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Innovation projects may sound impressive and full of potential, but how can you be sure that the benefits will outweigh the costs – not to mention the drain on resources? Will all that time spent planning and developing these projects result in the next big breakthrough, or even a vastly improved business process?

Coinnovation (collaborative innovation) can be a game changer for organizations. It’s when two or more parties develop products or services together, sharing resources as well as the costs of research, development and prototyping.

This approach is especially beneficial for innovation projects with long-term development cycles and high costs.

Shared expertise expedites innovation

A coinnovation partnership enables all the partners involved to access each other’s industry-specific expertise and skills. Differing perspectives and cross-disciplinary exchanges can break through silos to create a more holistic understanding of the challenges to be solved.  

When everyone involved shares their market knowledge, experience and resources, conversations flow, ideas become inspiration and innovation can become a reality much faster than if you were working alone.

Simulating and refining these ideas in a real-world environment helps the partners identify problems and contribute to a realistic innovation roadmap.

Coinnovation in the desert

The City of Las Vegas isn’t just about the glitz and glamour of the famous Strip. Here, in the Mojave Desert, public authorities have made technology the driving force behind the city’s transformation as part of a long-time partnership with NTT DATA.

To create a safer, better connected, sustainable and intelligently planned urban landscape, the city is combining IoT devices, secure networks and edge-computing analytics, backed up by cloud infrastructure, to process vast amounts of data fast and efficiently. This enables officials to act swiftly and make smarter decisions.

“Now, we’re able to gather analytics and data 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and have a much more robust set of data to make smart decisions,” says City of Las Vegas Deputy Innovation and Technology Director Chris Craig.

For instance, the city now has a smart-park system that detects people, keeps track of occupancy and supports crowd control by sounding an alert when a park reaches capacity. It also detects incidents, allowing first responders and other officials to respond more quickly.

BMW’s coinnovation laboratory

Another example comes from the BMW Innovation Hub in Dingolfing, Germany – a secure development and testing area for technologies such as 5G, AI and big data analysis.

Use cases are developed in cooperation with NTT DATA Germany and Intel Germany under the same conditions as in the BMW Group’s production network, with no interruptions to vehicle production.

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Play the BMW and NTT DATA partnership video

6 ways to prepare your organization for coinnovation

To improve the chances of your project being fully developed and well-funded, first answer these six questions:

  1. What’s the big idea? Establish a clear understanding of the problem or opportunity from the start, so that all partners are aligned on what they are working toward.
  2. How does it relate to current or future business objectives? Understand how the project will fit into your organization’s overall strategy.
  3. What are the relevant market trends, and is similar technology being used by other organizations? You should know whether the innovation will create a competitive advantage, enhance your current technology or create something unique.
  4. How will it improve your efficiency or productivity? Analyze the potential cost or time savings the innovation will bring to your organization.
  5. Do you have stakeholder support? Without stakeholder involvement, there is a risk that the innovation will be underused or lack the functionality required by the stakeholders. 
  6. How will the innovation be rolled out in your day-to-day operations? Formulate the steps you’ll need to integrate it into your existing operations.

Let NTT DATA help you innovate

We believe that innovation is the only sustainable form of differentiation, allowing you to challenge the status quo and test what’s possible.  

At NTT DATA, we work with your team to manage ambitious innovation projects and deliver outcomes faster than the traditional market cycle. Here are some of our credentials:


Read more about how NTT DATA is creating a new world through innovation and see how we coinnovate with our partners and clients at the NTT Experience Center.