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17 Nov 2016

Michelin Innovates Using Serious Games

During the Inno Days last September, first-year students in the Grenoble Ecole de Management Grande Ecole program took part in a serious game experience with the Michelin group. Using the serious game Tech it!, students explored innovative solutions to reinvent Michelin’s mobility service offer.

“The Michelin group is working to open its offer to cover a large spectrum of mobility services. In other words, Michelin wants to go beyond selling tires and offer other mobility-related services. This change was already initiated several years ago for our B2B market and more recently for our B2C market.” explains Sophie Guillot, in charge of the consumer experience project and Pascal Paemelaere, business leader BAR TCRE for Europe.

“Our target consumers include young people of course, but also more and more women and retired persons for example.” Thanks to the collaboration with Grande Ecole students, the Inno Days led to more than 100 ideas, of which 34 were pitched and four were selected.

A game designed for real-world challenges

"If you want to innovate, you can't be afraid of making mistakes. Serious games are perfect for open innovation because they enable participants to consider complex technology from a new perspective. The game is not neutral. It helps both experts and non-experts dream up new ideas." explains Hélène Michel, a researcher and professor at Grenoble Ecole de Management. The game Tech it! was developed with support from the IRT Nanoelec and has become an excellent tool for brainstorming new ideas based on cutting-edge technology.

Tech It! expanded to include client service innovation

Grenoble Ecole de Management collaborated with the CEA-Leti to create an extension for Tech It! called “The Michelin Mobility Challenge.” The goal was to understand a technology’s potential in relationship to users.

For the Michelin challenge, the game examined how customers can benefit from new Michelin solutions while driving. “We worked with Michelin to imagine customers’ relationship to mobility and how this could change tire technology. Nowadays, mobile phones, watches and shoes are key components of mobility. We carried out numerous tests before formalizing the concepts with the help of GEM teachers.” explained Hélène Michel. As a result, participating teams were able to create a complete project with a scenario and business model in just five days.

A wide array of ideas

Some of the most interesting ideas dreamt up during the challenge include shoe soles that produce energy to recharge a mobile phone or mobile headset; a GEM Watch to secure your car; or sensors for the car’s weight and tires in order to adjust tire pressure in real-time depending on the car’s load. Finally, Michelin’s top pick was a concept for self-regenerating truck and bike tires (with a five year warranty and Michelin assistance) thanks to a new ultra-resistant rubber. “We would like Grenoble Ecole de Management to helps us implement the selected idea and bring the concept to real consumers.” concludes Pascal Paemelaere.

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