PITCCH Project launched the first innovation challenges to SMEs

January 29, 2021

Pitcch Henry Chesbrough_02.jpg

The PITCCH, a project funded by the European Union and led by INL – International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory, established a pan-European Open Innovation network in which large companies and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), as well as Startups, collaborate in a structured way to accelerate the development of innovative solutions based on advanced technologies.

The PITCCH platform is now acting as a common stage on which corporations of relevant size looking for technology-based solutions meet SMEs and Startups capable of responding to their challenges. The collaboration model is based on the specific needs of companies and moderated by intermediaries from the innovation ecosystem, namely research and innovation centres such as INL.

The project kicked off with the first group of corporate challenges through the YouTube platform last January 28th, with SMEs and technology-based Startups engaged in an online session that explored opportunities for collaboration between different entities.


Creator of “Open Innovation” in the opening session

Pitcch Henry Chesbrough.jpg

Henry Chesbrough, known as the “father” of the Open Innovation concept, and a teacher at the Haas School of Business, University of California-Berkeley, opened this session with the lecture “Open Innovation for Industry Competitiveness”. 

The invited speaker uncovered what’s now behind the hype around the concept that he suggested back in 2003, which is now embedded in many companies, even at an organizational level.

Regarding the pandemic, Professor Chesbrough said that “Open Innovation can indeed help to cope with the current situation because it will increase the speed of innovation”, and gave concrete examples such as the anti-COVID19 vaccines that are now being rolled out all over the world, after being developed in a record time.

He also raised concerns about the “worryingly low level of investment in R&D, that has consistently dropped since the 1960s. We are not investing in our future as we used to”.

The session had also presentations from the first group of corporate challenges for the project, promoted by Procter & Gamble, Repsol, Siemens Energy, Aptiv, EFACEC, Saint-Gobain, and SPIE. All these companies explored their open innovation strategies at the corporate level, shared experiences with the participants, and set expectations regarding the involvement in the project.

You can watch the session recording clicking here.

PITCCH has already received the applications of more than 30 SMEs and Startups and the launch of the next challenge will happen by the end of next summer.

First session companies and projects: 

  • P&G – “Plastic-free” recyclable packaging for liquid detergents (Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology)

  • REPSOL – Lower Emissions by RON Increasement (LEBRON) (Industrial Biotechnology)

  • SIEMENS Energy – Carbon neutral process steam supply (Energy technologies)

  • APTIV – Eye See – Glasses for remote control (Advanced Manufacturing)

  • EFACEC – Smart Digital Transformer Management Solution (Digital technologies and Micro and Nano-electronics)

  • Saint Gobain – Tile grout as a ceramic (Advanced Materials)

  • SPIE – ODYSSEE: Open Data systems for the building environment (Digital technologies)

Learn more about this project in https://pitcch.eu/