The INNOVATION COFFEE is a podcast born on the initiative of 4 young professionals. This is how it all started: “We met at University and kept in touch since then to discuss about innovation and sustainability. During the March 2020 lockdown we started having calls instead of physical meetings and decided to record some of them for sharing with a wider audience.”
Each episode (30’) hosts guests and experts to discuss about the different players involved in the innovation ecosystem and the several shapes innovation itself can have.
During this episode of Innovation Coffee we will try to find out how to move from an idea to a product thanks to Marco and Javier, that have shared their experiences at BlueThink with us.
For those who have never heard of it, BlueThink was a small company, composed by a team of engineering design consultants, that in under ten years has rapidly grown into an international innovation partner. The members of this company, with their unique approach and their clients’ increasing trust, can do a huge difference in the word of innovation and technology, transforming abstract ideas into projects that are quickly ready to be put on the market. In the podcast, Marco and Javier, presented us some useful secrets for success they have learned.
Where does BlueThink’s success come from? It is based on four important pillars.
First of all, a team of talented engineers, with an important academic background, coming from different branches of engineering and science (electronics, biomedical, materials engineering …); they are able to work putting together both soft and hard skills, with great sensitivity and propensity for change, they are very open-minded, ambitious and never stop broadening their horizons.
Second fundamental element is the methodology. Team members have developed a method based on their experiences. Thanks to it they are capable of transforming their ideas into objects that can be tested and then developed, so that they can reach the market in a relatively short time.
The other two pillars are related to technology; one of them are laboratories in Milan. These places they have access to, have same facilities that create an open innovation environment where they can play with technology in complete freedom or experiment with new campaigns …
The last pillar, that plays a crucial role, is the so-called “solver network”. It is a network of partners composed by start-ups, universities spin-offs, small research centers; each one of them is developing new materials such as an optimized algorithm or a new production technique. They can exploit their abilities by working inside their labs and at the same times, BlueThink is like a source of technology because they can really design and then put into life their solutions.
One of the keys of success of BlueThink is that they believe that a problem cannot be solved in the place where it is described.
Companies need a more general external point of view.
BluThink members can understand well what the problem is made of and at that point see the true nature of the issue. Now, the team can imagine how to solve the general problem, but it is still a solution that cannot be touched.
The key is to find technologies that can concretely address the problem. Thanks to wide research and different partners they can find the solution that faces the problem.
At this point, they finally have something concrete to touch, they can experiment in labs, make simulations, and then they go to a phase of engineering and prototyping in which they make many different prototypes.
Then after the prototype they go to the final step, which is software industrialization; the customers make it sustainable and economical for their production lines.
So, this is the way they go from an idea to something concrete and “physical”.
The secret without which this would not be possible is to find the balance between creativity and technical experience, in order to have something that is truly innovative but, at the same time, can be both created and useful.
With the second question of the interview, Marco explains the reasons for the continuous and trusting relationships with their clients.
When a team starts working for a company they act like a real extension, not just a consulting company, and that’s why they have so many partnerships and customers; they work with them and watch their products develop. BlueThink’s teams are an extension of their R&D, and the reason it works is that they help out in an area companies don’t have the skills to tackle. They operate where there is a lack of specific knowledges.
Another important aspect is that companies have an enormous need for innovation, they want different ways of thinking, other points of view. Even if they are the top in the sector, they want to create a remarkable and difference competitive advantage. They need a new fresh prospective, an added external massive value to implement their strategies.
The third and final question is about the method of selecting members who take part in BlueThink. They choose the engineers very carefully.
They look for well mixed different abilities, rigor, a great academic background, usually international experiences, but also people who have a lot of imagination and creativity. Usually, they propose very complicated interview cases also due to the ability to be creative and imagine outside the box.
BlueThink trains them a lot during the time they are working with them.
What Javier calls “magic tool” consist in the passion that can grow with members during all the work experience.
Being exposed to a variety of projects and situations, members learn to adapt themselves quickly and find connections very easily. Each of them usually works on at least two projects at the same time, one is closer to his abilities, another may be far from his experiences, which makes him challenging.
Learning from each other and constantly mixing teams, they can truly live a wide experience and develop a really open mind.
In conclusion, what this podcast wants to reveal us is the importance of balancing creativity and technical experiences to reach something that is truly innovative, but also visible; and how important is to hire people with inner capabilities and then keep training them, based on their personal individual passions and enabled them to develop their “magic tool”.