Background and Objectives

In 2010, the French government launched the Programme d’Investissement Avenir (The “Investments of the Future” Program), which represents some €22bn of investment into higher education and research.
Our client, a leader in the cosmetics sector, aims to maximize the potential offered by this investment. Its R&D teams, and the small and medium businesses and industries around them, were seeking an innovative way of working that could enhance their research activities.
To achieve this, our client sought to create a collaborative platform for open innovation: an approach where large companies and startups work together to innovate—with the aim of accelerating the startups’ commercial development.


The creation of an open-innovation platform required rigorous analysis of the market, ; and Wavestone supported the client’s R&D department in the establishment of the open innovation platform by:

  • Open Innovationassessing the technology needs of the small and medium businesses and industries
  • analyzing the offerings and business models that the tool could generate
  • creating a financial and strategic view of the potential future revenue from the startups
  • negotiating the scope of financial support from the government


There are multiple advantages to the platform. The startups on board will now benefit from:

  • significant business opportunities—as a result of our client’s activities
  • the expertise of researchers  to help provide the scientific and technical input they need

Likewise, our client derives demonstrable value by having:

  • strong links to the startup ecosystem, without needing to compete with business incubators or invest directly in the startups
  • a privileged relationship with future cosmetics champions —which it will have helped develop