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Patrick Berbon, Board Member of China Materialia Presentation to SJTU-ParisTech for Intercultural Module

On the invitation of SJTU-ParisTech, board member of China Materialia, Mr. Patrick Berson, made a presentation to Intercultural Module on the topic of Innovation and Open Innovation. Vice Dean Ping Li, along with second and third year students participated in the class.

Mr. Berbon began by clarifying the concept of innovation. Unlike good ideas or invention, innovation for a company means discovering existing issues, forming a complete set of solutions, and creating value in the market. Then he spoke about open innovation. This is a broader form of innovation which requires more social connections, and proactively seeks valuable information and commercial partners.

Next he raised some cases about open innovation, such as Phillips converting its Research and Development Center into a globally shared lab. He also offered some other interesting cases like Grey Goose’s success in US market because of its sales strategy of positioning itself as a superior French brewer, Starbucks trying to bury its brand concept deep into consumers, and BMW using its design as innovative competitiveness on both products and services.

Through this class, students gained knowledge about forms and strategies of company innovation. There was an active discussion back and forth between Mr. Berbon and the students.

Note: Patrick Berbon gained his Bachelor’s degree at École Centrale de Lyon, Master’s degree at Tsinghua University, and his PhD at the University of Southern California with a major in Material Science. He also has research experience on Nano-technology. Then he founded China Materialia, which has provided strategy consulting for companies like Unilever, Shell, and Mitsubishi.