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When it comes to innovation, how should “Fear of Missing Out” play out in a big corporation?

Twitter: @nokianetworks

The art and science of decoding 3rd party innovation

“Fear of Missing Out” (FOMO) is one of the driving motivators in the tech industry today. FOMO creates a healthy dose of rigor, pushing us to constantly sweep the industry for new technologies, business models, and processes that we can then leverage across Nokia. We actively seek innovations in areas that can help us create a sizable positive impact for our customers and optimize R&D.

Nokia has a long heritage and firm dedication to pioneering R&D work. Our innovation is powered by world-renown Nokia Bell Labs. We aren’t kidding when we say that we’re creating the technologies to shape the future of connectivity and we back it up with a serious R&D spend of over €3.1 billion as of Q3 2016 (non-IFRS).

Still, despite this financial commitment, we all know we must do more to deal with massive disruptions that are hitting every industry, armies of entrepreneurs that have new ways of solving problems, and blurring lines across different markets.

This is the main motivation behind our Nokia Global Innovation Scouting (GIS) team that I have the privilege to lead. At GIS, we are continually seeking 3rd party innovations that can help us enable growth or reduce costs. These innovations might emerge from startups or established companies. We are active in hubs including Silicon Valley, France, Japan, Israel, London, Finland, Germany, and wherever innovation takes us. We have identified hundreds of innovative companies that can potentially match the needs of our business groups and are in various stages of evaluating these innovations.

While most believe importing innovations from outside into the corporation is essential, the path is not easy. I call it the “art and science of decoding 3rd party innovation”:

It’s a science because we have to evaluate the relevant technologies and conduct due diligence in order to qualify the innovations that we bring in. And it’s an art because it requires pattern recognition, pattern matching and pattern shaping, to ensure that these can be adapted to what business groups need and can be successfully deployed.

We have many ways to connect and innovate with us at Nokia

Co-innovation with the ecosystem is an essential part of our strategy to bring in people with creative ideas and smart solutions.

  • Got an innovation to propose? Please send us an email to or login on our Open Ecosystem Network and create a project to share your innovation idea.
  • Looking to co-innovate? Contribute to solve the industry challenges posted on Open Ecosystem Network, together with the ecosystem of experts (including our Bell Labs engineers and researchers), entrepreneurs, students and employees of other big companies.
  • Looking to co-create new solutions for the Internet of Things and test on an open live network development and trial environment with Nokia ecosystem partners, start-ups and other contributors? Then check out our Nokia Innovation Platform
  • Looking to explore new markets for your commercial products?  Nokia is also the founding member of the ng Connect Program where end-to-end solution prototypes of multi-company commercial products are integrated and market tested for business model validation, with the goal to speed time-to-market of new high value connected experiences.

Share your thoughts on this topic by replying below – or join the Twitter discussion with @nokianetworks using #innovation

Azita Arvani

About Azita Arvani

Azita is the head of Global Innovation Scouting in Nokia. She admits having one of the funnest jobs in Nokia as she gets to interact with innovators and entrepreneurs outside and inside Nokia, and search for the coolest and most disruptive tech to bring to Nokia, just like she loves to travel to the world’s most amazing places on her time off and connect with the people there.

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