Keynotion’s 3rd Annual R&D Innovation Excellence/Design Thinking Summit took place in the metropolitan city of Amsterdam at the Postillion Hotel. The summit hosted more than 200 attendees from across the world including multiple sponsors & professional speakers. Thanks to the efforts of Lewis Howse, Production Executive – Keynotion & Adrian Chernoff, Former Worldwide Vice-President of R&D and Innovation – Johnson & Johnson, we saw the amalgamation of many core practice within this industry including ‘Innovation’, ‘Industry’ & ‘Design’.

The 4th Annual R&D Design Thinking/Product Development Summit is taking place on 8th-9th November 2018, Boston Massachusetts

Day 1

Adrian Chernoff, Former Worldwide Vice-President of R&D and Innovation at Johnson & Johnson, began the summit with a keynote presentation discussing ‘ACTIVATING INNOVATION‘ providing insights into how to engage a cohesive framework focused on execution. Adrian’s experience in consulting & innovation was apparent throughout. Rasmus Thomsen, CEO at Is it a Bird? presented a case study based upon ‘DESIGN THINKING IS YOUR INNOVATION SUPERPOWER‘, analysing design thinking as the answer to many challenges in innovation projects. This was an introduction to design thinking for many participants. Rasmus provided informative examples & references.

Josie Gayton, VP, Global R&D Project Management & Analytics at Ipsen, presented ‘R&D PORTFOLIO MANAGEMENT – GETTING THE BEST VALUE FOR THE MONEY YOU HAVE INVESTED IN R&D PROJECTS‘ highlighting best practices for R&D portfolio management & the importance of investing in R&D. Josie’s presentation created a seamless flow into the following presentation. Lieke Gerris, Senior Consultant, Innovation Strategy at PNO Consultants, discussed the first Sponsor Presentation: ‘NEXT LEVEL DESIGN THINKING – HOW TO ENRICH THE 4Ds‘ & how to define market movements & how to check out your competition from another angle. Lieke provided attendees with useful industry insights & statistics.

The following sections of the summit divided into 3 sections creating a dedicating focus on ‘Innovation‘, ‘Industry‘ & ‘Design‘ along with an off-site visit to the renowned ‘Design Thinking Centre‘, Amsterdam.


Scott Wisler, Director, Systems Integration Engineering at Dresser-Rand discussed ‘CREATING HIGH-PERFORMANCE INNOVATION TEAMS‘ taking inspiration from a little league softball team. Scott’s presentation captivated the audience through examples of high-performance innovation teams.


Julija Voitiekute, Innovation Portfolio Manager at Maersk analysed a case study based upon ‘SETTING THE DIRECTION FOR INNOVATION – INVOLVING USERS IN THE ORGANISATION‘ allowing for consistent interaction throughout.


An off-site visit to the renowned ‘Design Thinking Centre‘, Amsterdam. Upon arrival, more than 50 attendees were treated to a presentation from Huub Watervall, CEO at Design Thinking Center Amsterdam receiving positive feedback for creativity & insights.

Day 2

The final day of the summit focused on ‘DISRUPTIVE TECHNOLOGIES‘ with Peter van Sabben, CEO & Co-Founder at Growth Tribe, presenting ‘THE ROLE OF DATA IN YOUR BUSINESS‘ & Gwelleyn Daandels Sr Director AI & Analytics at Cognizant Technology Solutions, delving into ‘MACHINE LEARNING AND AI BEYOND 2020‘ Dr. Carlos Härtel, Chief Technology & Innovation Officer, Director of European Technology Center at General Electric Europe, presented ‘DESIGNS TO PRODUCTS – INNOVATION MANAGEMENT AT GE ‘ which was highly anticipated & did not disappoint. Carlos’s delivery was professional & engaging.

The second Sponsor Presentation: ‘THEY KEYS TO THE INNOVATION KINGDOM‘ was with Andy Michuda, CEO AT Sopheon. Andy travelled from the USA to deliver product portfolio adaptability, an enabler of corporate pivots for competitive advantage along with innovation ecosystems. A unique section was the Rotating Panel Discussion, based on attendees interacting with speakers on stage when answering questions. Movement, along with high energy made this the most popular panel discussion of the summit with;

Moderator Frank Hatzack, Senior Executive Adviser Copenhagen Institute of Future Studies, Julija Voitiekute, Innovation Portfolio Manager AT Maersk, Rasmus Thomsen, CEO AT Is it a Bird? & Patrick Link, Co-Leader Smart-Up Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts, combining their knowledge to discuss ‘DESIGNING INNOVATION – THE ROLE OF DESIGN THINKING IN THE R&D AND INNOVATION PROCESS‘.

Nicolas Bry, Chief Innovation Officer at Orange, shared many of the creative aspects of Orange during ‘OPEN INNOVATION, INTRAPRENEURSHIP AND STARTUPS INCUBATION AT ORANGE‘. During this presentation, Nicolas prompted interaction amongst attendees. All of the points raised were explained with examples given. With a title that stood out, many were curious to understand the reference of Christoph Hüls, Chief Innovation Officer at Merck, with ‘GIVING GUT A FACE‘. Christoph stood out for the level of professionalism during presenting along with the slides used. Cristiana Grether, Senior Global Design Thinking Director at Coca-Cola had the largest audience of the breakout sessions from day 2. Cristiana discussed ‘R + D + D + T’.

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