CORPORATE INNOVATION DAYS 2023: Shaping Global Innovation Strategy Amidst Disruption and Change

15 December 2023

On December 11th and 12th, the SDC building buzzed with the spirit of innovation as it hosted Corporate Innovation Days 2023. This two-day event, co-organized by the Innovation Centre Denmark and the Danish Chamber of Commerce in China, gathered around 150 industry leaders, researchers, and students.

Together, they delved into discussions on tailoring global innovation strategies within the dynamic context of disruption and change. With a clear industry focus, CID targeted managers from Danish, international, and Chinese companies, along with academics and junior researchers keen on engaging with industrial partners.

The CID programme of CID 2023 was designed around a diverse range of activities, including keynote practical case presentations, panel discussions and networking sessions, coupled with dedicated time for interactions between SDC students, researchers, and industry representatives, which provided ample opportunities for engagement, networking, and forging new bridges between academia, industry and government institutions.

CID2023 received positive feedback from the participants, being called “an eye-opening”, “motivating” event, an “invaluable platform to connect”, a place to communicate and exchange with other industries.

These highlights underscored CID 2023 as a dynamic platform, uniting diverse stakeholders to explore, discuss, and strategize for a future shaped by innovation.

Highlights of the Programme:

Professional Fusion Zone and Networking:

The conference extended beyond the conventional program, featuring a Professional Fusion Zone that facilitated meaningful interactions between attendees, including SDC students and researchers. According to one of the participants, this Fusion zone was a “real hit”, for both professionals and academics of all levels.

The zone was arranged in a mini-exhibition format where six organizations (Merecedes Benz, Velux, Orient Sundar Group, Danish Chamber of Commerce in China (DCCC), Innovation Center Denmark (ICDK) and Jiangsu Industrial Technology Research Institute (JITRI) exchange information about collaboration opportunities and presented themselves to our partners, researchers and students. Some were so engaged in conversations that they were reluctant to leave for conference dinner.

Keynote Speakers:

In her opening speech, Dorthe Lange, Deputy Head of Mission at the Embassy of the Kingdom of Denmark in Beijing, emphasized the importance of constructive dialogue and collaboration between academia, industry and government institutions working together in realizing the potential of innovation.

This message was unequivocally echoed in the opening remarks by the Principal Coordinators of Social Sciences programmes at SDC, Professor Hong Zhao and Associate Professor Stine Haakonsson. This reflected very well the overall spirit of CID, since its inception in 2015, every year bringing together various stakeholders united in their quest of new solutions and value co-creation.

The Corporate Innovation Days 2023 featured a lineup of distinguished keynote speakers, each contributing with valuable perspectives on the theme of the conference. Arpit Bhutani, Chief Operating Officer of Circular Innovation Lab, commenced Day 1 with an insightful presentation on Bioeconomy, offering profound insights into the collaborative opportunities between China and Denmark.

Marijn van Cranenburgh, East Asia Vice President at Area9 Lyceum, then took the stage, sharing expertise on AI strategies for sustainable organizational and human development. On Day 2, Dr. Phil Jin, Co-Founder, Chairman, and CEO of Anhui Grandis Intellitech, made a deep dive into "How Innovation Works," drawing on his extensive experience of founding and managing different businesses, including his latest venture in China's robotics industry.

Bruno Koennel, Senior R&D Director at Benz Automotive in Fuzhou, discussed digitalization at Mercedes Benz and in the automotive industry in general through the lens of challenges and opportunities.

Panel Discussions and Moderators:

The interactive Q&A sessions and panel discussions were a key feature of CID 2023, offering participants an opportunity to engage deeply with the presented cases. Christian Hviid Jonstrup, Innovation Officer and Head of Research and Sustainability at Innovation Centre Denmark, moderated the Q&A and initial discussions of Case 1, fostering a dynamic exchange of ideas.

Anna Lin Yip, Secretary General of the Danish Chamber of Commerce in China, showcased her expertise by moderating the discussions around Case 2, adding a nuanced perspective to the exploration of sustainable organizational and human development. Xiumei Zhu, Associate Professor and Head of Educational Programme in Innovation Management at SDC, UCAS, played a crucial role in moderating the Q&A and discussions surrounding Case 3, delving into the intricacies of China's robotics industry.

Lastly, the insightful moderation by Dmitrij Slepniov, Associate Professor at Aalborg University and Head of Educational Programme in Innovation Management at SDC on the Danish side, framed the discussions around Case 4, unraveling the complexities of digitalization in the automotive industry. Each day was concluded by a panel discussion and key takeaways, featuring keynote speakers of the day and guests from the industry and academia.