Sunday 30 December 2018

The 2019 programme for CfBI's consortia is coming together nicely. 

It includes: 

- MF10 Microfluidics Consortium hosted by UC Stanford and UC Riverside Feb 11/12
 - MA3 Medical Adherence Consortium hosted by Swiss Re Zurich March 4/5
 - CVLF2: Corporate Venturing Forum hosted by LLoyds Bank and Geovation in London in January 
- DLT1: Distributed Ledger Technologies Consortium launching in London in February 
- OIBD05 Open Innovation meets Big Data Consortium meeting in London in January 

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Tuesday 24 April 2018

Cambridge Innovation Summit : July 11 2018

The Centre for Business Innovation supported by Silicon Valley Bank, Hewitsons and Medimmune is delighted to announce the Cambridge Innovation Summit 2018.

This international event brings together members of all of CfBI's consortia from around the world together with selected blue chip delegates for a day of world class inspiration, discussion and networking.

This highly interactive event will have the following sessions

- Innovation Landscape (chaired by Professor Steve Young of Apple)
- Innovation for Health and Wellness (chaired by Hermann Hauser of Amadeus Capital PartnerS)
- Innovation made in Cambridge (chaired by Professor Tim Minshall of University of Cambridge)

Guests will network and dine at Trinity Hall (where Stephen Hawkin Studied)

Details here:

pc -
mobile -

Attendance is free to members of CfBI consortia. Other blue chip delegates by invitation only.

Friday 6 April 2018

Thoughts from Eindhoven - CVLF 1.4

The key theme that emerged in Eindhoven was that of TIME.

What a treat to go to the HighTech Campus in Eindhoven: an outstanding ecosystem brought together through the collaboration of the corporates, academia, government and visionaries. A hardware slant was a nice change too.

To get the visit off to a (very) warm start we were welcomed to traditional Dutch hospitality a De LeemerHoef with a roaring fire and some great food. One of my treats at these events is the opportunity to connect and hear from local delegates who can give a different perspective to our normal bubbles.

After dinner we were treated to a talk by Jolan Hulscher and Prof Georges Romme - introducing the Eindhoven ecosystems and the differences in mindset between Eindhoven, Cambridge and Munich. Importantly how areas without an innovative / entrepreneurial mindset will find it increasingly difficult to compete

Next day we had an early start on the HighTech Campus itself. To settle us into our seats overlooking the lake (skateable the previous week.) we were given a historical perspective on the area and how it grew up into the place that it was today. It is amazing to see the impact of history on today’s ecosystems.

Our first case study was from Benno (Philips). He shared how they manage their intrapreneurship and external accelerator programmes and how this fits in with their Corporate Investment funds. Echoing previous meetings, he highlighted the importance of strategic focus in the areas you wanted to encourage innovations. In addition, he highlighted the importance of having a timetable for events - having a drip feed of non-focussed ideas is no good.

A key takeaway was they look for more than one founder in any start-up they work with. This tallies with previous research work I have done, highlighting the importance of more than one (ideally in different age groups) in high growth companies, but it is the first time I have seen it implemented as a hard rule.

This was followed by the energetic Guus (Hightech XL), the on-site accelerator who spoke about how they work with local corporates to build accelerators and increasingly work with internal accelerators. Key messages included:

  • Time - it has taken 5 years to get to the success they now are, the first 2 years were fairly flat and it was touch and go, a lot of lessons were learned. 
  • Success rate is running at an impressive 75% of starting companies: being very careful about who you pick means you save money overall
  • They have a strategic plan - it’s called DOING THINGS!

Mark (Abbvie) then spoke about how he had managed a change in culture at Abbvie to make it a more innovative culture. The impact and change really kicked in after 3 years.

After all that excitement we were glad to stretch our legs and walk to NXP labs for lunch and the afternoon session.  We kicked-off by launching our joint member project based on Prof. Erkko’s previous suggestions to help members understand how to get more generativity.

Clara (NXP) then gave us a wonderful insight into the ever changing world of semiconductors, updating her definition of Moore's law to computational power. We also looked at cost and time of innovation in an expensive hardware environment. As well as the importance of Understanding Systems / Ecosystems.

A quick quiz on % R&D spend being purely disruptive was also enlightening!! How much do you do?

Another young talent led our final session, Lulu (NXP) demonstrating some of the latest developments including kissing chameleons, drones communications and automatic truck platooning - the importance of timing in this case was in milliseconds not years!….

NEXT STOP BARCELONA - 17th - 18th May 2018 - A few places left contact Adam for info

Image by Steven Lek (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Saturday 24 February 2018

Triple witching for CfBI consortia in March across Europe

Nano-Carbon Enhanced Materials Consortium meets in Milan March 8 & 9 hosted by Prysmian

Corporate Venturing Leadership Forum meets in Eindhoven March 12 & 13 hosted by NXP

Microfluidics Consortium meets in Paris on March 22 & 23 hosted by IPGG

.. yes this is a UK organisation which still believes in Europe! We are not subsidized by Government.

Details from See our annual briefing here

Friday 9 February 2018

2018 Briefing from the Centre for Business Innovation - available now

We are delighted to publish the 2018 Centre for Business Innovation Briefing which can be downloaded here.  Read about our achievements in 2017 and ambitious plans for 2018 as we pursue our Blue Ocean strategy world wide. Our mission remains to 'Create Collaborative Communities' around fast moving areas of technology or business process. Come and join us!

Thursday 1 February 2018

Thoughts from London - CVLF 1.3

Another fantastic event - the Biggest Surprise was how many people in the room were Estonian e-residents!  What a cutting edge group of geeks we are ;-)

It was a dual centre format and this allowed us to see some new faces - and two amazing venues

Thoughts from Geovation

We were treated to a number of short (in most cases) presentations at Geovation interspersing some insights into the latest innovations with some lighter stories about London.
Key take-outs for me were:

  • The scale of the prize in Fintech disintermediation Chris Sier’s. I also really liked the way he presented this as a benefit to the consumer  
  • The power of a fully functioning ecosystem in the two examples presented by Alex (Geovation) and Amy (Level 39) - and the use of a cookie bell..
  • The particularly enjoyed the counterpoint from Marc at MXC Capital with a more financially driven approach. 

I very much enjoyed so many intense conversations continuing over drinks and food - though I am not sure security was so happy with the time we left

Thoughts from Belron

My first take-away from this event was that I needed to play more chess - someone is trying to tell you something when every keynote mentions it!

Four great sessions - starting with an inspirational presentation from Nick (Belron) who really demonstrated how he is using innovation programmes to face digitisation and disruption head-on.

Key points:
  • ‘strategically important’ is not necessarily your core business
  • IBM Watson hackathon shows what is possible when people are empowered. 

Nick’s presentation highlighted that while it is imperative that these activities have a strategic imperative it might not be the core company deliverable,  Andy (Schneider Electric) took this to the next stage and spoke about how activities can be aligned with sustainability e.g the Global Sustainable Goals. The message: there are many parts of the corporate that do not necessarily touch each other but through collaboration both areas can be strengthened.

Staying with the theme of using collaboration to solve societal problems (and generally very big problems) Marc (Telefonica) spoke very eloquently about how corporate partnerships with XXXXX have helped them innovate and connect disadvantaged communities. Some amazing thoughts:
  • Think about who should be in the start-up team (Queen - well connected all rounder, Knight - able to jump over obstacles and make things happen, Rook/Bishop - deep subject knowledge)
  • The old Sun-Tzu expression - keep your friends close but your enemies closer... taking the CTO to every meeting!
However, what was really resonating with me at this point is that it is all about value alignment..If you can line up the value drivers of everyone in the ecosystem (other corporates, start-ups and end consumers) then BIG things will happen.

Which brings me nicely to Prof Erkko’s amazing trip through ecosystems...the good, the bad and the ugly. It is impossible to talk about this presentation without mentioning the fact he cemented his academic credentials early on with his calculation of the exact amount of rice on the last square and used a word that no-one else had heard of.

Monday 29 January 2018

Microfluidics Consortium MF9 meets in San Jose Feb 1&2

Now in its 9th year the Microfluidics consortium continues to grow. We now operate equally across North America and Europe delivering 3 meetings on each continent per year.

We have created 'cadet' communities on the East Coast (FluidicMEMs) and on the West Coast (Bay Area Microfluidics Network) to support our mission which remains 'To grow the market for Microfluidics enabled products and services.

This week we are meeting in San Jose hosted by Labcyte, Molecular Devices and WL Gore working with expert witnesses from UC Riverside, Stanford, Microsoft and beyond as well as hearing "microfluidics hotseat" pitches from earlystage companies looking for support.

Details here

Next Stop?  Paris March 22,23  Boston June 26  Montreal June 27