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Main points:
– innovationHUB 2018 highlighted the central importance of innovating with clients and analyzed the state of innovation in Spain with COTEC and Fundación I+E
– Held on two dates and in two cities, the event hosted a debate on women and technology with Ana María Llopis, Elena García Armada and Regina Llopis.
– ideas4all Innovation’s 3rd annual Innovation Awards awarded prizes to companies like Zurich Insurance, KPMG or RTVE for their innovation programs.

innovationHUB 2018 connected Madrid and Barcelona during two dates (November 19 & 21) to discover the transformative impact of innovation in business environments through success stories from large organizations, and discuss their effect on economic and social progress.

Open innovation has been the guiding thread of an event where companies like KPMG, who hosted the event in Madrid, uncovered their innovative ecosystem, consisting of three differentiated compartments that are, however, related and interconnected: alliances with startups, innovation labs and an intrapreneurship program built on the foundation of the open innovation community KPMG Innova Talent. Juan Ignacio Marrón, the company’s Partner Director of Innovation, led a round table with Rafael Juan, CEO of Grupo Dulcesol, illustrated how to innovate with an organization’s different stakeholders, as a valid option for companies in all sectors and a guarantee for their transformation in the medium and long term, also ensuring short-term sustainability.

“When market players are included, resources are gained for innovation”, Marrón highlighted in this respect. Grupo Dulcesol presented their co-creation project with clients, establishing a process of active listening with segmented groups of brand consumers, to obtain ideas for the business and create loyalty.

In this spirit of openness, Pilar Roch, CEO of ideas4all Innovation, presented the event and established the context for both dates, speaking of a moment of “hyper-acceleration”, with expanding areas of activity in all sectors. In her view, the current environment of change demands “out-of-the-box thinking” from the people responsible for organizations, as well as sharing the task and effort of permanent adaptation with the different stakeholders surrounding a company, among which their employees. Roch spoke of a business model for “high-performance companies, where power is decentralized” and “information is shared democratically and transparently.”

The commitment to multi-stakeholder corporate innovation programs had its maximum representation in Zurich Insurance, host of the event in Barcelona. The insurance firm presented its projectFrom Employees to Customers, which is being pioneered by the company’s Spanish division, and uses the Imagina community to connect ideas from its employees and its distribution network. The program’s overarching principle, according to Monika Schulze, Zurich’s Global Head of Customer and Digital Experience and keynote speaker at the event, is to place clients at the center of everything.

To do so, she suggests a journey of innovation that begins within the company, among employees and demands“a cultural change” on an organizational level, according to Silvia Heras, Director of Communication and Strategic Marketing of Zurich Insurance’s Spanish division. Heras analyzed the first steps and results of this innovative program in Spain, which seeks to create a domino effectstarting with employees by listening to their ideas, and ultimately reaching the client [discover the initiative and its impact here].

Corporate innovation was also the subject of the innovation pitch by Radio Televisión Española (RTVE), who explained how all the corporation’s employees participate in the Innova program and community, where they can share their suggestions freely, or in response to challenges raised by the public company. The same is true of Banco Santander’s Customer Center program, a digital channel that centralizes on and offline bank activities with its clients. Ignacio Martín, Director of Client Experience and Quality, highlighted with Isabel Gómez, responsible for the center, the importance of a project “that entails a new culture and way of working in the bank, whose objective is to place clients at the center of everything, particularly in everything related to the launch of products and processes, in all its phases.”

The Barcelona edition of the event was also an opportunity to discover the three-way R&D&D experiment between Banco Sabadell, Grupo AIA and ideas4all Innovation, analyzing and testing different process sequences with users and activity in the bank’s open innovation community, to draw the best possible result in the use of collaborative intelligence.

Innovation, a key factor in transforming reality. 

innovationHUB has taken things beyond the effect of innovation within business organizations in its 2018 edition, delving deeper into its impact on the transformation and evolution of businesses.

In this context, it has gauged the state of innovation in Spain, in a round table with Jorge Barrero, General Director of COTEC; José Antonio López, Vice-President of Fundación I+E and CEO of Ericsson Spain; and Teresa Riesgo, General Director of R&D&I of Spain’s Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities. Moderated y Lluis Altés, General Director of the DES | Digital Enterprise Show, the debate’s main conclusion was the need for a commitment to innovation between private initiatives and public administration, as a way to increase Spanish competitiveness as a digital and high-added value economy.

In this sense, López wanted to highlight the value of private business in the promotion of business innovation, with 35% of total investment in the area, according to his foundation’s figures. The debate also tackled the role of public administration in the equation, as guarantors and architects of a regulatory and framework that supports the evolution of innovation, as a key axis for the country’s productive model. All three speakers coincided in stating that innovation is a crucial variable in the development of national competitiveness, and that it inherently requires rapid changes and response capability by private enterprises and legislators. Still, in any event and as expressed by Barrero, it is a path that must be walked “more quickly, but not in any direction.”


Conquering equality through collaborative innovation. 

The impact of innovation on a country’s transformation was not only analyzed from a merely economic perspective, but also from the point of view of progress in society itself. innovationHUB therefore hosted the presentation of the project Conquistando la Igualdad (Conquering Equality). Promoted by ideas4all Innovation and Womenalia, this initiative invites citizens and all other actors in society to use collaborative intelligence to achieve effective equality between men and women in all areas of society.

One of these is the access and presence of women in professional environments and management positions. As part of this project and an example of this theme, the Madrid edition hosted a debate with three women who are references in technological leadership: Ana María Llopis, founder and President of ideas4all Innovation; Elena García Armada, researcher at CSIC and CEO of marsibionics, a company that specializes in building exoskeletons, and Regina Llopis, President of Grupo AIA.

Participants in the debate, moderated by María Gómez del Pozuelo, CEO of Womenalia, highlighted the shortage of vocations and female models for women in STEM environments, or the difficulties of reconciling work and family life, or distributing household chores, as some of the factors that make access to successful positions difficult for women. Using a simile taken from ballet, Ana María Llopis stressed that “reconciliation between work and family should be a pas de deux” (“step of two”) and highlighted the need “for men who understand and defend feminism”. All three speakers also highlighted the importance of innovation as an element for economic and social transformation, as summarized by García Armada when she stated that, in any event, “innovation must broaden knowledge, but also go beyond knowledge to reach society.”

Lastly, innovationHUB 2018 hosted another edition of the ideas4all Innovation Innovation Awards, with prizes for RTVE (Best Management Team), KPMG Spain with two awards (Outstanding Ideator and Transformative Innovation), Banco Santander (Outstanding Use Case), Unltd Spain (Best Stimulation Campaign) and Zurich Insurance with the ideas4all Innovation 2018 Award for the corporate program From Employees to Customers.

There was also a prize for Jesús Navarro, CEO of INNSAI, for the winning idea in the challenge“Ideas for a more digital and innovative Spain”, promoted by ideas4all Innovation and the Digital Enterprise Show, and which, within the said event, posed a challenge to co-create proposals for Spain’s digital agenda.

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