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Innovation based on the foundation of knowledge developed through years of research is the cornerstone for sustainable development of society. NILU identified the need for innovation in the fields of its expertise for the development of the society and has been active for several years cultivating the innovation culture within the organization.

Innovation culture

We at NILU believe in building up innovation culture across the whole organization. The employees have always played a central role in the innovation process and has always been supported by the management in getting the ideas realized and, in some cases, into a profitable business venture. Our philosophy of innovation culture development process is deep rooted in the culture of the organization and is depicted below:

Figure showing innovation culture

We believe that any idea/concept that has a potential to solve a problem related to the environment and impacts the society, should be given a fair chance to be assessed and tested.

Open Innovation

Traditionally innovation happened inside an organization where ideas were developed by the internal experts and the information flow remained within the boundaries of the organization till the innovation came out to the market.

Open innovation, on the other hand, is based on the belief that knowledgeable and creative individuals outside the company can also contribute to achieving strategic goals and that sharing intellectual property both ways is useful for different parties in different ways. The more information is gained, the more educated the decisions ultimately are.

At NILU we believe that ‘open innovation’ can create a purposeful inflow and outflow of knowledge in interaction with the world outside of our research organization and can be key to successful fast track innovation.

Figure showing open innovation

Open innovation culture will help people from both outside and inside our organization to see the benefit of synergy and the possibilities of innovating in a profitable way because it can reduce cost and accelerate time to market. It is a win-win situation for both NILU and any third party. The third party can be an individual, a private organization, a government organization, University or another research organization.

Innovation and commercializing

Every new product/service development effort should be coupled with the development/selection of a business model which defines its ‘go to market’ and ‘capturing value’ strategies. Good business model design and implementation, coupled with careful strategic analysis, are necessary for technological innovation to succeed commercially.

The innovation department works across the whole organization and plays a central role in stimulating innovative thinking and converting valuable research results into services &/ products that can benefit the society. In our endeavor for achieving success in innovation we remain focused not only on technology development but also on business strategy development including clarification of intellectual property rights.

We work closely with other institutes and organizations for financing and development of new projects and are always looking for new commercialization opportunities that are socially beneficial and can contribute to a greener future.

A few words about Innovation

Research is an intrinsic aspect of the idea development process. Research helps guide numerous decisions that turn an idea into an innovation. Before one starts throwing out new ideas and testing solutions, it’s important that

  1. We understand the problem we are trying to solve so that we respond to the root causes.
  2. We understand what our customers and the rest of the world care about. If we are solving a problem that’s not relevant to the users, then it’s unlikely that the innovation will survive the market.
  3. We understand the competitive landscape and how the values created in the product can have a competitive edge.

Once we have an idea, it is of paramount importance to outline the project requirements even though they might change/evolve during the development process. The requirements document will the goalposts for successful project milestones.

This step is absolutely critical to development & implementation of a big idea.

Innovation Nilu AS

NILU’s wholly owned subsidiary, Innovation nilu AS, is used for the sale of products and services developed by scientists at NILU and is a holding company for spin-off companies coming out of NILU. Innovation nilu AS also has rights to all NILU-developed products, equipment and hardware solutions.

For Innovation nilu’s products and ventures see Innovation nilu’s own webpages.