Introducing real and effective innovation represents a challenge for any business. While many companies continue to indulge in circular discussions about what changes can be effected, Merck has long been making tangible efforts to instigate its own innovative transformation through the Merck Innovation Center. The idea of an “innovation enter” is not a concept exclusive to Merck, however: across the globe, businesses are beginning to see the advantages that such a hub for creative and entrepreneurial talent can present.
With this in mind, we concentrated our most recent Innovators’ Club event on the following question: what constitutes a truly successful innovation center? With talks from leading innovation experts, a panel discussion, and a question and answer session with our audience, we discussed important insights into the world of innovation centers.
The event got off to a smooth start thanks to the host Frank Mattes, who introduced our guest speakers and panelists: the Merck Innovation Center’s Dr. Carsten Vogt, Andreas Sprock, the Head of Innovation Group Management at SIX Group, Dr. Thomas Paulus from the KSB Business Innovation Lab, and Peter Guse from Robert Bosch Start-Up GmbH.
Before the panel discussion got underway, each of the panelists presented their experiences within the realm of innovation. The first to speak was our very own Dr Carsten Vogt, the Head of Innovation at Merck. He gave a contextual overview to the Innovators’ Club event, setting out the strategic objectives of the Merck Innovation Center and elaborating on what the building itself represents for Merck’s future. The talks of our other guests took the discussion beyond Merck, touching on everything from unsuccessful attempts to implement innovation to theories surrounding ideation and creative thinking.
The final section of the event involved a question and answer session with members of the audience in the Merck Innovation Center in Darmstadt, as well as those following the event in real-time online. Such a wide base of interaction meant that the questions asked varied a great deal and the panelists covered all manner of topics ranging from ethical approaches to innovation to the ways in which innovation can be funded. The insinuations of questions such as “what steps do you think an old-fashioned company needs to take in order to establish a more innovative culture?” left the panelists chuckling and added to the lively and relaxed atmosphere of the Innovators’ Club.
The Innovators’ Club is proud to have hosted such an enlightening discussion that not only generated ideas for the future of the Merck Innovation Center but also fully engaged the 100 live attendees and 1400 people following the Facebook livestream of the event. We would like to thank our panelists and audience members for their contributions, and invite anyone who missed out on the Innovators’ Club to catch up with us here.