Paris. 09 April 2019. The 1st Innovathon by the Pacte PME was a real success hosted in Safran R&T Center. The goal of this Open Innovation working group was to share best practices in innovation between key accounts and SMEs, in order to maintain the network of industry ties in France and Europe.

Some 80 representatives of 68 SMEs and industrial groups took part in this first Innovathon organized by the Pacte PME, held March 21 this year at Safran Tech, in Saclay. The results of the meeting are then formalized in an update to a White Paper, and specifically a Guide to Best Practice in Open Innovation, which was initially published in 2016 and will be presented to the General Assembly of the Pacte PME next June.

Innovathon Pacte PME

According to Laurent Deleville, Safran’s Open Innovation Director: “This approach to managing internal and external change is essential for the Group and allows us to establish new collaborative relationships between contractors and purchasers. This second event organized with the Pacte PME reinforces Safran’s position as a leader in Open Innovation.”

One of the challenges this time around was in introducing the element of role-play, where the representatives brainstormed like startups would do on topics such as the construction of the ecosystem and its sustainability, or the strategic vision and outlook for innovation. The challenge was to pick out the key factors needed to successfully establish a lasting innovation partnership.

Each group then presented its analysis and its results in pitch format. The three best practices that were most popular with the audience and could be implemented immediately were awarded a prize. This year, the three winning proposals were: DEAD (Decompartmentalize, Evolve, Alert, De facto people) in the “Nurturing your ecosystem” category; a company that offers two solutions: to help SMEs identify the needs of a major group and help in the organization of processes, as well as developing specific tools for Open Innovation; and the solution Fast POC, which revolutionizes the way POCs are conducted between large groups and SMEs.

Pacte PME, a joint association created in 2010, brings together 56 key accounts from the private and public sectors, 32 pools of competitiveness and professional organizations and 15,000 French SMEs. Its main goal is to strengthen relations between key accounts and SMEs in order to encourage the emergence of new business leaders, or Intermediate-Size Enterprises (ETI).