NineSigma (10)

Tuesday, 14 January 2014 11:27

NineSigma 2014 Innovation Leadership Summit

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NineSigma will hold its Innovation Leadership Summit, May 14-16, 2014 at the Global Center for Health Innovation, in Cleveland Ohio.

This is the premier industry event for leading innovators and organizations committed to breakthrough achievements through open innovation. Participants will learn how world-changing innovation is often catalyzed through unobvious connections, across disciplines and even across industries.

NineSigma clients, thought leaders and invited guests in sectors including manufacturing, oil and gas, medical and consumer products will share how they’ve been successful using Open Innovation (OI) strategies to accelerate the innovation process and increase efficiency. Key themes that will be explored in round-table discussions, case studies and distinctive interactive activities include:

  • Creating a Sustainable Innovation Portfolio
  • Creative & Advanced Manufacturing
  • Becoming a Partner of Choice
  • The Innovation Team of the Future
  • Innovation Grand Challenges
  • Big Data

Leaders in competitive global markets don’t always follow the pack. They know how to innovate fearlessly – and with an OI strategy in place they confidently go where others haven’t. This is how they’re staying ahead of the game. An intimate conference setting will enable innovation leaders to build a community of practice, share approaches, and develop new collaborative models together while focusing on actionable strategies that can be applied within their own business. NineSigma CEO, Andy Zynga said, “With each event we try to push the envelope by uncovering new thinking on using open innovation to grow and expand competitive advantage. In this challenging global environment, maximizing value from open innovation is vital.”

“This event is a must-attend for innovation leaders in every industry. It provides a great environment for attendees to share experiences, and opportunities to establish foundations for future innovation and collaboration. Each time, I come away with fresh perspectives, valuable insights and actionable information that helps my organization stay on top of our game,” said Fred Boekhorst, Senior Vice President Philips Research, Program Manager Lifestyle, Philips.

“My first NineSigma Leadership Summit in 2012 was a highlight of my year and well worth the trip from Sydney, Australia. Not only were we able to meet with the organization that assisted us significantly in identifying new food processing technologies, we were able to do real networking. It was great to do this across industries rather than just in our industry. We have so much to learn from parallel industry partners. Since this Summit we have met with several of the new contacts we made there to discuss mutually beneficial business. In fact, one contact lead us to a significant open innovation solution that will probably revolutionize our products over the coming decade,” said John Menzies, SDI Research & Development Manager - Open Innovation, Sanitarium.

At the 2014 Summit attendees will hear from innovation leaders with diverse backgrounds and perspectives. Harper Reed, CTO for Obama for America, will give a closing Keynote address. John Nottingham, President of Nottingham Spirk, the conference’s platinum sponsor, will give a presentation on creative manufacturing together with Dr. Robert Godfroid from PepsiCo. Dr. Scott Bruder, Chief Medical & Scientific Officer, Stryker Corporation will share a presentation on creating a sustainable innovation portfolio in the evolving medical device sector. Three leaders from the largest oil and gas companies will share insights and new approaches to using open innovation in that sector. Jodi Berg, CEO of Cleveland-based Vitamix, will address her company’s explosive growth and the role innovation has played. These are just a few topics that Summit participants will delve into. For more information and to download an agenda, visit

For more information, visit:

NineSigma, Inc., of Cleveland, the leading innovation partner to organizations worldwide, announced today they will work with Cincinnati, OH-based AtriCure, Inc. under the new Ohio Third Frontier Open Innovation Incentive (OII) Program. In August, NineSigma was selected by the State of Ohio to help catalyze the growth of middle market companies, with revenues between $10 million and $1 billion, by accelerating their adoption of open innovation. The Ohio Third Frontier OII is aimed at fostering collaborative innovation that will lead to job creation within Ohio and build competitive advantage on the national and global level.

AtriCure, Inc. is a growing medical device company with a strong presence in atrial fibrillation (AF). They are a leader in developing, manufacturing and selling innovative cardiac surgical ablation systems. These systems are designed to create precise lesions, or scars, in heart tissue for the treatment of atrial fibrillation. AF is the most common irregular heartbeat and is characterized by palpitations, dizziness and shortness of breath.
“Atrial fibrillation affects more than 5.5 million people worldwide and carries with it a five-fold increased risk of stroke. We look forward to beginning our work with the team at AtriCure to help them find best-in-class partners and technologies globally that will advance their cardiac surgical solutions and ability to treat this pervasive condition,” said Andy Zynga, CEO of NineSigma.

Open innovation involves “looking to the outside” for technologies, solutions, and ideas to accelerate the development of new products and increase speed to market. Through the Open Innovation Incentive, NineSigma will work closely with solution seekers to create custom networks of innovation providers to find viable solutions, filtering responses for their quality and fit. The State will assist solution seekers by funding a portion of the transactional costs of engaging an open innovation company.

NineSigma connects organizations with external innovation resources to accelerate innovation in private, public and social sectors. The company provides open innovation services to organizations worldwide, including Kraft, Philips, Siemens, and Unilever, to solve immediate challenges, integrate new knowledge, fill product pipelines, and stay ahead of the competition. Named to the 2012 Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing private U.S. companies, NineSigma’s proprietary process has produced billions of dollars in value for its clients. NineSigma has the largest open global network of solution providers and an extensive database of existing solutions spanning numerous industries and technical disciplines. NineSigma’s online innovation community, NineSights™, is the world’s first open innovation social media destination, connecting innovators of all sizes with resources and relationships to drive growth.

For more information, visit: or

Stand up and be counted for making a difference! NineSigma, the leading innovation partner to companies worldwide, is collaborating with the Edison Awards™ to identify the world’s top game changing products and services and excellence in innovation leadership.

Named after inventor Thomas Alva Edison, the awards were established to globally recognize, honor and foster innovation, and encourage innovators to make a positive impact on the world. Large companies, small businesses, inventors, researchers, and other individuals are eligible to submit nominations for their new products and services. The submission deadline is December 7, 2012.
“We are thrilled to reach out to NineSigma’s vast worldwide network of innovators.  These are people who are transforming their industries and developing solutions to some of the greatest challenges facing our world today,” said Frank Bonafilia, Executive Director of the Edison Awards.
NineSigma helped pioneer the strategy of open innovation, the process of reaching out to the world for technologies and ideas. This has led to advances in everything from lower salt foods to new approaches to an AIDS vaccine. The company is now taking its services to the next level through its open innovation social media destination, NineSightsTM, fueling additional collaboration between solution seekers and providers.
“Both NineSigma and the directors of the Edison Awards believe new discoveries are possible when individual organizations work together on a common challenge. We are honored to partner with them to help identify those organizations that have helped to change the world,” said Andy Zynga, CEO of NineSigma.
To qualify for consideration as a nominee, the product or service must have been launched on the market and be available to end users between July 1, 2011 and February 28, 2013. Winners will be announced on April 25, 2013 during the Annual Edison Awards Gala. These innovators will also have opportunities for high-level business networking, a chance to bring their solutions to a wider market, and much more.
Nominees will be evaluated according to four primary criteria: concept, value, delivery and impact. Awards are given in 15 categories, from Applied Technology to Energy and Sustainability.

For more information, visit:

Tuesday, 05 June 2012 11:38

NineSigma Launches NineSights

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NineSigma, the leading innovation partner to companies worldwide, today launched the first open innovation social media destination, NineSights™, which is free to innovation seekers and solution providers.

NineSights is a secure and collaborative online community that connects innovators of all sizes with the resources and relationships needed to drive business value. The platform allows innovation seekers to post innovation needs and solution providers to submit proposals and post technologies and solutions that are "for sale". NineSigma ensures quality on the site by vetting both seekers and providers.

Andy Zynga, CEO of NineSigma said, "We have listened to our clients and solution providers who told us that a social media enabled platform where quality trumps quantity is what the world needs right now. As a result of this unique platform, organizations are able to make better connections faster and thus accelerate time to market."

On NineSights, users experience a streamlined innovation environment. Solution seekers from corporations, government, and nonprofit organizations can access a vetted pool of global subject-matter experts, inventors, entrepreneurs and researchers with searchable profiles highlighting their expertise. These solution providers will also find a virtual goldmine of world-class organizations committed to driving innovation forward through consultative engagements, licensing or acquisition of technologies, partnerships or investment opportunities, and more, with the associated financial rewards tied to their specific searches. The site also hosts featured "galleries" that spotlight innovation requests and technology offers from organizations like Philips, and provides forums for discussions among users.

NineSights is being launched in response to a recent NineSigma survey of professionals in a range of industries that found no innovation platform existed to effectively meet the needs of solution seekers and providers online. With NineSights, that marketplace need is being met. For solution providers, this includes exposure of their technologies, new business development opportunities, connections outside their industries, and direct access to solution seekers. Organizations reaching out to solution providers see the same benefits, particularly the opportunity to connect with others outside of a single vertical segment.

NineSights supplements NineSigma's comprehensive open innovation services, which range from global knowledge searches to helping organizations develop a culture of innovation and build the right innovation teams.

With millions of solution providers in NineSigma's network and unlimited access to innovation resources globally, the company looks forward to expanding their innovation community further on NineSights.

For more information, visit:

What makes a Grand Challenge grand? Consider the complexities of curing breast cancer, purging greenhouse gases from the atmosphere, launching civilian spacecraft, or eradicating the devastating AIDS pandemic. These are the kinds of problems that require an amplified approach to open innovation, or “connecting with the world” to find new solutions. Combining this approach with public messaging, marketing and social networking is the hallmark of a Grand Challenge, according to NineSigma, the leading innovation partner to organizations worldwide.

“If you think of Challenges as geeky, pimply, brainiacs, then Grand Challenges are their star-quality, popular cousins. Grand Challenges want the attention, announcing themselves to the broad public,” said Denys Resnick, Vice President of Strategic Programs, NineSigma.

Often associated with eye-popping cash awards, Grand Challenges galvanize individuals to solve important problems and literally change the world. Working together, companies and/or nonprofit organizations conduct marketing and public relations campaigns to generate excitement and inspire new solution providers to come forward. They also bring together outside panels of judges to decide on the prize winners, and organize award ceremonies, all building toward a crescendo to keep every Grand Challenge front and center.

An example is General Electric’s Healthymagination program for fighting breast cancer, offering a total of $100 million in prize money for novel solutions. NineSigma amplified GE’s message by expanding the search for solutions to target relevant technical communities. The Challenge generated more than 500 proposals from 40 countries, and GE selected five innovation winners who each received a $100,000 seed award in addition to support through mentorships and access to GE researchers and industry thought leaders.  

Behind the headlines, glitz and glamour of Grand Challenges are several best practices.  For instance, each challenge should include separate calls to action that motivate both laypeople and technical experts to respond. The challenges themselves, often issued as Requests for Proposals (RFPs), must be clear, precise and achievable within a limited timeframe. This was the case when NineSigma worked with the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) to identify new approaches for an effective HIV vaccine. NineSigma employed a unique approach, focusing the RFP on solving the challenge of protein stabilization, considered key to “cracking the code,” rather than simply calling for ideas for vaccine improvements.

Sponsors of Grand Challenges should pay special attention to the IT platform, which is the command center where all aspects of a Grand Challenge converge. Effective IT platforms bring together social media capabilities, voting, and proposal submission, along with forums for communication.

For other best practices for executing Grand Challenges, please download a new NineSigma Point of View paper at:

Innovators live at all levels of organizations, and often run companies of their own. These are the brilliant minds that NineSigma taps to solve the biggest, most perplexing challenges in the world. In addition, as more businesses commit to innovation as a growth strategy, new doors are opening for entrepreneurs, inventors and researchers who can provide technologies, solutions, and ideas they need to grow faster.

“Corporations around the world are racing to develop breakthrough new products and gain a competitive advantage. They’re looking for new technologies from the outside to speed the process,” said Andy Zynga, CEO of NineSigma, the leading innovation partner to organizations worldwide. “This drive to innovate is providing opportunities for entrepreneurs to be matched with organizations from other geographic regions or industries who have an immediate need for their solutions, and are willing to pay for them.”

This matchmaking is at the heart of open innovation, which involves “connecting organizations with the world” to accelerate the new solution development. Entrepreneurs are climbing onto the open innovation bandwagon to take advantage of new business development opportunities associated with this increasingly popular strategy. Indeed, a recent NineSigma survey shows that solution providers consider revenue growth to be the number-one benefit of open innovation.

For these innovators, NineSigma offers the chance to join the largest global innovation network of its kind, spanning 135 countries and diverse scientific and technology areas, from biotechnology to food science, and from energy to manufacturing. Solution providers register to be part of the network at no charge, and benefit from access to organizations with an explicit need for their technologies and solutions, and a transparent process that ensures protection of their intellectual property.

For organizations tapping into the rich resource of solution providers, there are rewards as well. NineSigma’s recent survey showed the leading benefits of open innovation to solution seekers are minimizing risk and accelerating time to market. NineSigma provides services to these organizations every step of the way to maximize the potential value of every collaboration - from problem definition, to broadly accessing innovators with relevant expertise, to filtering proposed solutions for quality and fit, to supporting successful negotiations between seekers and providers. The company also provides a broad range of other services to help them develop the people, corporate culture, and infrastructure that will enable a successful innovation strategy.

NineSigma will roll out a new program in the next two months for members of its dynamic innovation community. Solution providers who are interested in becoming part of the company’s global network can learn more at:

NineSigma, the leading innovation partner to organizations worldwide, today announced that it recently helped LAUNCH to identify and select ten entrepreneurial organizations whose breakthrough technologies will potentially transform how energy is delivered to developed and developing countries around the globe.

LAUNCH, a joint initiative of NASA, the US Agency for International Development (USAID), the Department of State, and NIKE, works to address large, sustainability-related challenges that no single government or commercial entity can solve alone. NineSigma has a unique approach to Open Innovation (OI) that enables solution seekers, like LAUNCH, to find solutions and partners beyond their industry, technical discipline and existing networks.

LAUNCH chose NineSigma to help with its LAUNCH: Energy Challenge, entitled Innovative Energy Technologies and Deployment Models for Sustainable Development, focused on finding solutions for transforming the generation and delivery of electricity. NineSigma’s proprietary process helps organizations define and focus complex problems and connect them with innovative solution providers through its open, global network. Using its core expertise, NineSigma helped NASA, USAID, the US Department of State, and NIKE draft an effective Need Statement, and distributed a Technology Brief to a broad spectrum of energy innovators, including companies, inventors and nonprofit organizations. Within just three months, NineSigma helped LAUNCH identify and review over 160 game-changing solutions.

“As the world’s population reaches record levels, and demands on the environment increase, the need for sustainable energy sources has never been more urgent. NineSigma shares this sense of urgency, and has the scientific acumen and large global network to streamline the process of finding solutions. NineSigma was integral to our process of identifying transformative technologies, and we are now beginning the important work of accelerating them forward into the world,” said Victor Friedberg, LAUNCH’s Executive Director.

“As citizens of the world, we are committed to using open innovation to tackle the problems that affect us all. The transformation of the world’s energy system is a challenge that is close to our hearts. We were pleased to work with LAUNCH to find many new technologically based solutions that hold tremendous promise,” said Andy Zynga, CEO of NineSigma.

NineSigma engages organizations with external innovation resources and enables them to share knowledge to accelerate the innovation cycle, whether they are in the private, public, or social sectors. Their proprietary and collaborative process has produced billions of dollars in tangible value. Companies such as Kraft, Philips, L’Oreal, Unilever, Denso and Suntory utilize NineSigma’s Open Innovation services to solve immediate challenges, fill product pipelines, integrate new knowledge into their organizations, close development gaps, and improve financial performance. NineSigma has the largest open global network of solution providers and an extensive database of existing solutions that spans all industries and technical disciplines. Our team integrates professionals from a variety of fields, including business leaders, innovation consultants and Ph.D.-level scientists.

LAUNCH is a global initiative to identify and support the innovative work poised to contribute to a sustainable future and accelerate solutions to meet urgent challenges facing our society. NASA, USAID, Department of State, and NIKE joined together to form LAUNCH in an effort to identify, showcase and support innovative approaches to global challenges through a series of forums. LAUNCH searches for visionaries, whose world-class ideas, technologies or programs show great promise for making tangible impacts on society.

For a full list of the innovators and their solutions, visit:

Today’s successful organizations would never consider making an acquisition without a legal agreement, or hiring a new leader without a clear strategy. Yet, even as organizations embrace Open Innovation as a strategy for staying competitive, many move ahead without the people, processes and technologies necessary to accelerate their "race to the top."

So notes the 2011 Open Innovation Scorecard Survey Report from NineSigma, a leading worldwide provider of innovation services. Through Open Innovation, more organizations than ever are looking to the outside world for the best ideas for new products, as well as solutions to pressing global problems. Yet NineSigma's recent survey of more than 360 professionals from organizations across multiple industries, shows that while 62 percent are highly effective in tapping into the creative brainpower of their colleagues, only 10 percent have the systems and processes in place to single out the most promising ideas, and quickly bring them to market.

Overall, the survey assesses companies’ ability to collaborate across three tiers - 1) within and across their organizations, 2) with their existing external networks, and 3) with the global innovation community.

"As the world continues to change at warp speed, Open Innovation is both a new frontier of inspiration, and a strategy that organizations must quickly master. Our report enables organizations to benchmark themselves against other innovators, and to identify new ways to improve their practices so they won’t be left behind," said Dr. Matthew Heim, President, NineSigma, who oversaw the research. “For instance, many would benefit by collaborating on new products with external partners that they wouldn’t typically consider, specifically, their suppliers and their customers."

The NineSigma report shows that the drive toward Open Innovation is not only strong among the largest enterprises; small and mid-size companies are climbing aboard, too. For example, 63 percent of those with revenues of $250,000 to $1 billion are adopting Open Innovation strategies. New social networking tools such as crowdsourcing are making it easier for these companies to "get in the game."

Addressing every aspect of Open Innovation—from technology to intellectual property agreements to choosing and rewarding the right innovation teams—the report provides a roadmap for companies, as well as governmental and nonprofit organizations across all industries. It provides actionable recommendations for identifying gaps and achieving leading-edge results from their Open Innovation programs.

Organizations that would like to learn more are invited to join a free NineSigma webinar at 10 am EDT Wednesday, November 2, 2011. Matthew Heim will lead the webinar, and will be joined by guest panelist Dick van Beelen, Director of Open Innovation, AkzoNobel.

To register for the webinar, “Measuring Your Way to OI Success,” please visit: To download a copy of the report, please visit:

TiE Ohio, the Ohio chapter of The International Entrepreneur, is pleased to announce the finalists for the 2011 TiE International Entrepreneur Awards. The awards were created to recognize the achievements of international entrepreneurs helping to reshape and rebuild Ohio's business landscape and to highlight how international entrepreneurs contribute to the local economy. The 2011 TiE International Entrepreneur Awards provide awards in 4 categories:

* Immigrant Entrepreneur Award <$5M. This award recognizes an entrepreneur who was born outside the U.S., started his or her company in Ohio, and the business currently generates annual revenues under $5M). Finalists are Laura Bennett (Embrace Pet Insurance), Dr. Charu Ramanathan (CardioInsight), and Bahman Taheri (Alphamicron).

* Immigrant Entrepreneur Award >$5M. This award recognizes an entrepreneur who was born outside the U.S., started his or her company in Ohio, and the business currently generates annual revenues above $5M). Finalists are Saji Daniel (Tradex), Stella Moga-Kennedy (Le Chaperon Rouge), and Alex Sonis (AVADirect).

* Global Entrepreneur Award. This award recognizes an entrepreneur, either foreign-born or local-born, who started his or her company in Ohio and has a global presence today). Finalists are Yuval Brisker (TOA Technologies), Dr. Mehran Mehregany (Nine Sigma), and Rini Das (Pakra).

* International Student Innovator Award. A new award this year, this award recognizes an international student currently enrolled at a higher education institution in Ohio (or graduated within the past year) who has shown leadership and entrepreneurial spirit. Finalists are Lingxiao Xue from CWRU (Chinese Student Housing Program), Kshitij C. Jha from the University of Akron (BienaTech), Mdrakibul Islam from the College of Wooster (Global Prospects) , and Abdullah Alkhaddah from Kent State University (H.O.M.E. Markets).

Award criteria considered in selecting the finalists include business success (revenue generated, capital raised, jobs created, progress with international vendors, entering new markets), impact and leadership in the Ohio community, and the innovation and creativity demonstrated in the and structuring the business. The Finalists will be profiled in the September issue of Inside Business Magazine.

Winners of the awards will be announced at the award ceremony on September 20, 2011 at Windows on the River starting at 5pm. Successful international entrepreneur Dr. Hiroyuki Fujita, President & CEO of Quality Electrodynamics, will deliver the keynote speech at the ceremony.

Jeanette Grasselli Brown and Dr. Anthony Yen will be honored by receiving the Community Catalyst Award at the ceremony to recognize their efforts in creating global connections for the region.

The International Entrepreneurs (TiE) is an organization of entrepreneurs who connect, network, and mentor globally to create the next generation of successful entrepreneurs. Founded in Silicon Valley by immigrant tech entrepreneurs, TiE has 57 chapters around the globe. TiE is now the world's largest organization for fostering entrepreneurship; its members include some of the world's most well-known entrepreneurs such as Gururaj "Desh" Deshpande and Vinod Khosla. TiE Ohio, a statewide chapter, is the 50th chapter of the global TiE network. It fulfills a critical niche in Ohio's business development landscape by focusing specifically on immigrant and minority entrepreneurs within the region, and by encouraging other such entrepreneurs to consider Ohio as a place to launch their new businesses. TiE Ohio provides focused support to entrepreneurs through mentoring, business education programming, and a business venture competition (TiEQuest).

For more information, visit

NineSigma, the leading provider of open innovation solutions, announced they have formed a strategic partnership with design powerhouse Nottingham-Spirk to help innovation-driven companies take a product to market in less than 18 months. Leveraging Nottingham-Spirk’s comprehensive product development capabilities and NineSigma’s access to cutting-edge innovation and knowledge, the two Cleveland, Ohio-based firms are offering companies potential for significant value creation unparalleled in the industry today.

“We are extremely pleased to be partnering with Nottingham-Spirk on this exciting new offering,” said Andy Zynga, CEO of NineSigma. “Their immense capabilities in design, development and prototyping, as well as their client-focus and business approach to innovation make them an outstanding strategic partner for us. With this new service we are leveraging the core capabilities of both our firms and respective experience in the open innovation space to create new revenue streams for clients in a very condensed period of time.”

“Given the current global economic climate, the opportunity to rapidly create blockbuster new products will dramatically improve speed to market and offer great economic benefit for companies across industries,” said John Nottingham, co-President and co-Founder of Nottingham-Spirk. “Like NineSigma, we are constantly looking for ways to help our clients dramatically increase competitive advantage by redefining what’s possible through collaborative innovation.”

NineSigma and Nottingham-Spirk will work together with clients to identify opportunities to create new products or transform existing product platforms. The process addresses the complete innovation value chain from ideation to design and engineering through to prototyping and manufacturing. Technology searches and market intelligence are an integrated part of the process, depending on the scope of the need. The process can be applied to a single product or a broader new product pipeline. One of the key differentiators of this service is the focus on a particular desired price point for the future product, which is known as “value invention”.

For more information, visit: or

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