Open Innovation

The term Open Innovation was first coined by Henry Chesbrough in 2003. It is a new inspiring strategy where firms uncover opportunities for pure innovation. To do so, enterprises go beyond their internal boundaries and cooperate with external professionals. That is, it is how companies can successfully access external sources or innovation and likewise effectively commercialise their innovation capabilities, resources and outcomes.

Telefónica (TEF) R&D has a department that actually looks at trends and how technology is supposed to develop in the future. All these trends insights drive most of the innovation projects and, thus, their Open Innovation programme.

TEF has been thoroughly engaged with Open Innovation. We acknowledged how it requires flexibility to deal with the challenges arising from cooperating with companies who have a different way of working and different way to approach innovation. Thus, in its effort to empower this commitment, TEF began to look for opportunities in different backgrounds and areas, where sports appeared to be an outstanding opportunity in the innovation arena.

Telefónica R&D and FCB, a succesful partnership

Football (or soccer as known in the US) is the most popular sport in the world.

Due to the wealthy tradition of the game, the widespread application of technological novelties is happening slowly. We intend to be in the forefront of the digital revolution of football building on our competences in big data, network science, and analytics.

With this is mind, Telefonica R&D and FC Barcelona signed a collaboration agreement in 2011 to bring the synergy of football and technology to the next level.

  • Based on TEF on going experience and activities on Open Innovation, with a background on Silicon Valley best practices.
  • With the aim of supporting FC Barcelona to create its own technological innovation process.
  • By reproducing experiences like TEF successful 10fridays programme or seedbed projects.
  • Leveraging Open Innovation with other organizations.
  • Applying Lean Startup methodology, see Lean elephants.
  • Apply scientific methods to improve the performance of the club in different competitions.

Telefónica and FC Barcelona have common interest in cooperating to foster how technology and digital innovation contribute in sports like soccer, sharing knowledge and fostering creativy and collaboration.

The aim is how to apply digital technologies to soccer.

Soccer Science Lab

This partnership is the origin of the first Soccer Science Lab in the world.

The main focus is research on Big Data and Data Mining for soccer.

The objectives of the joint lab is create the most innovative tools for coach and soccer training, with an aim in

  • predicting the game opportunities and advantages.
  • how to break the defense barrier of an opponent.
  • characterize tactics of an opponent coach.
  • characterize players to hire.
  • improve training methods and techniques.