Collaboration in innovation

Collaboration in innovation can take different forms. Some of the cases involve ’traditional outsourcing’; when a designer is hired to design a product or component. The contractor carries out what the client wants. Sometimes the cooperation is more interactive and the interests, cooperation and financial arrangements are more balanced. Common examples include:


In 2001, Procter & Gamble developed the “Connect + Develop” program to actively involve third parties in the development of new products. This has been used by thousands of consumers, startups, SME’s, scientists and civil society organizations. Five years later, 35% of new products arose from the collaborative C+D program. Collaboration differed greatly from traditional R&D collaboration:
“When people first hear about connect and develop, they often think it’s the same as outsourcing
innovation-contracting with outsiders to develop innovations for P&G. But it’s not. Outsourcing strategies typically just transfer work to lower-cost providers. Connect and develop, by contrast, is about finding good ideas and bringing them in to enhance and capitalize on internal capabilities”.



Phillips collaborates – F.E. in the development of products for the consumer markets – with different companies. The best known example is the collaboration with Douwe Egberts, designing the Senseo coffee concept. Phillips has knowledge about development, production and sales of consumer products. Douwe Egberts is a big player in the field of coffee. Not only in the field of technology, industrial design and logistics was Senseo very innovative, it even resulted in new business models.

Collaborations like this one were started by Phillips in the field of beer taps (Jupiler) and flatirons (Robijn).



Van Beek Schroeftransport in Drunen has been designing, producing and selling screw conveyors since 1939, for a.o. applications in the food industry. Van Beek works intensively with the customer to ensure that the most suitable solution is chosen. This is also the case with the application of their knowledge and experience in the area of screw conveyors in the development of a vertical screw heat exchanger for cooling or heating pastes and liquids.


Open innovation

The Phenom electron microscope arose from a joint venture between FEI (now Thermo Fisher), Sioux and NTS. Initially commissioned by FEI, the collaboration was later continued in an independent company called PhenomWorld (now taken over by Thermo Fisher).

The Phenom SEM is applied in quality control and process control in the manufacturing industry.

The development of the Phenom SEM is an example of bundling specialist knowledge (market, process, ICT and embedded software, engineering, production and assembly) around a collaborative business concept and revenue model.


Chain collaboration in the manufacturing industry or “A case study from the regional manufacturing industry”