Once upon a time there was a spark
The idea of Innodirect was first sparked in the mind of Innodirect’s co-founder, Dominique Sauvé, at the CRIAQ (Consortium for Research and Innovation in Aerospace in Québec). The CRIAQ promotes the collaborative effort of industries and universities to tackle research and development issues. The aim of the CRIAQ forums is to build appropriate project teams to resolve these issues.
Dominique was fascinated by the incredible progress made in these forums and began studying their approach. She observed that the discussions seem to take on an organized structure. During the opening plenary session, industry members briefly outline the research and development challenges they face. From there, each issue forms the topic of separate discussions and participants can focus on the issues that most interest them.
Dominique found that these discussions nurture surprisingly rich, creative suggestions, resulting in the development of cross-sectoral, relevant and motivated project teams. She realized that the main factor connecting these successful discussions is that the participants are near-strangers to one another. The anonymity of the participants prevents them from imposing their ideas on one another through hierarchy or reputation. Instead, their unfamiliarity enables their contribution to discussions in highly meaningful ways.
In 2012 Dominique, together with Philippe Meloni, founded Innodirect in order to bring the idea of an inclusive, cross-sectoral, anonymous forum to the web with the aim to serve a broader spectrum of companies. Self-financed and requiring complex technology, Innodirect was launched in 2017 and has grown exponentially ever since.