External Innovation: The Value of Partnering with an Ecosystem

Leading the charge for innovation within any company is no easy feat.

Healthcare companies must constantly develop new ways to stay competitive in the ever-evolving healthcare landscape. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted further the need to diversify capabilities and revenue streams to remain competitive and resilient. 

Perhaps you are someone driving innovation forward at your organization. How can you ensure that the innovation methods you use have a realized impact on both your bottom line, and, more importantly, patient care?

To drive innovation, several industry leaders and healthcare systems have turned to internal initiatives, building innovation programs and labs which create an infrastructure that allows them to foster new ideas and remain nimble in executing them.

Others have ramped up their efforts by joining an innovation ecosystem and collaborating with other industry partners (life sciences, health systems, startups, etc) to accelerate and de-risk innovation in ways that can’t be accomplished through internal innovation alone.

Innovation Ecosystems Offer new opportunities to realize results

External innovation through an innovation ecosystem gives your organization a competitive advantage. By design, an innovation ecosystem allows you to work collaboratively with other organizations across the value chain to test and scale ideas quickly. 

This partnership unlocks access to expertise, resources, technology, and funds that may otherwise be unavailable in-house – providing you with a more efficient way of working and affecting change.

Joining an innovation ecosystem unlocks synergies that can be difficult to access on your own:

  • Keeping pace with innovation trends – Belonging to an ecosystem allows you to see new technologies and business models firsthand. Such knowledge can impact your decisions on acquisitions, investments, or positioning for the future.
  • Accessing leading talent and insights – Innovation ecosystems give you access to niche talent pools and thought leadership that drive first-rate research and design (R&D), enabling you to partner with experts and tackle new innovations that might be unavailable to competitors.
  • Identifying collaboration opportunities – As you team up with ecosystem partners, including startups, universities, and corporations, you can develop solutions and identify potential acquisition targets that can provide new capabilities or fill in gaps for your company. These relationships can cut down on the time needed to finalize deals and bring new innovations to market.
  • Cultivating relationships and trust – Besides being at the forefront of healthcare innovation trends, an ecosystem also allows you to build relationships over the long term that can be drawn upon when you need to capitalize on an innovation – uniquely positioning you for early and exclusive opportunities that align with your organization’s priorities.
  • Conducting, designing, and developing innovations – Working together, ecosystem partners and their capabilities can activate the innovation development process through integrated activities that would take far more time individually, speeding up the process of successfully launching innovative new healthcare solutions.
  • Prototyping and piloting rapidly – Concepts are quickly driven from ideas to prototypes to pilots that can be tested in innovation labs allowing you to mimic real-world scenarios and problem solve any glitches before innovations are implemented into your organization.
  • Connecting to needed funding – Budget strains are a reality of our healthcare system. Joining an innovation ecosystem gives you access to corporate partners that have the venture capital to invest in innovations that will move the needle in the healthcare sector.
  • Promoting via multiple platforms – A healthcare ecosystem allows you to commercialize your innovation with help from marketing experts and provides exposure across partner distribution channels. That means your organization gains clout from belonging to an ecosystem of industry experts that together are paving the way for the future of healthcare.

Imagine the ability to extend your in-house innovation capabilities in partnership with like-minded organizations to identify synergies, impact your bottom line, and, most importantly, improve patient outcomes. Innovation ecosystems provide those opportunities to realize results.

Contact the 11TEN team to learn more about innovation ecosystems.