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 SOLEX?
SOLEX is an open innovation portal which aims to provide various solution exchange platforms for regions, industries, enterprises, etc. to link entities (from public and private sectors) seeking to address specific challenges or exploit new opportunities, with a much wider or ‘open’ base of potential solution providers from outside of their traditional networks of interaction. Open innovation has demonstrated significant benefits for many large companies and public sector entities globally, but also creates a channel for new, usually small enterprises, to break into the supply chain of these large organisations.
Who can take part in the SOLEX or the Solution Exchanges?
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.
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.
How do I respond to a Challenge?
First, you need to register online on SOLEX or one the Solution Exchange where the challenge is lised. To respond to a challenge, open the Challenge View page, 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. Only members of the evaluation team for a particular Challenge, can see your response.
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 for a specific challenge is indicated on the Challenge brief.
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