Our Open Innovation approach

Veolia’s Open Innovation initiative aims to accelerate the Group's innovation capacity. It is specifically designed to detect, assess and develop innovative external solutions that will add value to our existing range of services, allow us to create new services or more effectively manage an environmental risk. It complements other innovative approaches..

Since its inception in 2010, the Veolia Innovation Accelerator (VIA) has targeted startups, entrepreneurs and small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

It acts as a matchmaker between innovative solution providers and the Veolia ecosystem: researchers, Business Unit managers, experts... in France and internationally.
You can submit your solution on our dedicated web platform and start the matchmaking process in the Group’s areas of expertise.

There are two ways of working with the Veolia Innovation Accelerator:

  • Calls for external solutions, a targeted approach responding to already identified needs
  • The Open Channel, for submitting innovative solutions at any time.

VIA 2.0

Listening to feedback, the VIA and has moved forward since 2013

VIA 2.0 strives to:

  • demonstrate the importance of collaborative innovation for Veolia,
  • communicate the Group's innovation needs more effectively,
  • develop an active sourcing approach, reaching out to those with innovative solutions
  • build an internal momentum to ensure a swift go or no go decision
  • support startups and the Veolia ecosystem and so rapidly and successfully integrate the proposed innovation
  • build on the Group's new organization (zone / specialties) to find sponsors and Business Units that will use the solutions.
Open Innovation governance

The VIA website is administered by Veolia Research and Innovation. A dedicated team manages the applications.

Open Channel

Companies are asked to complete an application form on our dedicated Open Channel web platform: decisions about the information shared and documents uploaded are left to the company itself. Only information already in the public domain is expected; at this stage, there is no confidentiality agreement.

Applications undergo a two stage assessment on the basis of two criteria - technical interest and market interest. The first stage quickly establishes whether the solution falls within one of our development areas. The second stage makes a detailed assessment which may lead to an expression of interest.

Calls for external solutions

Calls for external solutions are published on our dedicated web platform. Questionnaires are drawn up in line with the call for solutions. Initial assessments are made purely on the basis of the information given by the company in its application. Only information already in the public domain is expected; at this stage, there is no confidentiality agreement.

Applications are assessed on the basis of the criteria listed in the call for solutions.

After the document assessment phases in either process, direct discussions then take place between our experts and the external company. If necessary, these discussions will be covered by a confidentiality agreement.

In both approaches, candidates receive documented feedback.

Some figures

The VIA program has received over 500 applications via the Open Channel since it was set up in 2010.

Veolia has launched 6 calls for external solutions since 2013, with more than 200 applications received.

In total, the dedicated team handles about 300 open innovation applications per year.

The geographical distribution of the solutions sourced is currently as follows: 60% from Europe, 28% from USA and 12% from Asia.
What is the VIA program?

The Veolia Innovation Accelerator does not invest in the companies that submit their solutions.

The Veolia model differs from the investment fund model in that it offers industrial support and operational collaboration. Veolia’s goal is to promote the entrepreneurial ecosystem by providing access to markets, pilot sites and research and innovation capacities.

The Veolia Group believes that open innovation drives its own competitiveness and helps deliver more value to its municipal and industrial customers. It offers a successful breeding ground for establishing both large group-startup relations and win-win partnerships.