An Inside Look at Lufthansa’s Air Cargo Innovation Challenge

Lufthansa Cargo is now running its second open innovation contest, which is looking for ideas to improve customer service in the air freight industry. This article explains some of the things Lufthansa learned from its first challenge that has enabled it to get more engagement during the current campaign.

Among the strategies Lufthansa Cargo is using to ensure its second open innovation contest are inviting people who participated in the first challenge to submit ideas for the second one, getting university students involved and structuring the scoring of ideas to encourage participants to submit comments in its online community and build upon the ideas of others.

This article also covers competitive concerns, such as Lufthansa’s competitors being able to see the ideas submitted to the contest. Erik Feder from HYVE, the firm that is running the challenge for Lufthansa, emphasizes that the public ideas submitted don’t contain enough detail to be strategically viable. Authors of winning ideas must present them to the top brass of Lufthansa Cargo, where they will be discussed in much more detail. Senior management of the air cargo carrier are aware the genesis of some very good ideas are publicly visible in its open innovation challenges, but still believes it has the first-mover advantage because it has access to all of the details of the idea and its internal expertise that aren’t visible to competing firms.

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