VIA by Veolia: Open Innovation a solutions accelerator

Given the nature of the environmental concerns we are facing, companies
find themselves obliged to take a technological leap in every field. The scale of
the challenge means that we must leave no stone unturned when it comes to
innovation. At Veolia, this is the role of the Open Innovation program — VIA
by Veolia. Taking the form of a department dedicated to operational units and
support functions, it helps them gain rapid access to emerging and disruptive
solutions developed outside the company.
Published in the dossier of July 2019

Today, within Veolia’s Research and Innovation division, Open Innovation serves as a complement or support to research programs. Open Innovation will create value in domains in which needs have been identified but internal expertise is less developed. VIA by Veolia gives the Group the capacity to rapidly detect, validate and collaborate with budding companies in the startup and SME ecosystem.

The Open Innovation team provides its expertise and contacts with the cleantech and energy tech ecosystem to carry out sourcing, allowing the most promising innovative external solutions to be identified. It oversees the analysis, selection and qualification of the sourced solutions, while guiding the business units in forming partnerships.

Within the Group, the team also supports Open Innovation initiatives by the zones and Business Units, such as Germany and its U-Start program. Externally, the team collaborates with several key clean-tech players, including the Cleantech Group and Greentown Labs in Boston, the largest clean-tech incubator in the United States. In Europe, via U-Start, the Group partners InnoEnergy and EIT Raw Materials. Veolia’s R&I is also a partner of the IncubAlliance incubator attached to the Paris-Saclay Campus. In 2018, the Group joined forces with the European Commission’s European Innovation Council for a Pitch & Networking day focused on Innovation in support functions.


Key figures

50 sourcing projects carried out each year
~1, 500 solutions identified each yea
~20 % of VIA sourcing is sent for qualification