Hassan Rmaile, Avery Dennison’s Senior Vice President and General Manager, Europe, Middle East and North Africa & Global Innovation, Label and Graphic Materials, shares his perspective on why open innovation is essential to challenge the status quo in a developed region.
Europe has driven many innovations and advancements of the modern age. We’ve seen our civilisation leap forward off the back of European industry forging ahead, innovating and then mass producing. Yet it’s from this position of historical ambition and exploration that we now find ourselves lagging behind. European industry has reached a scale that is slower, less agile, uncomfortable with risk, uncertainty and the threat of failure, the latter being key to learning and progress.
When we look to emerging markets, we see a higher population per capita of start-ups and entrepreneurs, we see far more agility with industry operating in a leaner fashion. However, they often lack the infrastructure, operational excellence, the network and the deep-rooted tried and tested expertise of their developed world counterparts.
The best of both worlds
It’s important to acknowledge where our strengths and weaknesses lie in order to appropriately address them. What we have observed is that there’s a natural synergy between the mothership and new start-up enterprises. Where one has weaknesses, the other has strengths. While large corporations such as Avery Dennison have the financial expertise, the financial muscle, the established networks and the existing infrastructure, innovation has largely and historically focused on material science.