Changing Perceptions of Innovation

Changing Perceptions of Innovation

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Description: We must constantly rely on an active vanguard. There is never a consensus prior to innovation. Any transformative innovation is essentially a deviation.

Innovation is crucial. As France confronts the considerable challenge of consolidating its position as a key player in the global economy, and as our businesses are up against ever increasing competition, our competitiveness and growth are the two defining factors of our development. We need a major cultural shift that will enable innovation to play a decisive role in our country’s economy.

 
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Contents:
RADICAL
INNOVATION

INCREMENTAL
INNOVATION
Improves

Transforms the market,
creates a whole
new market

what exists

SALES AND
MARKETING
INNOVATION
PRODUCT, SERVICE,
AND USAGE
INNOVATION

The companies listed here typically
employ a multidimensional approach
to innovation.
This table only highlights the type
of innovation which is the focal point
for each organisation.

TECHNOLOGICAL
INNOVATION

PROCESS AND
ORGANISATIONAL
INNOVATION
BUSINESS
MODEL
INNOVATION

Simplicity and quality,
at the right price

Premium food brand,
offbeat marketing, strong
customer bonds

Second-hand luxury
fashion online
marketplace

Payment account
opened at the local
tobacconist

Web and mobile
applications for patients
with chronic illnesses

Oil-free fryer
Smart devices for
health tracking and
management
Smart tennis racket
measures athletic
performance

Crowfunding
3D printing
solutions

Reengineering of A320
Hybrid powertrains for
Patented industrial exploitation
jetliner family (A320neo) cleaner, more efficient and
of microalgae to produce
more economical vehicles
«molecules of interest»

Automation and
standardisation of
automotive production
equipment

Creator of the
‘online sale’ concept

Digital magazine reader
for smartphones and
computers

Innovative and flexible
industrial food packaging
solutions

Payment solution created
for online marketplaces,
collaborative consumption
and crowdfunding

Industrial supplies distributor, unites
customers and suppliers in transverse
collaborative relationships

Electronic mobile
device reconditioning

Vision Restoration
Systems (VRS),
retinal stimulation
to restore sight

Managerial innovation grounded
on employee autonomy
and open innovation

Full-service sushi kiosks
inside retail stores and high
traffic service areas

Long distance
ridesharing service

L’énergie de bâtir

SOCIAL
INNOVATION

Preventative health
and well-being programs
using Adapted Physical
Activity (APA)

Non-profit human resources
recruitment and consulting,
promoting equal opportunity
and diversity.

Promotes direct
exchange between local
producers and consumer
communities

Professionalisation through
historical monument
restoration

Changing perceptions of innovation
through a multidimensional
approach

PREFACE



8

Next
GENERATION INNOVATION!

www.blablacar.com

14

1 CHANGING THE WAY WE THINK
ABOUT INNOVATION

An example: BlaBlaCar

18



BlaBlaCar is Europe’s leading long-distance ridesharing service.
The company connects drivers with passengers willing to share the cost
of the journey. Drivers publish an ad describing their journey, and indicate
the number of available seats. Passengers obtain a dedicated list of
drivers offering seats using an advanced search engine (departure, arrival,
date, time, driver gender, smoking or non-, driver reputation, etc.)

Product,
service
Social
innovation

Procedure,
organisation



Innovation: an asset for France, and for Europe
Innovation is everywhere
The changing face of innovation
Next generation innovation:
open, agile, user-centred
Today’s innovators:
projects and needs

2 CREATING A FRAMEWORK
FOR NEXT GENERATION
INNOVATION!



Satisfying the needs of today’s innovators:
a new perspective
The six types of innovation
Technology

Marketing,
sales

20
24
28
48
56

68

70
80
106

APPENDICES

Business model

RISING TO MEET THE CHALLENGES
OF THE FUTURE, TOGETHER

110




NB: innovative intensity is measured on a scale of 0 (not innovative) to 4 (radically innovative).

PREFACE

We must constantly
rely on an active vanguard.
There is never a consensus
prior to innovation.
Any transformative
innovation is essentially
a deviation.
Edgar Morin,
French sociologist and philosopher

Innovation is crucial. As France confronts the considerable challenge
of consolidating its position as a key player in the global economy,
and as our businesses are up against ever-increasing competition,
our competitiveness and growth are the two defining factors of
our development.
We need a major cultural shift that will enable innovation to play a
decisive role in our country’s economy.
We must learn to be daring, and to accept risk, experimentation
and creativity. Innovation often takes shortcuts, never goes the
way it is planned, and requires multiple trials and errors before
reaching success. Making innovation everyone’s business – from
primary school to university, from factory floor to senior management,
from civil service to private enterprise – is a structural challenge
for France’s economy.
I want to emphasise the central role of business in this paradigm
shift. How can we ensure that innovation is not only the responsibility
of R&D and marketing, but of every employee? How can we
configure organisations capable of generating novel strategic
options over and over again?

NEXT GENERATION INNOVATION

Bpifrance

12

For more than a decade, my company has worked to deploy real
managerial innovation. We have profoundly changed our organization;
we try to ensure that all employees are innovative actors. Our
company is as agile as possible, and part of an ecosystem that
fosters tomorrow’s innovations. We have entirely dismantled our
internal hierarchy, and granted a considerable measure of autonomy
to our employees, including at our factories. There is no organisational
chart; the company is organised by product, expert community
and project.
The primary role of our top executives is to focus on our 10-year
business strategy, while giving more operational autonomy to
employees. Employees actively participate in investment decisions,
recruitment, salary policy and even long-term strategic reflection.
The results of this managerial innovation have been extremely fruitful.
We have fared better than our competitors during crisis after crisis.
We have achieved 2-digit growth rates in a mature market.
Our market share has gone up 5 points in the past 3 years.
Our advice is simple: innovate! Make innovation the bedrock of
your strategy, in service to your own company’s growth, and to
the competitiveness of our country.

Carlos Verkaeren,
President of the Poult Group

NEXT GENERATION INNOVATION

Bpifrance

14

next GENERATION
INNOVATION

Bpifrance finances and supports businesses, with a particular
focus on innovative projects. To more fully appreciate the existing
scope of innovative potential, Bpifrance has joined forces with the
Next Generation Internet Foundation (Fing), and assembled a group
of entrepreneurs and key innovation stakeholders. Clusters,
entrepreneurial networks, administrative regions, researchers,
investors, and a dozen startups...many have responded to our call.
Similar findings
In the massive upheaval currently underway in innovation,
traditionally distinct classifications have become intertwined:
technological/non-technological, product/service/process,
incremental/radical innovation... Digital technology is not the sole
vector for innovation and growth: BlaBlaCar and Autolib provide
innovative mobility services, while Sushi Daily has created 1500 jobs
in four years by locating sushi kiosks inside existing supermarkets.
At the same time, the needs of innovators have become increasingly
diverse. Some companies need to invest heavily during the start-up
phase, while others continually adjust their needs to support various
stages of development. Some need financing for pre-planned
R&D tasks, while others need it to build an initial user base that
will support agile – flexible, responsive – product development.
Changing the rules together

The fruit of the collaboration between Bpifrance, Fing and the
French innovation ecosystem is now in your hands. This book
gives readers the big picture of next generation innovation, and
the needs of the new generation of innovators. As a benchmark
reference guide intended to help readers identify and analyse an
innovative project (of any kind), the present work chooses not to
classify projects using rigid categories, but rather organises
project analysis around two common questions: What is new
about the project? and how does it set the company apart from
the competition?
We would like to thank those who have contributed to the first
edition of this work. This collective reference manual now
belongs to every innovation actor in Europe; we hope that
each of you will want to share and improve upon it, so that the
range of possibilities it explores becomes even wider, and a
common vision of innovation – next generation innovation – emerges!

Paul-François Fournier,
Bpifrance
and
Daniel Kaplan,
FING

It is time for us to ensure that a greater number of potentially
transformative opportunities are not wasted, by finding novel ways
for French and European innovation support schemes to foster
innovations of all kinds. Bpifrance dedicates itself to this goal,
starting with the development of appropriate financial tools.
The book «Next Generation Innovation» positions Bpifrance
squarely at the heart of a pivotal drive to transform innovation,
innovation policies and support mechanisms. By transforming its
own tools and criteria, Bpifrance wishes to be a catalyst for the
emergence of new leaders – and thus actively contribute to the
economic future of our nation.

NEXT GENERATION INNOVATION

Bpifrance

18

1.

CHANGING THE WAY WE
THINK ABOUT INNOVATION

1.1

Innovation:
an asset for France,
and for Europe

Innovation is crucial to the competitiveness of any business facing
economic globalisation.

Businesses that
innovate export more
than those who do not.
They export to more
countries. Their exports
grow faster, and they are
less susceptible to changing
economic conditions. (1)
Innovation is an essential source of job creation, enabling
organisations beyond France’s borders to engage with our pool
of creative talent.

(1) Source: Innovation, a major challenge for France (L’innovation, un enjeu majeur pour la
France), Jean-Luc Beylat and Bernard Tambourin, 2013, p. 33.

NEXT GENERATION INNOVATION

Bpifrance

22

Investing in innovation
is not enough
In the competitiveness race, France in Europe has a lot going
for itself: a younger, better-educated population than the European
average, high-calibre scientific research programs, economic and
technology sectors with worldwide reach, solid civil infrastructure
and public services...the list goes on. In addition in Europe,
substantial public resources are devoted to research and
innovation. Europe can become an attractive investment destination:
the United Kingdom and France play a central role in terms of
venture capital investment.
To take advantage of our strengths, and build a better future,
quantitative measures of investment is no longer enough: we
have to change the way we think about innovation, and the
methods we use to support it.

NEXT GENERATION INNOVATION

Bpifrance

24

1.2

Innovation is everywhere

From a corporate and
managerial perspective, (...)
innovation is the culmination
of a comprehensive process.
R&D has to be integrated
into a complex organisational
approach alongside other
concerns and processes. (1)
Many of the innovations that have transformed markets over the
past few years are not technological, in their essence, but rather
use technology as a means to other ends. For example:

• social media networks and Twitter messages – now an

integral part of daily life for hundreds of thousands of people
– have created new forms of communication without using
particularly advanced technologies, or producing significant
technological innovation (at the end of 2013, Twitter held
only 2 patents);

(1) Source:  new vision for innovation (Pour une nouvelle vision de l’innovation)
A
Pascal Morand and Delphine Manceau (2009, p. 13).

NEXT GENERATION INNOVATION

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26

• Zara has enjoyed stronger growth than any other fashion

brand worldwide by renewing its inventory on a bi-weekly
basis: no inventory replenishment, no country-specific
product lineups;

Such «agile» and «open» forms of innovation, affecting business
models or company organisation, are increasing in importance.
They even dominate certain sectors. This is the result of three
very recent transformations:

• arpooling and car sharing are giving the public transport

• Digitisation: ideas and concepts first exist in digital form,

sector a run for its money, based on nothing more than
online community platforms tied to «reputation» systems
(user reviews, money transfers); and

• microcredit loans have given millions around the world the

chance to grow their businesses through a novel approach
to credit distribution and repayment.

Not a single one of these innovations relies on the creation or
improvement of advanced technologies to create value, or to
distinguish itself from its competitors.
Yet these examples – and many others – do have one thing in
common: national and European innovation systems would not
have been able to support them, at least not their core activity!

making them flexible and customisable, which facilitates
not only dematerialisation, but also the association of
products with services, and contributes to cycle acceleration.
Data has also become a key economic asset.  

• Interconnectivity: new ideas race across the globe,

inspiring creative collaboration and reproduction. The line
dividing amateurs from professionals is fading. Value chains
are being constantly restructured, often around massive
«platforms».

• The increased importance of «externalities»: mounting

energy and climate concerns, newly recognised limitations
to «traditional» forms of public intervention and a strong
emphasis on corporate social and environmental
responsibility… These concerns demonstrate that the impact
of innovation on employment, the environment and collective
well-being must somehow be taken into account, and even
considered as core concepts that underpin «social innovation».

NEXT GENERATION INNOVATION

Bpifrance

28

1.3

The changing face of innovation

Up to now, our innovation systems analysis and dedicated
support schemes have been intended essentially for
technological innovations: until 2005, the OECD’s Oslo Manual(1),
which provides the foundations for most European innovation
support programmes, was focused entirely on «technological
product and process (TPP) innovation» (p. 7), defined as «implemented
technologically new products and processes, and significant
technological improvements in products and processes.» (p. 31)

(1) Source:  slo Manual: Guidelines for Collecting and Interpreting Innovation Data:
O
Third Edition (OECD, 2005).

NEXT GENERATION INNOVATION

Bpifrance

30

Changing your methods
is innovating!
In its most recent edition (2005), the Oslo Manual (1) noticeably
expands its definition of innovation:

An innovation is the implementation of a new or significantly
improved product (good or service), or process, a new marketing
method, or a new organizational method in business practices,
workplace organization or external relations.

The OECD actually recognises two forms of «non-technological»
innovation:

INNOVATING
ALSO MEANS

• organisational innovation, or «the implementation of a

new organisational method in the firm’s business practices,
workplace organisation or external relations»; It focuses on
the company – how it develops, produces and manages
its products and services  – both as an organisation, and
in its relations with suppliers and partners; and

• marketing innovation, or «the implementation of a new

YOUR ORGANISATION

marketing method involving significant changes in product
design or packaging, product placement, product promotion
or pricing».

(1) Source: Oslo Manual: Guidelines for Collecting and Interpreting Innovation Data:
Third Edition (OECD, 2005).

NEXT GENERATION INNOVATION

Bpifrance

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Case study

The Poult Group
Using managerial
innovation to stand out
in a crowded market

The radical reorganization of the Poult Group (biscuit-maker for
other brands, founded in 1883) began in 2006. The objective of
this historic group was to engage, motivate, and empower
every one of its employees toward the firm’s innovation.
Two levels of management were removed, rotating leadership
was introduced in several departments, and an internal project
incubator was created to promote «intrapreneurship»; the creation
of Poult Academy, a corporate university, was this incubator’s
first success.
Thanks to managerial innovation, the company now offers much
higher value-added services to its clients:
• product codesign with customers for whom Poult was
formerly a supplier (Auchan, Michel & Augustin...)
• open innovation between leading high-tech companies
(e.g., nutraceuticals, with Pierre Fabre Laboratories) and
Poult internal start-ups to develop new products, including
the «smart biscuit» - a personalised nutrition supplement
for patients in long-term care, which tracks data intended
for healthcare professionals (compliance, absorption periods
and frequency, etc.) via individually printed QR codes.
In a challenging market, Poult nearly quadrupled in size
between 2005 and 2012, and  recaptured its former ranking as
France’s second-largest biscuit-maker. Their gains attracted a
buyout by Qualium investment (A French Caisse des Dépôts
subsidiary) in 2014.

NEXT GENERATION INNOVATION

Bpifrance

34

Case study

Sushi Daily
Added value,
from within

Sushi Daily launched its retail store and high-traffic area sushi
bars in 2010. Its sushi is freshly prepared in front of customers,
who pay for it along with their other purchases, enabling the
hypermarket retail chain to systematically deduct a commission.
Each in-store POS is independent, with the parent company as
a shareholder. By 2014, there were over 250 Sushi Daily points
of sale in 6 countries, and 1500 Sushi Daily employees.

NEXT GENERATION INNOVATION

Bpifrance

36

We are entering an era of intensive innovation (...). An era in
which innovative competitors will come out of the woodwork.
Intensive innovation distorts the «standard» laws of economics.
It enables thinking that extends beyond market norms, and the
surprise of unexpected value propositions.
Armand Hatchuel,
Professor, Mines ParisTech, in Les Echos (newspaper)

According to The Economist(1) a majority (54%) of senior managers
«favor[ ] new business models over new products and services
as a source of future competitive advantage».
According to the Boston Consulting Group (2009), business
model innovators garner results far «superior» to product and
process innovators(2).
So there seems to be a new, potentially dominant form of innovation
out there: business model innovation. What does it entail?

(1) Source: Business 2010: Embracing the Challenge of Change (Economist
Intelligence Unit, 2005) – as cited by Raphael Amit and Christoph Zott,
Creating Value Through Business Model Innovation (MIT Sloan Management Review,
2012).
(2) Source: Business Model Innovation (Zhenya Lindgardt, Martin Reeves, George
Stalk and Michael S. Deimler, BCG, 2009).

A business model describes how your business makes
money.
Steve Blank,
serial-entrepreneur
and Silicon Valley opinion leader

Despite the absence of any official definition, analyses converge:
the business model describes how a company will earn money
over time. More to the point, it reveals a company’s developmental
logic, and its strategies for value creation, capture and sharing.

• Value creation: the value propositions made to customers

and users, and the way the company harnesses its
expertise, and the expertise of others, to deliver this value.

• Value capture: revenue sources and structure.
• Shared value: company cost structure, «scalability» – its

ability to grow profitably – and how value is to be distributed
across a complex «value system» including shareholders,
employees, suppliers and numerous other partners (e.g.,
distributors, providers, and application developers for
platforms who create value from users, etc.).

IN
THE BUSEL ESS
MOD

Daring to try a new business model
is innovating!

BUSINESS

NEXT GENERATION INNOVATION

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• Why is business model innovation becoming
so crucial?

• A business model produces interdependencies that
raise the barriers to entry for competitors, and
the barriers to exit for clients: a social network is
free for users, but appropriates their data; Xerox leases
copiers, and sells services and consumables; Microsoft
promotes Windows via programs that require its
operating system, and vice versa...
• Business model innovation identifies new value
sources within existing activities: Amazon.com sells
cloud computing services; Apple depends on millions
of developers for services it could never hope to
produce by itself.
• The most «disruptive» innovations - to borrow
Clayton Christensen’s term – are the ones that transform
a market. These innovations are often developed by
new entrants, typically have a unique business model,
and usually focus on the bottom end of the market,
first offering products of poorer quality than their
established competitors: digital vs. chemically processed
photography, MP3s vs. CDs, low-cost vs. high-tech...
The real difference between these upstarts and
entrenched market leaders can be found in their
business models: novel cost structure and customer
relations, a value network that fosters market expansion,
etc. It is precisely because their (outdated) business
model forms the backbone of their activity that
old-school market operators have great difficulty
responding to challengers (e.g., Kodak).

New social solutionsare also
innovations!
Why has social innovation moved centre stage in the last
decade? The main reason is that existing structures and policies
have found it impossible to crack some of the most pressing
issues of our times – such as climate change, the worldwide
epidemic of chronic disease, and widening inequality.
Robin Murray, Julie Caulier-Grice and Geoff Mulgan,
The Open Book of Social Innovation,
Nesta/Young Foundation (2010, p.3)
The impressive growth of microfinance highlights the evolution of
a long-standing practice of social innovation. In line with the above
authors, the European Commission equally defines social innovations
as «new ideas (products, services and models) that simultaneously
meet social needs (more effectively than alternatives) and create
new social relationships or collaborations», adding that «these
solutions are both social in their ends and their means»(1). According
to this definition, how an innovative firm produces and distributes
value is just as important as the innovations it introduces. On this
basis, the EU now plans to support social innovation the same
way that it supports commercial innovation.

(1) Source: 1. Guide to Social Innovation (European Commission, 2013, p. 6).

NEXT GENERATION INNOVATION

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Case study

The Food
Assembly
« Let’s get together to buy the
best food available, directly
from local farmers and
foodmakers. »

The reason the EU, like France, supports social innovation(1) is
because it expects social innovation to provide new answers to
difficult problems that neither markets, nor public policy, have
been able to address in a satisfactory manner..
Ashoka, an international network uniting more than 3,000 social
entrepreneurs, describes its members as «changemakers».
It has assigned social entrepreneurship with a sizeable task:
Inspire, encourage, and facilitate new business co-creation
that addresses societal issues at large scale, by ‘tearing down
the walls’ between sectors and equipping the younger generation
with the skills needed to change the world.(2)

The Food Assembly connects consumers with local producers
of quality food products. The basic idea is to provide the tools
that enable short distribution channels to scale up, and move to
the next level.
The system is based on the creation of pop-up markets, or Food
Assemblies, hosted by an individual, a group of people, or an
enterprise. These assemblies are facilitated by an online platform
that connects local producers with platform subscribers wishing
to buy their products.

(1) see the Guide to Social Innovation (European Commission, 2013)
(2) Ashoka’s Changemakers (Transmediamix, n.d.,)

NEXT GENERATION INNOVATION

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So what does innovating
look like, exactly?
Practical innovations are typically multi-dimensional:
the iPhone is a new product that continues to generate new
usages via the innovative iTunes Store business model; BlaBlaCar
enhances the experience of ridesharing while inventing its business
model; the Food Assembly organizes large-scale direct purchase
from producers, which supports local farmers (social innovation)
and encourages the growth of its pop-up network/source of
income (business model)...
Categorising these dimensions of innovation – use, process,
organization, business, agile, open, social  – should not lead to
isolated objectives; the categories should be accepted as a
«suite» of modalities that each contribute to the coherence of
any entrepreneurial project.

• INNOVATION CATEGORIES, AS SUGGESTED
IN A NEW VISION OF INNOVATION
(POUR UNE NOUVELLE VISION DE L’INNOVATION)
by PASCAL MORAND and DELPHINE MANCEAU

USAGE

SUPPLY
INNOVATION
(NEW
PRODUCT
OR SERVICE)

TECHNOLOGY

Marketing and
R&D is crucial
product lifecycle (e.g., electric bike,
management
hybrid cars)
are essential
(e.g., rental bikes,
electric cars, drinkable
fruit purees)

USAGE AND
TECHNOLOGY

Design is
important to
ensure the
technology is
intuitive and easy
to use, market
analysis of usages
is essential
(e.g., Google self-driving
car and Google glasses)

PROCESS
INNOVATION

Newly organised New processes
work and
based on new
production
technologies
processes
(e.g., Sineo car wash)

(e.g., Zara supply
chain model)

BUSINESS
MODEL
INNOVATION

New pricing
structure

(e.g., low-cost airline
companies, Airbnb
flat rental)

New job
descriptions, new
skills development

(e.g., Egencia BtoB travel
agent, any customised
product)

Redefines
Industry-wide
stakeholder roles reinvention, sector
and revenue
convergence
distribution along (e.g., Google search
the value chain
engine, video on
(e.g., Apple iPod
and iTunes)

NEXT GENERATION INNOVATION

demand, digital cameras)

Bpifrance

44

The challenge: to recognise and support
innovations of all kinds
Following the OECD’s publication of the 2005 Oslo Manual,
«non-technological» innovation has been slowly gaining legitimacy
within innovation support schemes. For example:

• the «Horizon 2020» EU Common Strategic Framework

for Research and Innovation conjoins funding for research
with funding for innovation, with the aim of developing «a
coherent set of instruments, along the whole ‘innovation
chain’ starting from basic research, culminating in bringing
innovative products and services to market, and also
supporting non-technological innovation, for example in
design and marketing»(1);

• in France, the Morand-Manceau (2009) and beylat-

Tamborin (2013) reports agree that «innovation is not
merely invention, and innovation is not only technological»(2);

• and the second round «Investments for the Future»

call for proposals (01/2015), Bpifrance’s recentlydeveloped French Tech funding program, as well as
other regional innovation support schemes (e.g., PACAlabs,
Pays de la Loire Territorial Innovation fund) explicitly include
provisions for  «non-technological» innovations.

(1) Source : press release for the Green Paper debating the EU Framework funding
for research and innovation: Horizon 2020 (2011).
(2) Source: Innovation, a major challenge for France (L’innovation, un enjeu majeur
pour la France) (Jean-Luc Beylat and Bernard Tambourin, 2013, p. 33).
NEXT GENERATION INNOVATION

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Yet, despite the clarion call for a new vision from experts and
stakeholders, interpretations of EU regulations governing innovation,
and the mindset underlying public support schemes, remain
narrowly focused on technological innovation. Marketing and
organisational innovations are accepted as a bonus, but rarely
as innovations in their own right.
Innovation has changed. Public innovation schemes, and those
who operate them, need to think big, and appreciate innovation
in all its diversity and complexity.

NEXT GENERATION INNOVATION

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48

1.4

Next generation
innovation: open, agile,
user-centric

Contemporary innovations also distinguish themselves in how
they develop. Many kinds of innovations break away from the
traditional «funnel» process that moves a company’s products
from research to concept to production.

To innovate, be open
Henry Chesbrough and Open Innovation.
Chesbrough’s theory of Open Innovation suggests that a firm
should look in places other than R&D for the ideas and knowledge
it needs to innovate (upstream), and should also make it easy for
others to create economic value based on their innovations
(downstream). By punching holes in the traditional funnel process
– which allows only a fraction of R&D concepts to make it through
production – he opens the floodgates to innovation.
Internal
knowledge and
ideas

Markets held
by others

(swarming, licensing,
ecosystem)

Our new markets

Our
current market

Subsidiary
and co-investment
External
knowledge
and ideas

Using
third-party technologies

NEXT GENERATION INNOVATION

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50

Apple iTunes, Google Android, Microsoft Windows and game
console developers each owe their success to the applications
built for their platforms, and hence do everything in their power
to support developers, and facilitate the development process.
Beyond these «seminal» examples, the core concept underlying
open innovation, namely that

companies can and should utilise external ideas and
paths to market, as much as internal ones

has also found a myriad of different applications: the open APIs
(application programming interfaces) of Amazon.com, BlaBlaCar
or Crédit Agricole (CAStore); crowdsourcing platforms (e.g.,
eYeka, ideXlab, KissKissBankBank, Ulule); or even ‘free and
open-source’, a label no longer restricted to software (e.g.,
Arduino microcontroller boards, the Tabby open hardware
automobile). By following this approach, competitive advantage
is not so much derived from intellectual property as it is from
market traction.

Case study

LINAGORA
An open source software
platform to create
tomorrow’s virtual office!

The LINAGORA OpenPaaS platform, a virtual office environment,
aims to provide an industry-level solution to the collaborative
usage demands emerging among public institutions and in big
business.
Linagora worked to modernize the messaging system at the
Ministry of the Interior, and on the deployment of a new software
environment for France’s National Assembly.
Beyond computer technology, OpenPaaS has fostered a number
of usage and organisational innovations.
This free and open-source, open-API software platform has also
given rise to a growing community of innovators and developers
seeking to create dedicated new services.
Associating the virtue of an open innovation system with viral
propagation lays the foundation for a new generation of ecosystem
– one that provides individuals and companies with a platform
to develop the collaborative tools of the future, faster and more
cheaply.

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To innovate, get agile!
By extending to the entire innovation process to include the use
of  «agile» (or lean) IT development methodologies, innovators
can reduce their development cycles, and thus minimize their
risks and reduce initial capital expenditures. No more rigid business
plans, no more striving for perfectionism.
Agile development emphasises the continued deployment of
successive versions of a product or service, alongside measurement
and ongoing assessment of market returns. This can even lead
the company to «pivot», or test new, fundamental assumptions
about the product, the market and/or company strategy and
growth drivers.
For example: in 2005, Criteo was a film discovery service; in
2006 it evolved into an e-commerce product recommendation
service; and in 2008, it became a pay-per-click advertising agency.
This kind of approach is radically incompatible with the sets of
pre-defined specifications or multi-year development plans that
are still the status quo.

A startup
is an organization formed
to search for a repeatable and
scalable business model. (1)
Steve Blank,
Serial entrepreneur and
Silicon Valley opinion leader

(1) Source: web page, What’s A Startup? First Principles (2010).

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To innovate, think «with»
and «for» users
Research by MIT’s Eric von Hippel (1) has shown that in many
markets (e.g., sports equipment, medical devices), the most
significant innovations are often initiated by advanced or «lead»
users, before being adopted and industrialized by startups or
established firms.
Even if this kind of bottom up innovating is nothing new, it is now
an increasingly dominant component of product development,
simply because digital technology, the Internet and Fab Labs
have blurred the lines that once separated amateurs from
professionals. Von Hippel invites companies to collaborate with
lead users to develop methods for product co-creation. The
typical «top-down» innovation process – from R&D to market – is
simply reversed.

(1) See Eric von Hippel: le paradigme de l’innovation par l’utilisateur by Hubert Guillaud,
Internet Actu (2012).

The paradigm shift we have
described here – consumer
prototyping and use, followed
byfiltering for generality
of demand by peers, followed
by commercialization of
generally desired innovations –
is growing stronger over time.
The costs of consumer
innovation are dropping due
to better and cheaper design
tools, better and cheaper
Internet-based communication
and group formation, and better
and cheaper prototyping
facilities.
Eric von Hippel, Jeroen P.J. De Jong
and Susumu Ogawa,
The Age of the Consumer-Innovator,
MIT Sloan Management Review (2011, p. 34)

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1.5

Today’s innovators:
projects and needs

Traditionally, the innovation ecosystem – which includes public
financing structures – is very familiar with the needs of technological
innovators, and has the tools in place to meet those needs.
However, non-technological innovations have very different
characteristics, and do not generate the same needs at the same
junctures as technological innovations.

New kinds of innovative products
Innovation projects that usually do not rely heavily on advanced
technology (but not always!) present three characteristics that
distinguish them from projects based on technological innovations.

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• Competitive differentiation based on usage, rather
than performance, or pushing the definition of ‘state
of the art. A «non-technological» innovation doesn’t
necessarily seek to outperform what is already on the
market: it might aim for the bottom of the pyramid (low
cost), or appeal to a «niche», or just be quirky or offbeat
(like the marketing and packaging for «kooky cookies»
Michel et Augustin)
Another consequence: competitive advantage can rarely
be protected with a patent.

• Less capitalistic projects, at least initially. Projects
with low technological intensity do not usually call for heavy
investment in hardware, software and R&D. However,
similar to technology-based projects, financing needs
persist until budgets are balanced.

The most basic need expressed by «non-technological»
innovators focuses on human resources recruitment and
funding, whether for employees, or external collaborators
like designers, developers, managers, lawyers, recruiters…
At the beginning, many entrepreneurs augment their income by
providing bespoke services (consulting, etc.). This has the
disadvantage of diverting their attention away from the project
at hand, which slows its progression, while it is likely that other,
similar projects are emerging somewhere else in the world.

Impact on key success factors:
• Base the project on an understanding of user needs and
expectations, rather than on technology.

• Collaborate with lead users, if possible as early as the
design phase.

• Integrate design expertise right from the start.
• Launch early, and get a feedback loop going as soon as
possible.

• Always try to stay one step ahead of the competition.

Impact on key success factors:
• Locate (and be able to pay) the right people at the right
time.

• Locate operational resources – often difficult to ascertain
during the startup phase – as and when necessary.

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• «Agile» projects, supershort time to market

In most cases, these projects do not go through protracted
study and planning phases, but rather through short iterative
cycles that work as closely with users as possible: prototypes
are produced rapidly and immediately tested; «traction»
(engagement with an expanding, viral community of users)
is created as soon as possible; quick, modest, and continuous
improvements are preferred over heavier, less frequent
«versions»... The project is constantly in several stages at
once: design, development, test, launch, operation and
analysis.

Impact on key success factors:
• Break down the project into smaller modules with short
completion times: a few weeks at most.

• Experiment quickly and continually, for example by
simultaneously testing multiple versions of the same product
(«A/B testing»).

• Be able to «pivot» quickly, in response to user feedback.

DU

O

that work, rather than develop them.

PR

• Prioritise speed of execution; do not hesitate to buy solutions

T E SC E
M T

ARKET
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... The new needs of today’s innovators
Entrepreneurs seeking to accomplish more iterative, less
predictable projects – more closely aligned with the market –
express different needs to those whose innovations are mostly
technological.

• First things first: people!

Companies need staff, and talent. This is the top funding
priority for most non-technological (and many technological)
innovators:
• recruit (or subcontract) managers, marketers, engineers,
technicians, web/mobile developers... The scarcity
of these skills – especially in the fields of web and
mobile development – means these hires come at a
premium, and with a certain degree of risk;
• finance the outsourcing of «specialist» skills in design,
communication, web marketing, law, finance...and
recruitment, typically as subcontractors.

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• Next comes financing the proof of concept, and each

phase of business development.
Entrepreneurs’ second priority after recruitment is to fund
each stage in the iterative process. Here, marketing is
inseparable from the design and development of the project:
• prototyping and early user testing: although these
costs may be minimal, they are beyond the reach
of some entrepreneurs;
• developing the first release and attracting first-time
users/customers, which requires spending on
marketing, communications and sales; and
• business development, locally or internationally.

• Finance iterative and flexible projects… iteratively
and flexibly
Entrepreneurs want to focus on their projects, not push
paper. Flexibility should be the order of the day when funding
«agile» projects; as financing needs are difficult to measure
during the startup phase, and emerge progressively, funding
will have to be arranged as milestones are achieved.

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Case study

Leetchi.com
3 phases, 3 financing needs

Launched in 2009, Leetchi is Europe’s leading online group
payment service, where users collect money (in «money pots»)
for group gifts and events. Since 2013, it’s growth has also relied
on the development of MangoPay, a third-party payment system for
online crowdfunding and collaborative consumption marketplaces.
• During its (6-month) pre-launch phase, Leetchi primarily
needed financing to pay a developer to build the first release.
Recruiting an additional developer would have enabled
Leetchi to accelerate its time to market, and more effectively
respond to early feedback from users.
• During the (12-month) launch phase, financing needs were
still focused on salaries (2 developers), plus media relations
and marketing in France. Again, understaffing curbed
Leetchi’s development potential. Bpifrance financed Leetchi’s
online payment system development.
• During the accelerated development and automation phase
of the MangoPay payment system, financing needs were
focused on marketing expenses and customer support for
both B2C (Leetchi) and B2B (Mangopay) activities.
By early 2014, Leetchi had gained more than 1.5 million users,
and was anticipating 100 M€ in turnover for its services.
The business now operates at a profit.

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2.

CREATING A FRAMEWORK
FOR NEXT GENERATION
INNOVATION!

2.1

Meeting the needs
of today’s innovators:
a new perspective

Innovation is in flux, and so are the needs of today’s
innovators. How does this change the way we support
them? Easy: it means we have to adjust our focus, and
adapt our approach.

• Our focus needs readjustment so that we can learn to

identify and analyse projects that are totally different from
those that public and private funders – at least in Europe –
are accustomed to.

• We need to broaden our approach to include support for
projects whose development cycles, financing needs, risk
profiles and/or valuation methods differ enormously from
technology-oriented projects.

Recalibrating what we consider to be innovation will enable
support system to back projects that would simply never have
been eligible before: sales and marketing innovation, service
innovation, business model innovation and social innovation.

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What do we need to know?
We believe that every innovative project should be approached
with the same two questions in mind:
What is new about the project, and what it affords to its
customers, users and beneficiaries?

• Have potential customers, users and/or beneficiaries been
clearly identified?

• Is its main innovative focus on end users (B2C), other
businesses (B2B), or company employees (process or
organizational innovation)?

• How does the project change users’ point of view: does

it meet a new need, or solve a new problem? Does it
significantly improve the way a particular need is met, or
respond to a known issue? Does it offer a new experience,
a new usage? Does it create a new category of need,
usage or market?

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How does this innovation set the organisation apart from
its competitors?

• Who are the project’s (current and potential) competitors?
What are their strengths and weaknesses?

• Is the proposed innovation likely to make a difference on
the market:

• by providing the company with a significant competitive
advantage? If so, through what factors (functionality,
price, quality, image, increased ease of use, etc.)?
• by creating uncontested market space?
These questions are essential. If the entrepreneur finds it difficult
to respond, this may indicate the existence of a problem: has the
project been fully formulated? Is it more of an invention (the design
of a new technology or a new process without entrepreneurial
vision) than an innovation (new products introduced to the market,
or a new process put into practice, with industrial and/or
commercial potential)?

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Getting clear about innovation type
and intensity
The present benchmark, derived from our research and presented
in the following pages, aims to provide support for the detection
and analysis of innovations within the context of the two questions
previously raised. Project analysis aims to specify the innovative
nature of a project in terms of its type and intensity.

Type of
Innovation

or

ac
r os

s

....
.I
....
..

• Radical innovation (or «disruption»):
creates an entirely new, uncontested market, or
revolutionises a market (or markets) completely.
There is a «before» and an «after»; not only for the
company, but also for its competitors.
Example: the Apple iPhone and App Store.

ngle area,
in a s i
w i th
below
lace
sted
as l i
ke p
ta
are
th e
can
on
r of
be
ati
ov
um
nn
yn
an

• Product, service or usage innovation:
improves existing products/services/usages
or introduces new ones.
• Organisational or procedural innovation:
changes how a firm, or its supply chain,
is organised.
• Sales and Marketing innovation:
alters product presentation, distribution,
pricing, promotions, etc.

n0

-4.
.

....
.....
.

• Incremental innovation:
improves what already exists, contributes to the
competitiveness or profitability of a firm without
any significant internal transformation.
Example: the bagless vacuum cleaner.

Innovation
Intensity

on a
red
easu
is m

ee
tw
be
le
sca

L’intensité de l’innovation pourra ainsi être évaluée en la mesurant
sous l’angle des différentes typologies décrites.

• Business model innovation:
reorganises revenue and cost structures.

• Technological innovation:
creates or integrates one (or more)
new technologies.
• Social innovation: meets social needs,
in terms of its purpose, goals, and processes.

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Example analysis of innovative
type and intensity:
Compte Nickel (the Nickel Account)
With a minimal deposit, and zero conditions, a Compte
Nickel provides users with a payment account,
electronic banking details and a debit card. It takes
only five minutes to open an account, using a single
piece of ID. It allows withdrawals, deposits, wire
transfers and direct debits, but does not provide
customers with overdraft privileges nor checkbooks. Its
extremely inexpensive operations rely entirely on the web, mobile
technology, and the capacity to verify an account balance in
real-time.
This bank-less account (approved, however, by the Bank of
France) is primarily intended for banks’ unwanted customers, or
those who have been banned. Easy to open and close, a Compte
Nickel can also meet specific needs: payment of shared expenses,
online payments, international transactions, an account for
one-time purchases, etc.

Where is the innovation?.....................................
• Product/Service/Usage:

A bankless payment account, opened in five minutes at
participating tobacconists, no conditions, no additional services.

• Process/Organisation:

Opened from a tobacconist using an identity card (scanned
by a «Nickel terminal»). Immediate issuance of bank card and
details. Funds deposit online or via tobacconist. All other
account management takes place entirely online.

Product,
service
Social
innovation

Procedure,
organisation

Technology

Marketing,
sales

Business model

Innovation Intensity is measured on a scale between 0 and 4.

• Marketing and Sales:

Account opening and funds deposit at partner tobacconists.
A non-stigmatizing marketing message to attract a socially
excluded market segment: an «account for everyone», minus
income or asset conditions.

• Social:

The founders wished to address the social injustice of banking
exclusion (one founder was himself excluded by a bank).
A Compte Nickel has no income test. Opening an account
does not require customers to divulge sensitive information
pertaining to banking history or prior spending habits.

• Business Model:

Very low, standardised rates (subscription, billing, deposit and
withdrawal); no additional products: no overdrafts, no credit
nor use of customers’ cash. Fees listed at < €50/year, depending
on use. Another portion of revenue is derived from credit card
payment commissions.

• Technological:

Two patents: the Nickel Terminal, which allows identity document
authentication using a basic scanner, and banking detail form
generation via the tobacconist’s point of sale (POS) printer.

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2.2

The Six Types
of Innovation

1. Product, service, usage innovation
Does the project introduce a new product or service, or a
significant improvement in the nature of an existing product
or service, its functionality, or the way it is used?

What do we mean?
This type of innovation primarily impacts clients’ and users’
relationships with the product or service:

• a new product or service satisfies a need, solves a
problem or creates a new market;

• a product or service revision entails improvements to
features, performance, ease of use, quality, appearance, etc.;

• a new usage for an existing product, service or technology

enables clients/users to perform new functions that meet
different needs, or provides clients/users with a different
«experience».

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P
roduct,
service ,

Where
is the
innovation?

usage

RADICAL
INNOVATION

INCREMENTAL
INNOVATION
Improves

Transforms the market,
creates a whole
new market

what exists

innovation

Does it change how an
existing product is used?
Does it affect
client’s/users’ experience
of the product?

Michel et Augustin *
New flavours and original
packaging

Materne

Éditions volumiques

Fruit puree
pouches

Game combining the tangible
and the digital
Caméra Ultra portable for sports
enthusiasts

Ergonomic office chair
adapted for users of new
technologies

Blablacar *

Automated interior
garden

Does it satisfy
an unmet need?

«Third-space cafeteria»
coworking space

Sale and
rental of
custom cups

Smart devices to
measure physiological
parameters
contributing to wellness/
health

Sculpteo *
(B2B)

Online 3D
printing service

Micro-finance
Low cost
medical devices

Ecocup *

«oil-free» fryer

Withings

Does it potentially
inspire a new need?

Compte Nickel *

Bank-free payment
account, opened in
less than five minutes

Participatory finance

Seb

E-commerce
for individuals

Numa, « Cantines »

Ulule *

Bagless vacuum

leboncoin.fr

Long-distance
rideshare service

Urban Potager

Business
MOOCS

Dyson

Self-service
bicycles

GoPro

Steelcase

Neodemia

Does it solve a
problem experienced
by customers, users
or beneficiaries?

Velov / Velib

(incubators, cardiac
stimulators, prostheses, etc.)

Personalised,
targeted gene
therapies

Ikea

Flat-pack furniture

ArduinoTM

Open-source
electronics
platform that
facilitates
«smart» object
development

Twitter

Microblogging tool

The smartphone
and associated
app distribution
platforms
Social networks

* Fiche descriptive consultable sur le site internet.

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2. Process and

organisational innovation

Organisational
innovation

Does the innovation introduce a new design or production
process, or unprecedented changes to the organization
and management of the company, or in its process, logistics
or supplier relations management?

What do we mean?
This type of innovation directly concerns the company and how
it develops, produces and manages its products and services,
both as an organization and in its relations with suppliers and
partners:

• procedural or «process» innovation focuses on

implementing technical tools (new machines, new
technologies, new IT) to improve productivity (reduce costs
and delays) and quality, make the company more responsive
and production more customisable, reduce raw material
consumption and waste, etc.;

Managerial
innovation

Procedural
innovation

• organisational innovation focuses on management

systems (eg, JIT, 24/7, knowledge management,
quality assurance, etc.), work organisation (work methods,
organisational charts, collaborative work, outsourcing,
etc.) and a company’s external relations (relations with
suppliers, logisticians, distributors, and other partners).
Often, it complements process innovation (e.g., a new
technique entails a reorganization) but may also
occur alone;

• managerial innovation is a form of organisational

innovation that focuses on how to distribute information,
power and control within a firm.

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P
rocess
and

Where
is the
innovation?

RADICAL
INNOVATION

INCREMENTAL
INNOVATION
Improves

Transforms the
market, or creates
a new market

what exists

organisational

Sineo

Does it transform
the design, production
or logistics process?

Suez
Environnement
New water filtration
technologies

Egencia (Expedia subsidiary)
Business travel optimisation
OutilAcier

Eco-friendly technical sales,
distribution and industrial supply tool

Telesurgery
Non-invasive
surgery

Sculpteo *

rapid 3D
prototyping service

Zbis *

Local
micro-factory

Cisco

Flexible
automation

innovation

Does it introduce a new
technical procedure?

100%
eco-friendly
car wash

Zara

Fabless industrial
company

Continual fashion
collection renewal
through integrated,
flexible supply chain
management

Telemedicine

Does it transform product
lifecycle, materials and/or
waste management?

Stimergy *

Does it change business,
labor, time or spatial
organisation?

(bought by Atos)
Professional social networking
and coworking platform

Convergys

Does it change the relationship
between the company and
suppliers, distributors and
other partners?

Ingénierie uses concurrent
engineering to design the Falcon 7

Dassault

Bee Plane

OSVehicle

Seb

Biscuits Poult *

Does it transform
business management?

Cloud platform that earns profits
from the heat generated by its servers

Recommerce Solutions *

« Cradle to cradle »

Reconditioning of electronic
mobile devices

Circular, zero-waste economy

BlueKiwi

Happy.co.uk

Self-organizing teams
that elect their managers

Call centre where employees
choose their schedules («anywhere time»)

Open innovation
airplane design

Design and sales
of «open hardware»
automobile kits

Sushi Daily *

In-store,
fresh sushi kiosks

Company FabLab

Repositioning through granting
autonomy to employees

* Fact sheet available on our website.
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3. Sales and marketing innovation
Does the innovation change the way the product or service
is presented, marketed, promoted or priced, or the customer
relations dedicated to the product or service?

What do we mean?
This type of innovation concerns how the product or service is
aimed at the market, and at its clients, customers or users:

• branding, positioning, marketing and promotion;
• packaging and presentation;
• sales and distribution methods, channels and forms
• pricing levels, models, degree of customisation;
• customer relations content, channels and quality.

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RADICAL
INNOVATION

Transforms the
market, or creates
a new market

what exists

Does it suggest
a new image,
a new market
positionning for
the firm or its product?
Does it change
how a product/service
is promoted?

Does it introduce
novel packaging,
or new product/service
presentation?

Carrefour, Décathlon
store brands

Nailmatic 

1st ever automated
nail varnish machine

Jolis Mômes

Health and beauty shop
for 0-12 years

Milka

«The Last Square»
emotional marketing
campaign

Amazon Autorip

Download
MP3 versions of CDs
purchased

SALES AND MARKETING INNOVATION

Where
is the
INCREMENTAL
innovation? INNOVATION
Improves

Michel et Augustin *

Premium food brand, fun and offbeat
marketing, strong customer relations

Ikea

Netflix, Amazon

Enriched online
catalogue that lets
you visualize how a
piece of furniture
would fit in your home

Daddy

The pink sugar
box «goes green»
(eco-packaging)

Personalized
recommendations

Fitle

Virtual home dressing room
(3D avatar)

ColaLife

OSVehicle

Antidiarrheal kit inserted
in cola crates without loss of
space, delivered to the poor

Open source car kit

Auchan

Products sold in bulk,
zero packaging

Does it change how
the product/service is sold:
channels, networks,
methods, etc.?
Does it propose a new
pricing policy: price
levels & range, pricing
formulas, personalized
prices, etc.?

Orchestra

The Food Assembly *

Darty

« Connected Store »
equipped with
interactive kiosks
and tablets

Low-cost apparel
by subscription

Does it change the relationship
between the company and
its customers: service channels,
availability, interactions, etc.?

Sushi Daily *

Supermarket
sushi bar

Voyages-sncf.com

Crédit Agricole
Centre-Est
Select and rate
your bank advisor

Online commerce

«Trips with friends ...»
social commerce app

(since 1990)

Deezer

Aviva, AXA

« Pay as you drive »
insurance with GPS
device

Compte Nickel *

Payment account opened
at the local tobacconist

Group purchasing from
local food producers

«music» option
in mobile plans

Freemium

20 minutes

Free daily newspaper

model (for video games,
professional social networks,
news, etc.)

BandSquare
Gig/concert
crowdfunding

« TrocHeures »
Castorama

Customer DIY-hours
exchange

Auchan

«Drive»,
online shopping
and personal pickup,
self scanning

* Fact sheet available on our website.
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4. BUSINESS MODEL INNOVATION
Is the innovation based on a new cost or revenue structure,
a new way of making money?

Key
partners

Key
activities

Supply

What do we mean?
The business model describes how the company makes its
money and aims to increase profitable growth. It describes the
value delivered to customers, the revenue and cost structures,
and how the firm will manage future growth. It also describes
how the company works with its «ecosystem» – suppliers,
partners, customers and other stakeholders.

Customer
relations

Business model innovation takes many forms, which can be
broadly classified as follows:

• competition differentiation using novel cost structures

Clients

and revenue streams (eg. low-cost);

• new value creation from of company resources (e.g.,
reselling heat generated by a data center);

Revenue

• new relationship definition between clients, suppliers,
distributors, advisors and other partners to create value.

Costs

Channels

Key
resources

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I

RADICAL
INNOVATION

INCREMENTAL
INNOVATION
Improves

Salesforce

Stimergy *

Value-creation
from heat generated
by datacenter

« Freebie
marketing »
a.k.a. «the razor
and blades»/Gilette
model)

Modèles low cost

Compte Nickel, BIC, Easyjet

Amazon Web Services

Sell cut-price goods
plus consumables

Open innovation
ecosystems

Value-creation from
company information system

23andMe

Personal DNA testing partly
funded through data resale

Does it raise barriers
to entry for competitors
and to exit for
customers?

Does it enable the firm’s rapid
expansion minus the usual
hurdles? (recruitment,
financial resources, etc.)

Limited online promotions 

Management software
as a service (SaaS)

Does it enhance
the company’s resource
value, identify new
sources of revenue,
or penetrate
new markets?

Does the
company’s success
rely on customer and
third party contributions
to create value?
Is it a «platform»?

Vente-privée.com

affaires

EcoCup *

Customisable glasses
for event hire

modè le d’

Transforms the
market, or creates
a new market

what exists

Is business revenue
or cost structure
differentiated
from competitors?

nnovation de

Where
is the
innovation?

Xerox

Sells copies, not
copiers (leased)

Leetchi *

Commission earned for group
gifts and «money pots»

leboncoin.fr

E-commerce
between individuals

The Food Assembly *

Platform facilitating direct
exchange between local food
producers and collective
customer «assemblies»

Blablacar *

Apple, iTunes,
Apple Store

Carpooling as a novel
form of public transport

Ulule *

Crowdfunding

Link a device
to a marketplace

ArduinoTM

Open source microcontroller cards

Google, Facebook, etc.

Apple and
its Appstore

Free services financed
by targeted advertising

OSVehicle

Open source,
customizable automobile;
assembly by end users
or small garages

* Fact sheet available on our website.
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5. Technological Innovation
Does the project rely on new technology development and/
or integration, or the significant advancement of existing
technologies?

What do we mean?
Technological innovation creates or uses one or more new
technology(gies) which, (when compared to existing technologies),
affords users with:

• superior performance (function, capabilities, power,
speed, ease of use, etc.);

• a better price-performance ratio (investment, use,
energy consumption, etc.);

• or entirely new usages.

Technological innovation may take the form of:

• new technology development;
• existing technology enhancement;
• an original combination of largely advanced
technologies (e.g., bioinformatics).

Technological innovations often emerge as a result of public
and/or private R&D. However, most of these tech-driven
innovations also require usage development, so that they can
be adopted by users and customers effectively, and thus
generate business and organisational success. Technological
innovation must therefore be complemented by product/service,
sales/marketing or business model innovation: a technological
innovation with no practical application is not an innovation.

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TECHNOLOGI cal I

Where
is the
innovation?
Transforms the
market, or creates
a new market

what exists

IRLynx *

« Lab on a chip » detects any
virus or bacteria in a blood sample
in less than 10 minutes

Surgivisio

Surgimages* 3D imaging
and integrated surgical
navigation technologies

Ergosup *

Rhenovia Pharma *

Timbre transdermique intelligent
pour administrer des médicaments

Adionics *

Carbon free hydrogen
production and storage

Does it improve
an organisation’s
price-performance
ratio (investment,
operation)?

Desalao* project: low cost,
low-energy water desalination

Wandercraft *

Revolutionary
exoskeleton for the
disabled and elderly

FROV, filiale d’ACSA

Projet Fibre* Light,
inexpensive, easy to deploy
remotely operated submersible

Snips *

Does the innovation
solve a previously
unsolvable problem,
or, open up
new possibilities?

Elvesys *

Advanced human
activity sensing modules

Does the innovation
provide a significant
improvement in
performance over
the state of the art?

nnovation

RADICAL
INNOVATION

INCREMENTAL
INNOVATION
Improves

Predictive modeling
of urban behaviour

Biométhodes *

Biorefining of non-food agricultural and
forest harvest residue for biofuel and
chemical compound production

New or improved technologies

NawaTechnologies *

Supercapacitor integration into vehicle
structures and electrical systems

PhageX *

Innovative intelligent antibiotics
that eradicate targeted pathogenic
bacteria while leaving intestinal flora intact

Multiposting

SmartSearch project*:
database and BI applications
integration to design a recruitment
search engine

Technology integration

* Round 1 winner, «Innovation 2030» Global Innovation Challenge (July 2014).

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6. Social innovation
Does the project respond to poorly-satisfied, or unmet
social needs? or create novel social relationships or
collaborations?

What do we mean?
A social innovation should primarily be defined according to the
Oslo manual definition: a product/service, process/organization,
sales/marketing or business model innovation, with two extra
dimensions:

• include a social and societal mandate in its purpose:
• respond to poorly or unmet social needs, usually in
favour of disadvantaged or vulnerable populations:  the
excluded or poorly-housed, migrants, the elderly,
children, etc.;
• address societal challenges by integrating economic,
social, environmental and territorial dimensions: mobility,
housing, social cohesion, energy, recycling, etc.;
• address systemic challenges by introducing
structural changes that involve a large number of
stakeholders. e.g., develop a circular economy;

• be «social» in practice, as much as in mandate.
Specifically, social innovation:

• seeks to involve its users, beneficiaries and
stakeholders during every stage of the project,
from needs identification, to solutions, to impact
assessment;
• seeks to share the economic value produced
with all of society, not just concerned shareholders
and entrepreneurs.
A social innovation can be carried out by any organization,
non-profit, or member of the social economy, or by a
conventional company (corporation, Llc, etc.).

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SOCIAL I
nnovation

Where
is the
innovation?
RADICAL
INNOVATION

INCREMENTAL
INNOVATION
Improves

Transforms the
market, or creates
a new market

what exists

Solar Ear

Microfinance

Solar battery powered, digital hearing aids
manufactured by the Brazilian deaf community

Does the innovation
seek to respond
to poorly met or unmet
social needs?

Voisin-Age

Links people with their elderly neighbours,
favors bartered exchange

Compte Nickel *

Payment account
without a means test

EasyLatrine

Compost-producing public urinals
that are easy to manufacture locally

Does it seek to address
societal challenges?

Siel Bleu *

Preventative health and well-being programs
using Adapted Physical Activity (APA)

The Food Assembly*

Does it address systemic
challenges?

Local, participatory, farm-to-table platform

From Waste to Wow! 
Fashion pieces made from
Milanese designer scraps

Simplon.co

Free training for web/mobile developers

La Tournée

Home delivery of local merchant purchases
by long-term unemployed persons

Recommerce Solutions *

Zbis *

Workforce integration programme
participants recondition used electronic
mobile devices  resold by telecoms

Local Fab Lab
microfactory

inControl (UK)

Enable social assistance
beneficiaries to manage
their own budget

Urban Farm Lease
Developing urban
agriculture in Brussels

Sol Violette

Local currency
to promote community

Mozaïk RH

Successfully recruit
younggraduates from
diverse backgrounds

Fair Trade
Circular
economies

* Fact sheet available on our website.

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In addition, to qualify a social innovation project, it is important
to ask some additional questions:

• Is the social and social mission part of the project’s mandate
(i.e., included in the company purpose statement and
part of the business plan; subordination of other, purely
economic objectives)?

• Will the economic value generated be captured by the
company, or distributed (e.g., earnings reinvestment,
profit and salary caps, intellectual property sharing, etc.)?

• Does the project involve its users, beneficiaries and
stakeholders in several of its stages, from identifying the
need to production?

• Does the project explicitly and rigorously measure its social
and societal impact?

To learn more about the various types of innovation, please refer
to the definitions and sources listed in Appendix 2.

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RISING TO MEET
THE CHALLENGES OF
THE FUTURE, TOGETHER

What is new about the project, and how does its innovation
set the organisation apart from its competitors?
This «benchmark» reference manual is based on these two
pivotal questions, which enable innovation supporters to broaden
their focus, and thus more easily identify innovative projects,
better understand projects that may have previously escaped their
notice, and more appropriately support today’s innovators.
However, project analysis – no matter the type of innovation – does
not stop there. Relevance is not everything: the project’s success
depends on the ability of innovators and their firms to seize
opportunities and manage risk. Any business is, first of all, a human
endeavour: team quality, organization, management and
complementarity all make a huge difference. Every innovation is
a bet on the future: entrepreneurs and innovation supporters
alike must have the ability to assess the opportunities and
conditions for success as accurately as possible, while at the
same time be capable of identifying the unexpected, and
responding as events unfold.
Finally, an innovation is nothing without its clients or beneficiaries,
and entrepreneurs must arrange to receive their feedback –
or even secure their participation – as early and as often in the
innovation lifecycle as possible.

All these issues must be addressed by every single entrepreneur,
investor and actor supporting innovation. They impact key success
factor implementation, as well as project risk analysis.
Public innovation support programmes have a mandate to
encourage companies to take innovative «risks», and support
entrepreneurs as well as they can on the path to success. By
improving their current understanding of innovation, they can more
fully play their part alongside entrepreneurs, private investors and
entire innovation ecosystems.
Encouraging innovation in all its forms: that’s

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Appendices

1.

Project analysis examples

Find the following project analyses
on our website: bpifrance.fr

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TYPE OF INNOVATION

Project name

Description

Bandsquare

A platform to evaluate and recommend mobile
health applications and smart devices

Ecocup

«From disposable to sustainable»: eco-friendly,
customisable and reusable cups for events

Iota Element

Artisanal furniture integrated with high-tech
(sound, internet, multimedia, etc.)

The Food Assembly

«Let’s get together to buy the best food available, directly from
local farmers and foodmakers»

Leetchi

«The perfect solution to collect money for group gifts and events»

Michel et Augustin

Premium and innovative food products, original marketing
and strong customer bonds

Recommerce

Return and resale solutions for used mobile phones

Sculpteo

«Your 3D design turns into reality
with 3D printing»

Siel Bleu

Preventative health and well-being
programs using Adapted Physical Activity (APA)

Stimergy

Cloud services provider reduces costs
by monetising the heat generated by its servers

Sushi Daily

Sushi bars located inside
existing hypermarkets

Ulule

Crowdfunding platform

Zbis

Social

A «personal cloud» that enhances people’s digital
experience by giving them control over their own data.

DMD Santé

TECHNOLOGICAL

The first bankless payment account,
available at tobacconists

Cozy Cloud

Business
Model

Community rideshare service

Compte Nickel

Marketing,
SALES

Managerial innovation based on employee
autonomy and open innovation

BlaBlaCar

PROCESS,
organisation

Where artists and fans create unique
concert experiences together

Biscuits Poult

PRODUCT,
service,
usage

Local shared microfactory in the Vendée

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2.

To find out more:

1. Product, service, usage innovation

• Official definitions:

OECD (Oslo Manual): «the introduction of a good or service
that is new or significantly improved with respect to its
characteristics or intended uses. This includes significant
improvements in technical specifications, components and
materials, incorporated software, user friendliness or other
functional characteristics.»

• For further information:
• on product and service innovation categories:
Rowley, J., Baregheh, A., & Sambrook, S. (2011).
Towards an innovation-type mapping tool. Management
Decision, 49(1), 73-86. (available via Google Scholar)
• on product innovation processes: Industrie Canada
(2010). L’état de la conception de produits: Le
rapport canadien 2010.
• on design-driven innovation: Verganti, Roberto
(2009). Design-driven Innovation. Boston: Harvard
Business Press.

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2. Organisational and
process innovation
• Official definitions:

OECD (Oslo Manual):
Process: «the implementation of a new or significantly
improved production or delivery method. This includes
significant changes in techniques, equipment and/or
software.»
Organisation : «the implementation of a new organisational
method in the firm’s business practices, workplace organisation
or external relations. »

• For further information:
• on the distinction between «process» and «product»
innovation: Sheynkman, K. (2011). Process vs. product.
Passionate Intensity (blog), http://blog.thansys.com/
innovation-process-vs-product/

3. Sales/marketing
innovation
• Official definitions:

OECD (Oslo Manual): «the implementation of a new
marketing method involving significant changes in
product design or packaging, product placement, product
promotion or pricing.»

• For further information:

The SCOPS awards (University Paris Dauphine Credoc) locate and reward the best business
innovations on an annual basis. See also an analysis by
Credoc: Quelles innovations commerciales au regard des
attentes des consommateurs? November 2012.
• the annual Dupont Packaging Awards;
• a reference manual: Meyronin, B. & Munos, A. (2012).
Manager l’innovation par le service. Paris: PUG.

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4. Business model innovation
No official definition of business model innovation exists. The
«Business Model Canvas» is the tool most widely used to describe
the components of a business model:

• the website of the concept’s founder, Alexander Osterwalder :
www.businessmodelgeneration.com

• For further information:
• Amit, R., Zott, C., & Pearson, A. (2012). Creating value
through business model innovation. MIT Sloan
Management Review, 53.
• Christensen, C. (2013). The innovator’s dilemma: when
new technologies cause great firms to fail. Boston:
Harvard Business Review Press.

5. Technological innovation
• French government list of priorities regarding technological
innovation

• the 34 roadmaps for The New Industrial France
www.economie.gouv.fr/nouvelle-france-industrielle
• the 7 strategic ambitions of France’s Innovation 2030
Commission:
www.innovation-2030.entreprises.gouv.fr

• For further information:
• Callahan, J. (2008). Patterns of Technological Innovation.

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6. Social innovation
• Official definitions:
• European Commission: «Social innovations are
new ideas (products, services and models) that
simultaneously meet social needs (more effectively
than alternatives) and create new social relationships
or collaborations.» The EU definition adds that «these
solutions are both social in their ends and in their
means.» 
• Conseil Supérieur de l’Économie Sociale et
Solidaire (the Higher Council for the Social and
Solidarity Economy, CSESS) : «Social innovation
consists of developing new answers to emerging or
poorly met social needs by the current market and
social policies, involving the participation and
cooperation of stakeholders, including users. These
innovations relate to both product or service, as well
as modes of organization or distribution, in areas such
as aging, child care, housing, health, the fight against
poverty, exclusion and discrimination. […]» ;

1. Through their activities, the enterprise aims to
provide support to people in situations of fragility either
due to economic or social status, or due to personal
circumstances, and specifically their health or need
for social or medical support. These people may be
employees, users, customers, members or beneficiaries
of this enterprise.
2. The enterprise aims to fight against social
exclusion and health, social, economic and cultural
inequalities, and for civil education, including the
public education system, and the preservation and
development of social ties or of the maintenance and
strengthening of territorial cohesion.
3. The enterprise contributes to sustainable
development in economic, social, environmental and
participatory dimensions, to energy resource transition
and to international solidarity, provided that their
activity is equally related to one of the objectives
referred to in the first 2 points.

• France’s Loi du 31 juillet 2014 (law passed 31/07/2014)
relative to the social economy: «Companies whose
corporate purpose is concerned primarily with at least
one of the following three conditions are considered as
pursuing a social utility within the meaning of this act»:

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• For further information:
• The European Commission’s Social Innovation Guide
(2013);
• The European Social Innovation competition:
www.socialinnovationcompetition.eu
• Phills, J. A., Deiglmeier, K., & Miller, D. T. (2008).
Rediscovering social innovation. Stanford Social
Innovation Review, 6(4), 34-43.
• A good article from the American point of view, which
provides a definition of social innovation as «a new
solution to a social problem, which is more effective,
efficient, durable, and more just than existing solutions
and whose value creation is intended for society as a
whole rather than individuals in particular.»

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3.

References and
practical information

Official publications
Oslo manual: Guidelines for collecting and interpreting innovation
data. (No. 4.) Statistical Office of the European Communities,
Publications de l’OCDE (2005).
Guide to Social Innovation. European Commission (2013).

Public sector reports
«Innovation Union Scoreboard 2014.» European Commission
(2014).
Beylat, J-L & Tambourin, P. (2013). L’innovation, un enjeu majeur
pour la France. Ministères du Redressement productif et de la
Recherche, La Documentation Française.
Un principe et sept ambitions pour l’innovation. The Commission
for Innovation, presided over by Anne Lauvergeon, La Documentation
Française (2013).
Morand. P. & Manceau, D. (2009). Pour une nouvelle vision de
l’innovation. La Documentation Française.

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For reference
Christensen, C. (2013). The innovator’s dilemma: when new
technologies cause great firms to fail. Boston: Harvard Business
Review Press.
Christensen, C., & Raynor, M. (2013). The innovator’s solution:
Creating and sustaining successful growth. Boston: Harvard Business Review Press.
Kim, W. C., & Mauborgne, R. (2005). Blue ocean strategy: How
to create uncontested market space and make competition
irrelevant. Boston: Harvard Business Press.
Von Hippel, E. (2009). Democratizing innovation: the evolving
phenomenon of user innovation. International Journal of Innovation
Science, 1(1), 29-40.
Murray, R., Caulier-Grice, J., & Mulgan, G. (2010). The open book
of social innovation. National Endowment for Science, Technology
and the Art.

Essential browsing
Bpifrance : www.bpifrance.fr
FING : www.fing.org
Innovation Union, the European Commission website dedicated
to innovation:
www.ec.europa.eu/research/innovation-union/index_en.cfm
The ‘Innovation’ tab on the Ministry of Productive Recovery website
(French): www.redressement-productif.gouv.fr/innovation
French innovation clusters: www.competitivite.gouv.fr

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To contact Bpifrance
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