“Strong support is vital when joining forces with startups”
Bouygues Construction was one of the first construction companies to focus on innovation, and more particularly, open innovation. The group has created a dedicated team which works with our long-standing partner: Impulse Partners. We are now renewing that collaboration to reinforce Bouygues Construction’s involvement with startups. Decryption.
A smart crane with remote controls, reducing carbon footprint by measuring energy consumption on construction sites, improvement in productivity, and avoiding disturbance caused by construction sites are some of the innovations implemented on Bouygues Construction projects with help from innovative startups such as Lextan, Smart Impulse, Omniscient and Com’in.
These stories began with help from the Bouygues Construction open innovation program. “It’s both an investment fund with an international dimension and an in-house innovation factory with a forward-looking perspective,” explains manager Julien Bourcerie.
But the Open Innovation team is not alone. Impulse Partners has been advising Bouygues Construction on strategy and operational implementation of innovation projects and programmes for eight years now. The firm works with a range of businesses in urban construction. A strong, trusting bond, essential for an effective partnership, has been forged with the group.
“Bouygues Construction has a very advanced innovation division which provides startups with exciting use cases. Our team is keen to find innovations outside the group and pass the word throughout all Bouygues Construction’s subsidiaries. This year, the partnership takes Bouygues Construction’s approach to another level. Our common goals of developing open innovation and cooperating with startups are key to the success of our long-standing partnership,” explains Arnaud Menard, Partner, Impulse Partners.
A high-performance partnership
Current themes include reducing carbon emissions and optimising productivity using digital technology. Impulse Partners’ role is to source and deal flow – gathering intelligence then identifying and qualifying innovative projects, particularly through startup selection committees.
And making connections with a thriving ecosystem. “Our ongoing relationship with startups is vital to fast and risk-free innovation on a European scale via our subsidiaries, which also work with Impulse Partners on their innovation initiatives in the United Kingdom, Germany, and soon around the world.” explains Julien Bourcerie, head of open innovation at Bouygues Construction.
Open innovation is central to our strategy
Open innovation has developed significantly. According to Julien Bourcerie: “We have structured our innovation approach and encourage collaborative work to anticipate evolutions. And without discrimination.” All the sectors’ actors are involved: startups and private companies with local authorities, national programs, association networks, federations and intrapreneurs. “For example, Impulse Partners has connected us with Saint Gobain, ECT (Excavated Land) group, Cement Lab, as well as over 300 start-ups,” he tells.