Green business, green careers and job training
Solutions that build smart communities with green careers and sustainable businesses!

Save on Career Education through Lorman Education

Our readers are offered a discount on Lorman seminars and courses. Check out their business, management and legal offers at this link to qualify for our discounts. They also offer green business training opportunities. Please visit for a complete listing of courses. Register online or call Lorman at 866-352-9539.
Home > By DEPARTMENTS > Green Manufacturing > Product Development > Manufacturing Design & Engineering for Sustainable Business

Innovation of Innovation - Open Idea Mining to Global Thinkers

Companies (called seekers) work with InnoCentive to craft a well-defined challenge and pick a dollar amount for the award. InnoCentive then alerts its network of solvers, and those who engage in a challenge are given access to online project rooms...

Find green business solutions

InnoCentive Meets Product Development Challenges with Online Network of Innovators

InnoCentive was set up by Eli Lilly in 2001 as an experimental way to farm out some of the giant drugmaker’s biggest product development challenges by posting them on the Web and inviting people around the world to submit competing solutions, with a substantial monetary prize as the reward for the winner.

Lilly spun out the company as an independent venture, and it has since diversified beyond the life sciences to a range of disciplines, such as computer science and cleantech.

Network of Innovative "Solvers"

InnoCentive is upgrading its platform and expanding its network of “solvers,” people who submit solutions in hopes of winning awards that range from $10,000 to $1 million. To date, solvers have collected over $3 million in awards, according to InnoCentive.

It works like this: Companies (called “seekers”) work with InnoCentive to craft a well-defined challenge and pick a dollar amount for the award. InnoCentive then alerts its network of solvers, and those who choose to engage in a particular challenge are given access to online project rooms containing proprietary details about the seeker’s project. At the end of the challenge period, the seeker evaluates the solutions and chooses one as the winner; InnoCentive then helps transfer the rights to the solution from the solver to the seeker’s organization.

It isn’t “crowdsourcing” in the typical Web 2.0 sense of throwing open a problem and soliciting thoughts and contributions from thousands of random Internet surfers. It would be more accurate to describe InnoCentive’s platform as a mechanism for soliciting RFPs (requests for proposals) from a much broader cross-section of experts than any company could reach through the traditional business consulting process.

InnoCentive CEO Dwayne Spradlin says, "it’s ready for prime time. In the past six months, we’ve added challenge categories including business and entrepreneurship, engineering and design, physical sciences, and mathematics and computer sciences. We’ve increased the number of tools we offer—we used to focus on deep research-type tools but now we also offer “ideation” tools that help large numbers of people brainstorm very quickly, and electronic RFPs so that clients can find business partners very quickly, and help managing intellectual property rights. So we’ve gone beyond the proof-of-concept stage to the stage of getting InnoCentive into the hands of as many organizations as possible."

Planet Eureka

Companies like Procter & Gamble use Innocentive’s system to find new product ideas faster than they might on their own, and the model has even inspired imitators such as Ohio-based Planet Eureka, which launched last in April 2008.


Edited by Carolyn Allen, owner/editor of California Green Solutions
Green Solution Providers
Green companies directory
your green solutions - business, nonprofit, government program.
It's free.
| innovation | trends | product development | business trends |

Share in Social Media

Sign Up For News & Information
Subscribe to our free solutions newsletter
"Ten+ Tips for Greening Your Office"

Read prior issues: California GreenLines

Search For Green Solutions

Custom Search
Green Career Center
Green Job Wizard
Career Certifications Directory

green job training certifications
Green Biz Center
Solutions For Green
Directory of Green Companies

Solutions for Alternative Energy

rose in natural systems
Green Living Center
Solutions for Green: Consumers

Solutions for Remodeling

Backyard Nature Center


"Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do." Goethe

Related Articles

Resources for Recycled Content products and materials

Submit environmental products and reviews for review and rating

“My Air, My Health Challenge” - Innovation awards from EPA

Related Green Resources

Marcom Tips
Interactive & Video Tips

Career Resources

We encourage lifelong learning to support sustainable communities and provide these select resources to help you pursue green and sustainable self-development:

Lorman Business Training Directory of On-line Business and Compliance Classes

Green Job Wizard Job and Career Certifications Directory

Job & Career Resources

Sales & Marketing
Human Resources

Green Economy

Business Sectors
Natural Resources

Solutions For Green

About Us ~ Privacy Policy
Contact Us ~ Home

Text Link Ads

AD: Place your link here


We help you green your career, workplace and community by connecting you to quality green, sustainable and high performance resources. California Green Solutions focuses attention on effective solutions that sustain our natural systems. You can support our editorial work by supporting our advertisers and spreading the word about best practices and green solutions.
California Green Solutions is a publication of Carolyn Allen ~ Copyright ©2006-2030 Carolyn Allen

B2B | Job Certifications | Alternative Energy | Events | Green Directory | LED Lights | Remodeling |
CONSUMERS | Backyard Nature | Senior Health | MultiMedia Marketing | Marketing | Networking Events | Japan |