At the end of 2017, Eiffage Construction and Eiffage Immobilier launched their first internal innovation contest, Challenge #immo-inno, dedicated to tomorrow’s housing. After nine months of competition, a generous dose of audacity, a few late-night meetings and an overpowering desire to win, three teams stood out from the crowd with Origami taking top spot. Read on to find out more about this exciting team adventure.
1) THE BEGINNING
In November 2017, Eiffage Immobilier and Eiffage Construction invited the 60,000 Group collaborators to take part in the #immo-inno challenge. The aim? Improve customer experience in relation to housing. The employees were encouraged to put forward innovative ideas based on three themes: living better together, new services and new technologies. No less than 262 proposals were made during the initial month-long brainstorming stage. This impressive mobilization proved the project creators right: this wide-reaching and high relevant topic deserved to be treated in an innovative way.
2) THE CHALLENGE, STEP BY STEP
From the 262 ideas, 150 were chosen and grouped together. Teams were then created to bring to life a total of 34 projects. The panel of judges chose the six best ideas to explore, enrich and improve. Between March and May 2018, the six finalist teams swung into action. They had eight weeks to transform their idea into a concrete concept with the help of bluenove teams.
“It was the first time we’d tried anything like this, and we felt it was important to be guided,” explains Sofiane Chikh, Urban Innovation Director at Eiffage Construction. “For us, these were new ways of working: accelerating ideas to transform raw materials into prototypes using an iterative selection process, all this in a short space of time with transversal teams. It was an amazing human adventure.” The teams were composed of members from different branches, professions and regions. They didn’t necessarily know each other already but had a shared ambition to make their project a success.
On June 6, 2018, the teams pitched their projects to the judges, including group representatives and external experts. One week later, the verdict was announced. The three winning teams took to the podium at the Eiffage Immobilier convention. The overall winner, Origami, had developed ultra-compact, furnished, evolutive apartments with as many functionalities as much larger versions. Origami also tackled the challenges of living in the city center, where housing pressure is greatest.
The winning team won a return trip to Las Vegas for the international consumer technologies event, CES 2019. “These powerful internal projects have an impact and influence that far exceeds the 30 or so people involved. They create positive dynamics within the company and encourage us to focus on innovation, as well as implement some of the ideas,” enthuses Sofiane Chikh.
3) THE RESULTS
From the beginning, it was decided that the winning project would be implemented. To make this a reality, time and money were allocated to the team, so they could work on their POC (Proof Of Concept). The dedicated program also includes an experimental phase before industrialization begins across the regions where Eiffage Construction is present. The other projects won’t go to waste and are currently being analyzed to decide how best to make use of them.
“What I will take away from #immo-inno is its capacity to mobilize our collaborators. Everyone all got very involved and gave the best of themselves. They were really motivated by the challenge and made time for it in parallel to their work responsibilities and also in their free time,” Sofiane Chikh concludes.