Last year, we launched our first-ever and highly successful Open Innovation Challenge together with selected suppliers. We’ll be starting another round of brainstorming on 10 August 2016. The focus this year will be on ‘Alternative sealing materials and solutions’ and this time the call for ideas will be a very public one. This means that all ideas are welcome and anyone interested should definitely have their say.

After completing our first Open Innovation Challenge, we were asked by many of our employees and suppliers when we would next run the programme and whether they could take part too. We were also asked why the programme wasn’t open to the public. This thoroughly positive feedback has prompted us to hold yet another competition for innovative concepts this year and make it open to everyone.

Alternative sealing concepts and materials

Our focus this time is on alternative solutions and concepts for seals in filter systems and, in particular, the possibility of using new materials. The questions that spring to mind include: What materials might be considered for use in sealing solutions (including materials that are not at all based on elastomers)? What geometries might allow for a smart solution? What would the potential counterparts look like?

When coming up with ideas for liquid and air filter systems, there are some technical requirements that should ideally be satisfied. Details on these requirements can be found on our website.

New approaches to innovation

The Open Innovation project is intended to provide new ways of encouraging innovation. By opening our innovation process up to the outside world, we can draw on previously untapped external expertise to boost our potential for innovation. At the same time, we are opening our eyes to a whole new array of concepts, as ideas and suggestions that have never occurred to anyone before or have never got off the ground are now, as part of this open and inclusive approach, given the chance to evolve into the finest alternative solutions of the future. We want to provide a platform for boundless imagination, unaffected by the demands of customer projects and deadlines.

Interested participants have until 10 October to submit their suggestions and take part in the challenge. We will select promising suggestions and invite the people behind the ideas to MANN+HUMMEL to present and discuss them. We are committed to implementing the most promising ideas within joint innovation projects. The aim of these projects is to team up with the person who provided the inspiration and develop their concept into an application and, potentially, an item for series production.