Ideas abound, if only you know where to look. As companies strive to gain a competitive advantage in their industries, they become more receptive to ideas that come from outside, embracing the spirit of open innovation to drive growth.

Sharing the intention to create together is a key step for successful open innovation, and this motivated the launch of the IoT Innovation Challenge 2018. Jointly organized by IPI, Enterprise Singapore and the Innovation Center of the Nanyang Polytechnic Institute (Electronics & IoT), Challenge invites technology enthusiasts to create IoT solutions for a series of approved allegations of concerns by Aztech and Singtel corporate partners.

“IoT relies on a robust ecosystem to succeed, and together with Enterprise Singapore and industry players, we hope to remove the barrier to IoT adoption by helping innovators and enterprises market their IoT innovations,” said Mark Co, IoT Director. Design and delivery to Singel. With the advent of creative juices that began in November 2018, the IoT Innovation Challenge saw more than 25 teams respond to the call for innovation. In the following months, Challenge participants refined their proposals and prepared their prototypes for demonstration in July 2019. Ivan Moon, vice president of business development at Aztech, defended the format of the innovation task, noting that it stimulates creativity.

“Other formats of open innovation are often very specific – sometimes too specific, which narrows the boundaries [of generating ideas] and can lead to“ me too ”decisions.” However, given the wide range of solutions presented, deciding what makes a winning decision can be difficult, Moon added. Having said that, novelty and ingenuity are highly rated in the test results table. “Does an equivalent solution exist or does the proposed solution uniquely solve a business problem?” Does the solution reveal a new service area? “These are some of the issues that innovators need to consider if they want to succeed in an innovative task,” Co added. Maintaining reality Although innovation challenges are generally desirable, solution providers that take into account the commercial potential of their technology are more likely to stand out from the crowd, say Aztech and Singtel executives.

“We look at the maturity and stability of the decision; we are considering whether the commercialization of the prototype is possible, and also whether the solution can be implemented in a cost-effective manner, which will ensure a return on investment, ”said Co. Time to market is another key factor. “If a product needs another two or three years of development, the market cycle can continue, which makes the product obsolete,” Moon warned, adding that sometimes the decision may even be so far ahead of the curve that the market may not be ready to accept it. Moon also emphasized that functionality must be balanced with costs. “If a product is made in the style of a“ Swiss army knife ”, it can contain many functions that cannot be used and which will become too expensive for consumers,” he said. However,

Ko and Moon agreed that they were generally impressed with the quality of the solutions – with the real use cases – that they got. Both Aztech and Singtel are looking forward to further developing the best innovations and will provide finalists with testing opportunities for selected technologies. “For participants who presented innovative and interesting solutions, we believe that there are great opportunities for cooperation with our manufacturing capabilities and market coverage,” said Mun.

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