Vallourec "Open Innovations Challenge" History
According to research findings, Vallourec has only held one Open Innovation Challenge, i.e the challenge that was held in 2017, and the company is currently running another by the name Open Innovation Platform over the 2019/2020 period. In 2017, Vallourec's Open Innovation Challenge was held on the topic of intelligent tubes where the company was out looking for partners to collaborate with in the development of smart/intelligent tubes. A detailed overview of the research findings and strategy follows below.
Vallourec Open Innovation Challenge 2017
- Vallourec's first Open Innovation Challenge was based on the theme/topic of intelligent tubes (smart tubes).
- According to Sylvie Dubois-Decool, the Director of Innovation at Vallourec, the company turned to open innovation as a way to "seize the opportunities offered by new technologies and thus strengthen its offerings."
- Vallourec did not provide a single location where the challenge was to be held because the selected partners were to collaborate on projects with Vallourec for a period of 6 months after selection. However, the company's press page does provide information on two challenges being held in 2017 where one was held in Brazil while the other was held on a worldwide basis.
- The challenge's purpose/goal was to enable the company to identify possible partnerships with companies, labs, and startups in the leading-edge of new technologies. These partnerships were meant to enable Vallourec to take advantage of the available new technologies that would enable the company to offer value focused solutions. These solutions would enable Vallourec to differentiate its solutions for its customers and consolidate its long term leadership position.
- Vallourec's Open Innovation Challenge 2017 mainly involved companies submitting applications for the challenge that would then be presented before a pre-selected jury. After pitching the projects, a selection committee would then announce the names of selected partners that were going to work on projects around smart tubes with Vallourec over a period of 6 months.
- The main aim of the Open Innovation Challenge 2017 was to develop smart tubes that had the capability of recording and transmitting information during their lifetime. The information that was expected to be recorded and transmitted was either information about the fluids that were in contact with the tubes such as flow rate, pressure, and temperature or information related to changes in the tubes themselves such as changes in thickness and detection of the presence of cracks on the tubes.
- Through the 2017 Open Innovation Challenge, Vallourec was looking for companies that had new and innovative technologies in energy harvesting, big data, low-speed transmission networks, and high-performance sensors. Although success metrics of the 2017 challenge were limited in the public domain, the setting up of another challenge in 2019 led to the assumption that the 2017 challenge was successful in its objectives.
- According to Vallourec's 2017 Registration Document, the partnerships created in the 2017 challenge "allowed the company to integrate the most recent and innovative technologies, accelerate development projects, and deepen the discussions between teams."
- Through partnerships such as the Open Innovation Challenge 2017, Vallourec managed to increase competence in areas such as data science, predictive models, artificial intelligence, augmented reality, and additive manufacturing.
- In the 2017 challenge, more than 40 startups and companies across the world presented their offers and development went underway with the best companies that were selected.
Vallourec Open Innovation Platform 2019
- Vallourec launched its Open Innovation Platform in May 2019. The platform is a website designed to create new partnerships between the company and innovative startups, labs, and companies to produce "augmented" pipes.
- Consequently, the theme/topic of Vallourec's Open Innovation Platform 2019 is the development of "augmented" pipes that have new functionalities in addition to the classical use of transporting fluids safely and providing a structural component.
- In 2019, Vallourec hopes to develop pipes that have two new features for "enhancing the flow of fluids inside the pipes and conveying information and/or power via the pipes."
- The program was launched on May 6, 2019, with pre-selection taking place on September 24, 2019. The pre-selected companies then presented their projects at Vallourec's premises on October 24, 2019, so as to assess their relevance. The decisions on the final selections are scheduled to be released by the end of November.
- Afterward, Vallourec will organize further collaboration via workshops with the winning startups and companies to precisely determine the details of the collaboration moving forward.
- Because the process of the Open Innovation Platform 2019 is continuing, information on the results of this collaboration is still unavailable.
Through an exhaustive research process, we were able to determine that Vallourec has only held one Open Innovation Challenge i.e. the one that was held in 2017. The challenge that the company is currently running in the 2019/2020 period will be the second challenge from Vallourec. We focused research on the 2017 challenge, because the 2019 challenge is still ongoing, and we were able to find a significant amount of information for this challenge. However, information on the results of the challenge was very minimal in the public domain. We employed the use of the following research strategies in our search for this information.
Our first strategy targeted Vallourec's website in our search for information on the results of the 2017 Open Innovation Challenge. Our thinking behind this strategy was that the official website of the company would contain new products that were developed through the 2017 challenge. We did a thorough search for relevant information on various pages of the website including the products and press release pages. However, we were unable to identify any useful information with this strategy as the only available information was general information regarding the company's products, solutions, and news.
Next, we focused our search for relevant information on press release resources. We targeted our search on these resources because they are usually rich in information from various industries including the oil and gas industry. The resources that we targeted in this strategy included PR Newswire and Globenewswire and after a thorough search, we were still unable to find any useful information on the results of the 2017 challenge. The information that was available with this strategy was majorly press release articles from Vallourec.
In our last strategy, we focused our search for relevant information on business information resources that included Crunchbase, Bloomberg, and Business Insider. Our aim behind this strategy was that we would be able to identify information from the challenge in these resources. However, we were still unable to find information on the success metrics of the 2017 Open Innovation Challenge. The available information was majorly general information on the company's news activities that we could not use to address the research criteria.