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Building an Open Innovation Group For Improved Process Control

As a technology company, tinkering and developing without any customer interaction makes it almost impossible to succeed in the market place, you are probably doomed for failure. Engaging customers early on is important to build the user value, pivot if necessary and do the tweaks to have a great user interface and experience.

Customer testing at Rocsole Kuopio Lab (K-Lab), the centerpiece is our “Iron Maiden” test chamber (TRL3–4)

Being an innovator and disruptor you can go even further with open innovation. It should be on mutual terms for the involved parties, to create you have to collaborate and be open, transparent.

Let’s take one example and see what could the customer and the tech company be willing to share.

What are your key challenges?

Customer: pain points and bottlenecks, what extra work does it create, what does it cost you, why do not present solutions work sufficiently well. How big is the problem - Is it local or can it be scalable to the whole portfolio of assets. Do others have the same issues.

Tech company: what is your threshold and boundaries with the technology, what needs to be developed, has this been done before, show us some test results especially on the extreme conditions, what can your software and AI solutions detect.

As I see it, this is the only way forward, the speed of innovation is fast and increasing. No one can do all parts, we need to collaborate to build value and solve real problems.

Easy to say perhaps, but does this work in practice?

We work with a large number of international corporates in various markets, what we have been able to launch is to have companies from various countries who work in the same industrial sector share their experiences on process control and level measurements linked to operational issues. Both the present best practices and problems become clear this way.

Our Open Innovation Forum on Level Measurements and Operational Efficiency

Open innovation is a format that can still evolve and be improved. From our side, we intend to go more into depth with practical examples and crunch the numbers for use cases — the technical benefits, how it affects uptime, reduction in operational costs, improved production, and revenue.

How does it contribute to reducing the carbon footprint and other toxic pollution? Does it help to remove manual operations?

With this type of use case for the industry, we hope to build further awareness and constructive discussions to drive innovation with an impact, supporting operational efficiency and decarbonization efforts.

We learnt a lot from this engaging and open forum — amazing how much trouble you can get from emulsions, solids and deposits in operations. At the same time there are solutions. We shared a variety of test data, we showed on our path forward and developments ongoing. Three operators/customers shared their best practices as well as key problems.

But this initiative is not a one-time effort. We need to jointly work on this on a continuous basis, that’s how we can ensure that we change the agenda and make an impact in a collaborative way. We have started with a focus group in one industry — namely oil and gas production. But the similar issues are also in other industries, so it is a global and general problem to be solved.

If you are an operator with the same type of issues and eager to accelerate your own transition? You can reach out to me for an onboarding discussion.

We must jointly work for industries to be safer, better and greener.




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Mika Tienhaara

Mika Tienhaara

Award-winning serial entrepreneur building globally leading B2B companies. Innovator and disruptor with more than 30 products and technologies commercialized.