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Deloitte, xPrize and Singularity University team up on innovation

05.19.2013
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Organisations around the world are striving to become more innovative, whether that’s in producing new products, improving processes, or simply doing things better, innovation is seen as critical to survival in difficult times.

Anyone with an interest in innovation should therefore be following closely the group formed by three innovation heavy weights.  The Innovation Partnership Program has been created by XPrize, Singularity University and Deloitte to get industry together with inventors, scientists and other developers twice a year with the goal of funding new competitions.

It’s a three year project, and the first get together was hosted earlier this year, and saw 60 leaders from the likes of Google and Qualcomm converge to toss around ideas on areas such as 3D printing and crowdsourcing.  Participants are charged $250,000 for a seat at the event, during which it’s hoped that they’ll get in on the ground floor of ideas and innovations.

“IPP is proof of the amazing and productive dialogue that can result when a group of diverse and daring industry leaders, scientists, entrepreneurs, inventors, and thought leaders come together to discuss innovative business strategies and exponential technologies,” said Kian Gohar, Executive Director, Innovation Partnership Program. “We are very fortunate to have such great partners that share our passion and commitment to this unique ecosystem where the Fortune 500 meets Silicon Valley.”

The March IPP event was the first in a multi-year series of events where Fortune 500 leaders will meet innovative start-ups and entrepreneurs to expand their partnership ecosystem across Silicon Valley and reach across global markets to connect the most knowledgeable industry leaders and innovators in a highly curated and unprecedented summit.

It’s an interesting approach, but a part of me wonders about the merit of making it so exclusive.  A major trend in discovery, and indeed a central premise behind the XPrize, is that you’re inviting insight from far and wide and literally tapping into the wisdom of the crowd.  It’s a move away from the suggestion that everything needs to be invented in-house by your team of boffins towards the acceptance that innovations often come from diverse sources.  Indeed, only recently GE opened up a large chunk of their patents to Quirky, a community of inventors, in the hope that they can make use of the patents and create products that would not be created internally.

Now it should be said that Quirky were present at the initial IPP event so it is certainly possible that their crowdsourced model of innovation will be tapped into more often, and indeed that more companies will take the GE approach to opening up their intellectual property.  Here’s hoping.