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CASE - Accelerating the innovation cycle while changing the mindset of researchers

Our client is a global technological research organization who introduces meaningful innovations in health and well-being to improve people’s lives. They work on everything from spotting trends and ideation to proof of concept, including first-of-a-kind product development.

At some point, the new company's CEO introduced the Accelerate program to raise efficiency and effectiveness across the business. In terms of innovation, they aimed at reducing the idea-to-cash time with 40%.

The research division wanted to contribute to the Accelerate program by significantly speeding up their part of the chain. To achieve this, the management was looking to stimulate external partnerships and technology transfers in their research programs so that more projects could be handed over more quickly to the business units. The issue was to tackle the not-invented-here syndrome the R&D organization was struggling with.


The gamified collaboration project, integrated in the Accelerate program, was called Scout Out. About 1500 researchers were invited to a Venture Game to stimulate them to partner up with external research entities. The set-up of the game urged the employees to cooperate with other companies to develop their own ideas. The researchers were asked to review their projects and evaluate their colleagues’ projects. The established selection mechanism allowed for a reprioritization of the entire project proposals portfolio.


474 employees participated, which is over 30% of the invited community. The focus on outside-in innovation to accelerate the idea-to-market cycle using external technologies and/or partnerships resulted in 86 new project proposals.

28 projects representing the most significant time-gain were given priority to enter the execution phase. 2 of them were immediately integrated in a Business Unit, and 1 of them was given a chance to develop itself further as a spin-off. This new portfolio of 28 priority projects contained opportunities for all three research programs.

Accelerate Scout out significantly increased the focus on external innovation opportunities and also accelerated project handovers from R&D to the business departments notably.


  • Improved portfolio management resulting in a prioritized pipeline of research proposals, enabling an acceleration for 28 projects

  • Positive attitude change within the research community regarding external technologies, best practices, partnership opportunities, and license deals, causing a significant increase in outside-in projects

  • More intense research collaboration across borders after the game, which was 'unseen'

  • Sparked interest of another company division to do a global project with them. They applied a similar approach to fill their business development portfolio with new project proposals

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