new-business building also indicates as such, highlighting the fact that new-business building is a strategic priority for corporations. Their ultimate goal: to increase their impact and competitiveness through innovation policies.
For companies and corporations, the creation of new companies and business models based on technological innovation is a critical process. This is a pending issue, particularly in deep tech, as it requires high specialisation, contact with researchers, and the capacity to test technologies and to successfully launch them in the marketplace.
Despite the fact that scientific production in Spain is excellent -ranked 12th in the world-, at present only 5% of company R&D is commissioned to Spanish universities. On all accounts, the most innovative corporations are progressively looking towards alliances with strategic partners such as The Collider, which foster working with science to identify and promote disruptive solutions that will enable them to compete on an international scale in the medium term and generate quality jobs.
Towards corporate venturing
Corporate Venturing involves investments made by innovation-minded companies that identify solutions to create or scale start-ups with a technological or disruptive component.
With this goal in mind, these companies design open innovation policies and partnerships to expand their relationships with the innovation ecosystem, formed by research institutes and centres, entrepreneurs, spin-offs, investors, accelerators and other businesses.
However, this relationship between corporations and the players in the international R&D system is ineffective if it fails to contribute to their corporate venturing strategies. In order to strengthen investments in science and technology-based startups, it may be key for these corporations to seek the support of specialist organisations that, with in-depth knowledge of their technological challenges, customise services to connect with the scientific, entrepreneur and investment ecosystem and support relevant spin-offs
Corporate venturing with custom support
There are two basic keys for companies specialising in deep tech transfer to support customised corporate venturing: their integration into technology ecosystems and specific sectors, and their capacity to assist in the development of startups using solid methods.
These public, private or mixed venture building companies and start-up accelerators must also guarantee other important skills for corporations:
- An in-depth knowledge of deep technologies related with their areas of interest.
- The capacity to analyse their own challenges regarding technological innovation
- An excellent connection with the ecosystem, as indicated above, along with recognition and authority within it.
- Mixed representation of industry experts and investors in their regular steering committees and decision-making regarding pre-seed start-ups.
- Solid methods -highly tested- to support projects or spin-offs in their initial stages.
- Capacity to organise market tests and pilot testing in their collaborating corporations.
Success story of Corporate Venturing at HP
The Collider, the Mobile World Capital Barcelona innovation area, collaborates permanently with leading corporations from the eHealth, CleanTech and Food sectors, supporting their Deep-tech open innovation and Corporate Venturing processes.
HP, a partner of The Collider, offers a typical, interesting and educational case of Corporate Venturing in Digital Health.
In collaboration with Sant Pau Hospital, HP Spain developed a medical simulator produced using 3D printing technology that reliably reproduces the texture and hardness of specific organs and tissues. This solution was designed to practice minimally invasive heart surgeries. The simulator enables surgeons to practice this operation physically and precisely before getting to the real patient, when it could previously only be performed on a virtual model or using animal organs.
Once the simulator had been technically developed, The Collider worked with HP on structuring the business model and on guiding the project towards the marketplace. The team of technicians, mentors and serial entrepreneurs at The Collider then assisted in seeking market validation for the solution and in improving the business model, which was necessary to ensure investment and business traction in the solution by the corporation.