Innovation Insider: Interviewing Robert Kirschbaum, Founder & CEO of SakuragiConsult

Innovation Insider


02 January, 2018   Innovation Insider


e are tracking down Innoget users in the world's most amazing companies to discover their thoughts on open innovation, where they see open innovation is headed, and learn more about how is the innovation culture within their organization.

This week we interviewed Mr. Robert Kirschbaum, Founder and CEO of the strategy and innovation consultancy firm, SakuragiConsult. SakuragiConsult focuses on ultimate properties of materials, circular & bio-based economy and corporate venturing, offering support to improve scouting, research & development and innovation processes. Based on 40+ years of industrial experience, the team at SakuragiConsult knows how to increase the speed for bringing inventions to the commercial stage with a better mitigated Risk-profile.

Rob, can you briefly describe your role within your organization and how do you define open innovation?

After being the VP of Open Innovation of Royal DSM for about a decade, I now try to help both Start-ups, Small medium Enterprises and even grown-up companies with their Strategy and Innovation struggles.

Open Innovation is:

A) the process of finding new technology and business opportunities outside your own organisation, and connecting with them (Outside-in).

B) the process of bringing technology and business opportunities outside your own organisation, giving them a better chance to grow and florish (Inside-out).

C) the combination of Outside-in and Inside-out processes with the objective to shorten the time to successful market introduction, while mitigating the risk of the Innovation process.

Robert Kirschbaum, Founder & CEO of SakuragiConsult / Robert Kirschbaum

Where do you see open innovation headed and how do you think organizations can prepare for where it is going?

Open Innovation will continue to be accepted as an additional tool for New Business Development, as knowledge workers will continue to be very mobile (not so company loyal) and more organisations will be available to help with the OI-process (Innomediaries like Nine-sigma,, Innocentive, Ideaconnection, Innoget ao.)

More and more OI will also lead to the exploration of new Business models.

Based on your expertise, what are the key elements to implement a successfully open innovation strategy?

A) Commitment from the top of the organisation

B) Dedication to the OI-process, for example by assigning a VP Open Innovation (at least 60% of one persons time)

C) Daring to share information

D) Trust the OI can be constructed without the loss of Intellectual property

E) Complementary partnerships

F) Clear and compact internal communication

Can you share anything about how Innoget helps open innovation activities?

Innoget facilitates collaboration between innovation seekers and innovation suppliers such as large enterprises, SMEs, research organizations and innovation professionals actively looking for research, funding and licensing opportunities.

Many organizations conducting open innovation related activities, such as technology scouting, R&D and Business Development collaborative projects, technology transfer, etc. are getting competitive advantage by connecting with new technology partners worldwide thanks to their posts on Innoget.

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