Airbus Case Study

Airbus is one of the world‘s foremost aerospace companies, with 133,000 employees, manufacturing sites in France, Germany, Spain, UK, US, and China, and revenues of €43 billion (Dec 2016,
In 2010, Tom Enders, CEO at the time, initiated an effort to increase and structure innovation activities around an end-to-end innovation process.
This led to the creation of the Airbus Innovation Cell, a team dedicated to fueling the innovation engine with ideas, deploying an efficient process,
and delivering results through innovation.
As one of the first actions, the Airbus Innovation Cell wanted to offer an open platform for all employees to engage in collaboration and idea sharing. This platform became the digital space for innovation management, and helped to promote the spirit of innovation across organizational boundaries.
Markus Durstewitz, Innovation Manager at Airbus, began searching for a tool which could scale to support all Airbus employees over time. Idea campaigns were launched with sponsors who had a clear need, and a budget to fund the follow up and implementation of selected ideas. This helped employees to see that activities on the platform were linked to real needs, and ideas were taken seriously. Since launching with just 50 users, IdeaSpace grew rapidly across the Commercial division, with approximately 50,000 users now having access.
As well as focused, time-bounded idea campaigns, the platform now also supports the concept of idea channels. Each primary business function has an always-open idea channel, where related ideas can be submitted, and designated caretakers will manage the ideas through an end-to-end process. The Corporate Innovation team has also provided many supporting resources, including physical spaces for workshops,
prototyping labs, recommended methods & tools, a catalyst
network, and workshops for sprints, boot camps and other
formats to help employees mature their ideas and foster


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