Since launching in 2000, NineSigma became one of the first providers of open innovation essentially setting the standard of open innovation practice. Big name brands such as Kraft, Philips, and Unilever have learnt to engage with the open innovation process tackling a wealth of challenges resulting in significant financial improvements. NineSigma currently boasts the largest community of solution providers and a comprehensive database of established innovation solutions. In June 2012, NineSigma launched NineSights, the first platform that combined open innovation with social media via a single hub. Its partnership with Agrokor illustrates the increasing popularity of open innovation as it spreads beyond Europe, US and Asia into Eastern Bloc continents and beyond.
Through this relationship with NineSigma, Agrokor and its companies will enjoy access to the world's greatest network of innovators. With this investment we have started to adopt a new innovation strategy, open innovation, which will be implemented through all of our business processes. Our plan is to strengthen our own research and development capacities, integrate new knowledge, and expand our product portfolio to successfully respond to competitive challenges - Ivica Todoric, CEO of The Agrokor Group.Although largely unheard of outside of its homeland of Croatia, the Agrokor Group is generally considered to be the largest company in Europe's Adria region, a big leap from its early days as producers of flowers and flower seedlings. After it was founded in 1976 the company expanded its operations over the years acquiring a variety of other business, including Konzum, the country's largest supermarket chain with over 600 stores, as well as big names in retail, newsstands, and even agriculture. By 2009 the group recorded annual sales of over EUR 3.6 billion ranking it number 18 in Deloitte's list of Central Europe's biggest companies.
Crowdsourcing and open innovation continue to be recognised as the leading provider of innovative product design, and marketing techniques for a digital age where Web 2.0 is becoming increasing adapted into many companies' everyday operations. Agrokor has already proven its ability to thrive in one of the toughest regions in the world despite a crippling financial climate. As consumer-centric engagement through the web spreads across the continents, Agorkor's partnership with NineSigma, generally considered to be the leader in its field, should it help it remain competitive and prosperous in an ever changing and demanding market.
Image Credit; Joakim Westerlund