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CASE - Accelerating digital transformation through gamification

In life science, as in many other industries, making a swift transition towards Industry 4.0 is key to stay ahead of competition and deliver sustained premium value to the evolving and demanding customer. Much like in innovation, this quest mandates a combined understanding of 3 primary axes: the technology enablers, the customer needs and the viable solution applications:

  • Technology enablers: sufficiently proven 4.0 digital technologies - Examples are process automation, smart sensors, mobile apps, IoT, cloud services, big data, augmented/virtual reality, artificial intelligence,…

  • Customer needs: the true and relevant pain points you are solving - Needed at the right level of granularity: markets (heavy industries, construction, energy, high-tech, healthcare,…), customer type (global leader, local player), counterpart (manager vs. operator),…

  • Viability of solutions: the feasibility of the aspired added value - The solution will deliver customer-centric impact, can be integrated with current business, is possible to implement short-term to avoid being outpaced by technology evolutions, is technically feasible, …

For our client, a global life-science leader in gases, technologies and services for industry and health, we helped accelerate their digital transformation plan. The challenge was two-fold:

  1. Deliver the 2-year roadmap to incorporate proven technologies into our own products & solutions to add a digital touch that improves our business value proposition

  2. Capitalize on the collective expertise of the global R&D and business development teams, across markets, functional domains, regions and hierarchical levels.

“Gamification has become a part of our internal toolbox now. The efficient execution and the smoothly built platform benefit to the high contribution rates.” - VP R&D


To accelerate knowledge build-up and trigger out-of-the-box thinking, we applied gamification, structured in a phased approach combining advisory and scalable gamified web platforms.

Our customer saw 4 key success factors why gamification could make the difference for the digital transformation of its portfolio:

  • Tap into all buckets of knowledge to find answers, without disrupting day-to-day activities

  • Collaborate across functions, regions and hierarchies to crystallize new business offers

  • Smartly exploit game rules to work on not-invented-here, opening employees’ mindsets

  • Transparently involve perspectives of all key stakeholders in a fair decision-making

Evidently it was key to combine the gamification with the right advisory to keep an ‘honest’ focus on what’s right for R&D and the business.

Venture Spirit set up a gamified co-creation project mobilizing 580 co-workers to bring forward their ideas. Regional ambassadors were selected to boost awareness, enthusiasm and participation.

During the game phase, Venture Spirit acted as sounding board, steering co-creation to go deeper in certain promising areas, or go wider to unexplored territory. All game insights are analyzed and synthesized on a solution portfolio framework. To sharpen the customer focus on the platforms, Venture Spirit created extra online missions and specific inspirational content.


The co-creation format was extremely well received. The participation rates rose to +70%, well above benchmark. Spontaneous local initiatives further spurred the energy and engagement, proving the community’s commitment.

The digitization funnel was filled with 574 initially proposed initiatives. The best ones further enriched by 6-8 discussions and comments on average. The synthesized outcome: 23 promising tangible digital offers, addressing real customer needs:

  • 7 on Productivity

  • 4 on Reliability

  • 4 on Quality

  • 3 on Safety

  • 2 on Health

  • 2 on Cost-efficiency

  • 1 on Customer experience

Finally, the project also generated a clear mirror: an overview of key 4.0 know-how to further investigate, not to miss out on the digital boat on the mid-term.


  • Acceleration of expertise sharing about markets, customers, solutions, 4.0 technologies, globally and cross-functionally

  • Awareness raised on the importance of the rapid evolution towards 4.0 digitization

  • Tangible and valuable digitization projects harvested, ready for implementation

  • Participants highly appreciated the chance to contribute to a major company challenge anonymously, focusing on the content first

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