Who we are

Our team is a diverse group of specialists in open innovation

winnovation was founded in 2006 as Austria’s first consulting company specializing in open innovation. Gertraud Leimüller, the company’s founder, was inspired to establish the firm after a research trip to Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

winnovation now includes a multidisciplinary team of innovation experts headquartered in Vienna. We work with manufacturers and service providers from a variety of industries throughout Europe. Our core objective is to support our clients’ innovation activities in such a way as to maximize their success.

Our close cooperation with the winnovation Academic Advisory Board enables us to incorporate cutting-edge insights from innovation research into our work and to develop new tools for our clients in cooperation with top-notch researchers.

What is Open Innovation?

Open Innovation means that companies deliberately make their boundaries more permeable for innovation processes, thus bringing in new knowledge from outside the organization as well as systematically conveying internal knowledge to the outside world (e.g. by way of licenses).

Global networking is considered to be a key success factor for open innovation, as it enables people and organizations to exchange knowledge across geographical and industry boundaries. Investments in purely in-house development processes (closed innovation) are thus losing ground.

For organizations, open innovation means

  • the systematic search for and integration of external innovation sources, such as users, universities, suppliers or competitors (outside-in open innovation). In recent years, open innovation has become increasingly important, especially given the success of crowdsourcing, open source software, mass customization and user communities, to name just a few examples.
  • accessing new markets on the basis of leveraging existing competencies in the company through out-licensing, joint ventures or spin-offs (inside-out open innovation).

What we do

We help companies innovate

winnovation supports clients from a wide variety of fields in implementing more intelligent, targeted and expedient innovation processes. The main lever for this purpose can be found in the design of early stages of innovation. We therefore specialize in the development of innovation strategies as well as idea, concept and partner identification using open innovation methods. Our repertoire also includes the development and establishment of organizational designs which enable successful innovation in the long term.

The use of analogous market effects plays an important role in our work. In this way, we can generate novel and highly functional solutions for our clients rapidly and with a clear focus, as we bring in completely new perspectives and break down existing thought patterns.

Analogous Market Effects

At first glance, different fields – markets, industries or disciplines – often seem to have nothing in common. Upon closer investigation, however, they may actually reveal structurally similar (i.e. analogous) problems. For example, the computer chip industry and medical surgery are two fundamentally different fields of activity. However, they share a similar problem: Both require a highly hygienic environment.

Research has shown that the transfer of solution knowledge from analogous markets to a problem in a target market creates especially novel solutions, thus laying the foundation for great leaps in innovation. One key explanation for this effect is that it overcomes the problem of “functional fixedness” on existing technologies or solution paths in the target market. This paves the way for radically new ways of thinking.

And that is precisely what happened in surgical hygiene, a field where experts in computer-chip production were able to make a substantial contribution to the development of innovative solutions for the operating room.

What is Open Innovation?

Open Innovation means that companies deliberately make their boundaries more permeable for innovation processes, thus bringing in new knowledge from outside the organization as well as systematically conveying internal knowledge to the outside world (e.g. by way of licenses).

Global networking is considered to be a key success factor for open innovation, as it enables people and organizations to exchange knowledge across geographical and industry boundaries. Investments in purely in-house development processes (closed innovation) are thus losing ground.

For organizations, open innovation means

  • the systematic search for and integration of external innovation sources, such as users, universities, suppliers or competitors (outside-in open innovation). In recent years, open innovation has become increasingly important, especially given the success of crowdsourcing, open source software, mass customization and user communities, to name just a few examples.
  • accessing new markets on the basis of leveraging existing competencies in the company through out-licensing, joint ventures or spin-offs (inside-out open innovation).

We give direction

Preparing a company for tomorrow and beyond is a major challenge. We support our clients in developing high-performance, forward-looking innovation strategies and connecting them closely to their business strategy.

We connect to innovate

The best ideas and solutions are often found in unexpected places. Our systematic global search processes put us in a position to overcome geographical as well as contextual distances and to accurately identify the right innovation partners for our clients. This enhances the quality of innovation efforts and in many cases even reduces in-house development times and costs.

We facilitate innovation

Great, daring plans are only the beginning; the success of an innovation also depends on the way in which it is created. With our years of experience, we also support companies in planning and actually implementing innovation projects. For this purpose, we use our unique expertise in the application of open and user innovation methods.

We research and develop

Knowledge about innovation and innovation processes is constantly expanding. In order to ensure that our clients profit from those insights, we cooperate closely with our Academic Advisory Board. In this partnership, we feed the business world’s needs back into the world of academia, at the same time taking advantage of insights from cutting-edge research to further refine our methods and tools.