A competition between European countries? Check! Putting your best foot forward? Check! Seeing and being seen? Check! Voting for other countries (and not yourself)? Check! And in the end the best one wins? Check! Did Ingenium really win the Eurovision Song Contest? Well, ugh… something like that. Our entry? Not the most beautiful song, but the most impressive innovation video.
Ingenium is the one Belgian representative in the First Q network, a group of 14 independent engineering firms from as many European countries. Together they muster 3,800 employees working on energy and sustainability. In recent years, there has been regular consultation at board and CEO level. But do all employees also know what the agencies from the other countries stand for?
To make this clear in a quick and simple way, First Q organized the Euro Innovation Gala. The assignment? To show, on 22.02.2022, a video of no more than 2 minutes presenting an innovative product or idea to foreign colleagues. This could be either a solution for an internal problem or customer-directed. At the beginning of January, we put the Ingenium heads together for the first time and, with external coaching – a crash course in 'design thinking' by First Q – and internal coaching, our ideas took shape. We opted for a mixed internal-external solution.
Spoiler alert! In the video we introduce the iGlasses. During a site visit, glasses fitted with cameras and microphones record all relevant information about the building and the technical installations in an Augmented Reality setting. By linking all the images together, we create a 'digital twin', and this in a fraction of the time it takes for a site visit today.
On competition day, all 14 videos were shown online one after the other, each introduced by the CEO in question. Then voting began. Only First Q agency employees could participate. ‘Vote-buying’ was therefore out of the question. The mood was unusually tense, right up to the very last moment. But in the end we won out against our last challenger, Switzerland.
The reward? Besides eternal fame and a sum of money for a party, especially the 'Yes, we can, yes, we did!' feeling. And concrete plans to continue discussions with our Italian, Finnish and Irish colleagues to further stimulate European cooperation.
On to the next Euro Innovation Gala? Our innovation brains are already running at full speed again.