Frequently Asked Questions
What is Innovation?
Innovation is the process of translating an idea or invention into a good or service that creates value or for which customers will pay.
What is Open Innovation?
Open Innovation is a cutting edge business practice whereby companies and organisations acknowledge that they cannot employ all the smart people and experts to solve all their challenges or needs in-house. It is the process of going outside an organisation’s four walls to find or inspire new innovations, talents and technologies.
What is Regional Connect?
Regional Connect is a web-based platform that will connect innovators, inventors and solution providers with solution seekers in government and the private sector, whilst ensuring the protection of intellectual property on both sides. The platform builds on the expertise and experience of a proven Open Innovation mediation model to deliver value to innovators and customers.
Who can take part in the Regional Connect Open Innovation Solution Exchange?
Anyone! It is ‘open’ to anyone, whether it is an individual, company, research institute, SME, government department or academic institute. Absolutely anyone can take part in the Regional Connect Solution Exchange.
What is a Challenge?
A Challenge is a specific business problem defined by a solution seeker that articulates the problem, key specifications and the desired results of a potential solution. It is written into a concise and compelling 2-3 page document inviting potential solvers to respond with a proposal of their solution to the challenge.
What is a Technology Offer?
While a Challenge is a specific business problem defined by a solution seeker that articulates the problem, key specifications and the desired results of a potential solution, a Technology Offer operates in reverse. Innovators, who have a technology that could be of interest to the broader market, can submit a Technology Offer using our preformatted template. Registered members of the Regional Connect Open Innovation Solution Exchange are able to respond directly to any Technology Offer.
How do I submit a solution?
First, you need to register online at www.oiregionalconnect.com. To respond to a challenge, click on the Submit Response button and complete all the online questions . Download the Response template and complete this offline. Once ready, upload the completed response template and submit your response. You can save your submission as a draft if you are not ready to submit. To view draft submissions, go to your Dashboard.
What happens to my submission?
After submitting your documentation, you will get an email reply as acknowledgement of receipt. All submissions will be evaluated and feedback will be given in due course, after the deadline.
What is in it for me/my company/my organisation? What do I get if my submission is selected as a possible solution?
The ‘opportunity’ or reward for a successful submission is clearly indicated on each respective challenge. There is no direct benefit for submitting or replying to any of the challenges, other than becoming part of a potential network of innovators. You/your company/your organisation stand to benefit after your submission is selected as a possible solution by the challenge sponsor. The challenge sponsor will engage and initiate negotiations with the successful solution providers in order to track the way forward. A non-disclosure agreement will be signed in order for the parties involved to start sharing confidential information where necessary.
How is my submission/information protected?
The information contained in your first submission is not confidential and not protected. You are therefore advised not to submit any information deemed to be confidential e.g. when first submitting/replying you might explain what your solution does and not how it does it. Simply put, you need to give enough details in your first submission for the challenge sponsor to approach you for more details. Before releasing any confidential information, both parties will sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) in order to protect your intellectual property (IP) and going forward, all negotiations will be legally controlled and protected.
Who can see my responses?
Other users cannot see your response to a Challenge, Technology Offer or Needs. Only members of the evaluation team for a particular Challenge, publisher of the Technology Offer or Needs list, can see your response.
How do I respond to a Technology Offer?
When you view a specific Technology Offer and you want to respond or show your interest in this Technology Offer, click on the Submit Respond button on the Technology Offer page. This will open a template which will guide you through the information required when responding to a Technology Offer. This includes your contact details and a free text area where you can express your specific interest. Before submitting your message, you have to confirm that you have read and agree with the IP as outlined on the Regional Connect website.
How do I submit a Technology Offer?
As a registered member of Regional Connect, you need to be logged on to submit a new technology offer. Click on the Submit Technology Offer button on the Technology Offer page and complete all the mandatory fields on the tabs. Only when you have agreed to the terms and conditions and completed all the fields, will you be able to submit your technology offer. You are strongly advised to ensure that you submit only non-confidential information and that your IP is protected. Once submitted, you will receive an email confirmation of your submission. The review process will take a few days. If more information is required, you will be contacted via email.
What do I do if I have further questions?
If the questions relate to the website, contact the Webmaster but if it is related to a particular challenge, contact the Resource Team of that particular challenge. The helpdesk contact is indicated on the Technology Offer or Challenge brief.