We are only a few weeks away from the CIEX 2020 VIRTUAL and we have recently interviewed one of the key speakers Markus Solibieda Managing Director at BASF VENTURE CAPITAL about the highlights of his session on boosting innovation by collaboration with START-UPS and the main challenges.
Question #1: Without giving too much away –what is the core message of your talk and what would you like delegates to remember?
Markus: The digital transformation of the chemical industry has just started and will have an impact beyond our imagination. We are seeing numerous opportunities for our business, our clients and our natural environment.
Question #2: Why did you choose the topic of your talk?
Markus: We see the benefits of working with start-ups every day. While the mindset of corporate organizations and start-ups differ quite substantially, they can form very successful partnerships. To bridge the gap between these cultures is a rewarding exercise for us as a Corporate VC.
Question #3: What motivates you to join CIEX 2020 and what are your expectations?
Markus: It is always inspiring to meet and to engage with start-ups from and around our industry. At the same time, I look forward to meeting peers from other corporations who have a mindset of open innovation. I expect to be able to meet interesting new companies and to engage with investors and corporates who are excited about investing in hard science and digital business models.
Question #4: The need for innovation has been a continued topic for the chemical industry –how would you sum up the current state of the industry, specifically with a focus on its innovation efforts?
Markus: The current economic situation will not remain without effect on the question of how budgets are defined and allocated. This crisis should be taken as an opportunity to rethink innovation as a joint effort of several players who form (temporary) partnerships to succeed. The COVID-19 crisis has accelerated our ability to form (virtual) partnerships and to collaborate outside of existing structures.
Question #5: What must (chemical) industry leaders do to remain competitive and prepare for the future?
Markus: We have to constantly learn, listen to our customers, think strategically, embrace (digital) change and create new partnerships with our customers and stakeholders.
Question #6: Looking back on the past 3 months please share your thoughts on the impact of COVID-19 on the industry but also society in general
Markus: The chemical industry has been more resilient than expected, but COVID-19 was and still is a catastrophe for many other industries. In terms of the societies we live in, lives and wealth have been lost, but many organizations and individuals have transformed themselves at an incredible speed. If we all reflect about and act upon our learnings, this period will be remembered as a starting point for new trends, important changes and positive transformations in our societies.
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