IBM Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Samuel J. Palmisano announced that IBM will invest $100 million over the next two years to pursue ten new businesses generated by InnovationJam, an unprecedented experiment in collaborative innovation held earlier this year.
InnovationJam brought together over 150,000 people from 104 countries. They were mostly IBM employees, but it also included family members, academics, business partners and clients from 67 companies. Over two 72-hour sessions they engaged in online conversations about innovation, explored some of IBM’s most advanced technologies from our research labs, considered their application to real-world problems as well as to new business opportunities, and altogether posted more than 46,000 ideas.
Collaborative innovation models require you to trust the creativity and intelligence of your employees, your clients and other members of your innovation network,
said Palmisano. “We opened up our labs, said to the world, ‘Here are our crown jewels, have at them’. The Jam — and programs like it – are greatly accelerating our ability to innovate in meaningful ways for business and society.”
The top ten ideas include:
- Real-Time Translation Services: Offering advanced, real-time translation capabilities across major languages as a service for high-potential applications, industries and environments, such as healthcare, government and travel and transportation;
- Smart Healthcare Payment Systems: Overhauling healthcare payment and management systems through the use of small personal devices (such as smart cards) that will automatically trigger financial transactions, the processing of insurance claims and the updating of electronic health records; and
- “Big Green” Innovations: Launching a new business unit in IBM that will focus on applying the company’s advanced expertise and technologies to emerging environmental opportunities, such as advanced water modeling, water filtration via nanotechnology and efficient solar power systems.
The number one idea coming from InnovationJam was 3D Internet: “partnering with others to take the best of virtual worlds and gaming environments to build a seamless, standards-based, 3D Internet – the next platform for global commerce and day-to-day business operations.”
Sam Palmisano also visits with IBM employees — including serious researchers — the 3D version of the Forbidden City in Second Life virtual world. Palmisano’s online avatar was there to announce a new business unit to apply virtual world technologies to real life. More than 320 IBM researchers, developers and consultants are already working with dozens of customers in virtual worlds to see how these future 3D Internet environments can change business and society.