We spoke with Damien Roybon, Head of Log'In: an open innovation program initiated by Daher and dedicated to logistics businesses and technologies. So what is his vision of an open innovation program? How do you bring together different players? How do you bring solutions to light? What is the role of a collaborative culture?

Damien shares his experience on an effective open innovation program.

How did the Log'In open innovation program come about? 

The Daher Group has been an industrial group, a logistician and aircraft manufacturer for 160 years now. For more than 20 years, it has been developing through collaborative schemes. It is a certainty for us: collaboration leads to an acceleration of innovation and new solutions. 

In 2019, the government called on Patrick Daher, chairman of the Daher group, and Éric Hémar, chairman of ID logistic. It has asked them to produce a report on the situation and challenges of the logistics sector. 

This report included several recommendations, and one of the axes was the creation of a place dedicated toinnovation, promoting meetings and the development ofcollaborative innovation schemes.

As Daher has some experience in this area, we proposed a program dedicated to logistics businesses and technologies in the context of the call for projects entitled "Acceleration platforms for the industry of the future". This is how theLog'In open innovation program came into being and how we broughtcollaborative innovation to the logistics sector. 

What does Log'In actually consist of? 

It is true that the logistics sector is not necessarily used to collaboration in view of the jobs it performs. 

Often, logisticians compare themselves to their peers in their sector: industrial logisticians, BtoC, e-commerce, etc. We have therefore chosen to promote logistics in a simple way. What is logistics? Very simply, it is bringing an object or a person from point A to point B. And when we look at logistics from this angle, we manage to get companies of all sizes and from all sectors to work together to develop solutions. Thus, companies from the mass distribution sector manage to collaborate and exchange with retailers and/or manufacturers. 

Collaborating through anopen innovation program does not mean that they have to reveal their strategy. Rather, it is about sharing and co-constructing to find solutions to real problems. 

So the Log'In open innovation program is taking shape in a physical location?

Yes, it is a physical location. The Daher Group is present throughout France, particularly in the Paris, Grenoble and Marseille regions, and in the Nantes and Toulouse areas. And in Toulouse, we opened a 20,000 m2 building in 2020, where 6,000 m2 are entirely dedicated to Log'In. This space is transformed into office space, coworking, events and training that we can adapt to accommodate a maximum number of people.

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The physical location is only one aspect of the Log'in program. Theinnovation support and training are carried out throughout the country. The Toulouse platform Log'in is a "base camp" of the program. It hosts meetings and events, and these bring together players from all over the territory. We also plan to launch webinars in order to reach a wider audience from a geographical point of view.

We organize meetings and participative workshops to share experiences and generate ideas. Large groups, startups, suppliers, etc. can exchange and find solutions together.

In this area reserved for Log'In, we also have a logistics zone with a technical platform that includes all the equipment of a logistics warehouse. It's a "sandbox" environment that allows us to validate and prototype products in real conditions. So we support technology providers in the development of concrete solutions that meet the needs of the market.

But we also have a very strong focus today, which revolves aroundpeople and training. Like so many other companies, we are experiencing difficulties in recruiting. Today's talents want to transform their working conditions, to have a meaningful job with more security and to be able to create real careers.

The idea is to have an experimentation area but also a training area to put people in real conditions. 

Photo credit : Log'In

How do you bring collaborative innovation to life with Log'In? 

For example, we recently launched a call for projects with the Occitanie region and the logistics cluster TENLog. The objective is to support people who have proposals for solutions to the problems of the logistics sector. On our side, we bring them a "need/business" vision and a "market" vision and we accompany them by sharing our network, our expertise and our know-how. Then the Occitanie region finances the projects that have emerged. 

We will also work oncollaborative innovation by identifying problems shared by large groups. Often, companies come from different business sectors, but they face the same problems. By identifying these common issues, we enable companies to pool resources and experimentation areas to save time and energy. Technology providers then get consolidated feedback from a wider range of actors. 

The culture of collaborative innovation is not the same in all companies? How to convince people of its usefulness? 

Indeed, the culture of collaborative innovation is not the same for everyone. It takes a lot of persuasion on the benefits of collaboration. In particular, you need to have the right language. 

We need to make people understand that collaborating throughan open innovation program is a win/win situation. By sharing, companies realize that others are facing the same difficulties and can, together, solve real common problems. The enrichment of the Log'In ecosystem also proves that collaborating brings real added value by bringing out real and innovative solutions. 

Secondly, I advocate the effectiveness of collaboration. Today, we have helped many companies to test new innovative solutions in our experimentation zones. And we hope to develop and grow the Log'In ecosystem. 

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