The following articles have been prepared after the second edition of Quebec Seeks Solutions that took place May 15th &16th in Quebec City.
SECOND EDITION OF QUEBEC SEEKS SOLUTIONS: SOLVING NINE BUSINESS PROBLEMS USING A UNIQUE OPEN INNOVATION PROCESS
By Carl Viel, President and CEO, Quebec International
Entrepreneurs, researchers and innovation enthusiasts were invited to attend the second edition of Quebec Seeks Solutions organized by Quebec International in association with IDTEQ and ISPIM.
As economic development agency, we are seeking to forge stronger ties between researchers and entrepreneurs with a view toward increasing our region’s overall competitiveness. With Quebec Seeks Solutions, we hope to make innovation accessible to a growing number of companies, particularly small and medium-sized businesses.
The innovativeness and the spirit of collaboration that motivate our researchers and entrepreneurs are key assets that serve to fuel the local economy and contribute to Quebec City’s distinctive position.
Thanks to its unique format, Quebec Seeks Solutions helps to develop and promote these hallmarks of our economic success.
For the second edition of the event, nine companies have submitted complex industrial problems that have been impacting their development. These problems were presented to the participants, most of whom work in the industrial research field or academia. Joining forces, they pooled their knowledge in a process of reflection and discussion. The dynamic format was designed to facilitate fine-grained understanding and foster the emergence of solutions in an atmosphere of cooperation and free sharing of knowledge. The following problems have been submitted for the second edition of Quebec Seeks Solutions:
- Fujitsu: Find a way to identify an individual’s knowledge without having to explicitly ask him/her in order to optimize organizational effectiveness and to favour the use and reuse of knowledge within the organization.
- GL&V Canada: Find a way to simultaneously measure the flow rate of each of the pipes in a central distributor for a headbox (up to 100 pipes at once) in a non-permanent fashion and as cost-effectively as possible.
- Graymont: Find ways to valorize (i.e. reuse/recycle) lime by-products (lime kiln dust and other derivatives of the lime manufacturing process).
In addition, a workshop held on the second day of the event geared towards those whom would like to discover how an open innovation approach can facilitate rapid progress in the context of problem-solving initiatives. This workshop focused on the principles and concepts underlying the success of the Seeks Solutions approach as well as on potential contexts and areas of application for participants wishing to carry out similar initiatives in their own communities. We also invited at the event three world-renowned guest speakers: Richard Bendis of Innovation America; Marko Torkkeli of Lappeenranta University of Technology in Finland; and Frank Piller of RWTH Aachen University in Germany.
This edition was made possible with the assistance of numerous public and private-sector partners, including the City of Quebec, the Quebec Department of Economic Development, Innovation and Export Trade, Economic Development Canada, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, Fujitsu, Asentri, Fasken Martineau and Grisvert.
Quebec Seeks Solutions is the first step in a long-term process aimed at making the region more internationally competitive in terms of innovation. One of innovation's keys to success lies in forging close links between companies and research centres and in ensuring the effectiveness of the collaborative processes they embark on.
The Value park approach – another Seeks Solutions approach
By Oscar Smulder Innovation Manager Knowledge & Innovation Centre at Maintenance Valuepark Terneuzen