Friday, March 3, 2017

SMBC Signs MoU to Partner with NineSigma

In addition to building a platform to realize open innovation among business partners introduced in the last article, SMBC seems to be trying to move the supplier's open innovation a step further.

SMBC announced on February 27 that it signed a memorandum of understanding with NineSigma Japan. NineSigma provides an open innovation platform that holds a network of approximately 2 million researchers and engineers around the world and a network of experts with about 50 technologically dominant nations. By collaborating with NineSigma, SMBC will be able to support internal company needs of internal business partners, technical exploration, and collaborative research with partners. Even NineSigma will be able to acquire new needs providers, so it can be said to be a win-win relationship.

Such an intermediary service is basically a fee-based business by introducing a solution provider who can provide a solution for a particular need of a particular company. Therefore, it is challenging to realize business scalability.
However, there is a certain need for this type of services. Eventually a service provider who has the largest network of companies (solution seekers) and researchers and engineers (solution providers) will win business success. 

My concern is that Japanese non-global companies (especially SMEs) may not make the fullest possible use of this service, because of communication problem with overseas researchers in seeking joint research and development.

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