Building an open innovation exchange for the rail & related industries

Scoping and development of a strategy for product development.

The client was looking to strengthen its R&D capability and strategy through building a collaborative innovation community in its rail industries, ie an open innovation exchange platform.

The exchange aims to bring government, private sector, academia, and society together to solve specific and relevant problems to improve competitiveness, promote local innovation, and enhance our social license to operate.

To this end, the client requested RIIS to undertake an initial scoping exercise that will determine the level of interest in a Rail & Related Industries OI Exchange. RIIS’ specific mandate was to establish high-level partnerships with various stakeholders and to further identify strategic partners who may wish to fund components of this OI Exchange together with the client.

It was expected that this OI platform will create significant opportunities to strengthen innovation across the entire supply chain, contribute towards a more competitive pricing model, support enterprise development, and boost the client’s competitive position across the continent.

The project plan involved stakeholder mapping, roadmap delivery, strategy scoping, and exchange platform description. The expected project outcomes were:

  • An increase in industry-led innovation within South Africa and Africa;
  • Lower innovation and R&D costs;
  • Accelerated innovation and R&D cycles; and
  • Improved stakeholder engagement throughout the client’s related industries.

The project outcomes tied into the scoping of the OI exchange to ensure that there were no gaps developed in the product and service specifications. The OI exchange designed was backed by research strategy, a clear mechanism for identifying challenges to develop efficient solutions, and a collaboration centred approach that enables activeness within the platform.

The final recommendations made by RIIS allowed the client to shape the initial direction of the platform, plan the funding and finances of the exchange platform while also onboarding interested parties, thereby leading to an inclusiveness exchange platform for the industry.



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