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+25 inspiring examples of cross-industry innovation in action

Cross-industry innovation is a clever way to jump-start your innovation efforts by drawing analogies and transferring approaches between contexts, beyond the borders of your own industry, sector, area or domain. These analogies can be drawn at various levels, from products to services, to processes, to strategies, to business models, to culture and leadership.
If you want custom support or a report for your business/sector/area, just contact us!

Restaurant meets airport

This ‘take what you want’ Shushi bar uses the baggage carousel system from airports.

Seaweed meets wind energy

North Sea Belgian wind farm Norther is taking part in a unique project to grow seaweed on a large scale. In what is claimed to be world first, the pilot project will grow seaweed among Norther's turbines.

MRI Scan meets entertainment

GE Healthcare made MRIs less frightening for young children. Doug Dietz -principal designer- finally discovered that the real problem was the experience. The GE Adventure Series was born.

Bees meet publicity

Utrecht took advantage of the arrival of an advertising tower to create a beautiful place for wild bees. In a flower meadow along the A2 is an advertising tower that simultaneously functions as a bee hotel.

Automotive meets gaming

BMW’s iDrive system was inspired by the video game industry. The iDrive system is a solution to operate the relatively complex navigation in a simple way — while being able to keep your eyes on the road.

Hospital meets airport

In order to properly plan patient care and to know what the hospital can expect in terms of care demand, Amphia has established the Hospital Control Center (HCC). Pim Sas, manager of the HCC: “Just like Airport Schiphol has the control tower, Amphia now has the Hospital Control Center. Screens are used to monitor the current situation of inflow, throughflow and outflow against the trend of the past period and expectations for the coming period. "

Mc Donald’s meets Formula 1​

The Drive Thru concept is based on the principles of a fast Formula 1 pit stop

Nightclub meets student study room

Overcrowded libraries, too many distractions, no facilities… As a student, you need the perfect study location. So why not a nightclub that has been transformed into a unique Red Bull Study Club? And that in the largest student cities in Belgium.

Financial services / insurance meet mobile​

Norwich Union was the first insurance company to start with the “Pay as you go” formula from telecom.

Soccer meets retail

n 2013 a sports field was opened on the roof of an Ikea store in Utrecht in the Netherlands resulting a further 12,000 sqm being added to the building’s useable area.

The local authorities would not allow the centre to expand because it would have destroyed existing sporting facilities so two artificial grass pitches with a total area of ​​20,000 sqm were built on the roof of the building as well as a club room on the roof of the new car park.

Boats meet houses​

Boatbound uses the crowd-sourcing / sharing concept of Airbnb for boats.

Biscuits meet ugly food

In some stores you can buy deformed or ugly fruit / vegetables - which are equally delicious. That gave a cookie maker the idea to market the cookies that are not perfect from the production process. With great success.

Baby pram meets landing gear​

Using the concept of an airplane’s retractable landing gear, Owen Maclaren — a retired aeronautical engineer and test pilot who worked on the Spitfire — developed the first foldable lightweight baby buggy, to save his daughter the struggle with her cumbersome pram when getting in and out of airplanes.

Drug mafia meets innovative means of transport

They are cross-industry 'innovation' "experts" in very different areas: tunnel construction, submarines, drones

Vacuum cleaning meets sawmill

Dyson thought of how a nearby sawmill used ad cyclone – a high cone that spins dust out of the air by centrifugal force – to expel waste. (Cool inspiration from our friends at Creax).

Energy powerplant meets ski resort

Copenhagen's waste-to-energy power plant lets you ski on its roof, while it converts 400,000 tons of trash into electricity and heating.

Eggs meet wine

Molded pulp is a great and cheap way to protect a product. It can be applied to protect many other breakable products. Wine for instance.

Farm meets industrial process automation

In a rotary milking parlour the cow stands on a circular raised platform, allowing the farmer to attach the milking machine from below. ... Milking in a rotary parlour can be quicker than in herringbone parlours, especially for large farms with big herds.

Light meets services

Pay for use instead of pay for possession.

Submarine meets gaming

XBOX 360 controllers for periscope control in newest US Submarines

Transport meets nature

The kingfisher’s beak became the model for the nose cone of Japan’s 500 Series Shinkansen bullet train (more aerodynamic – less noise).

Financial bank meets entertainment

"KBC bought the media rights of Belgian soccer games

A bank that buys the rights to broadcast soccer games via their mobile banking app. That would have sound like the craziest idea in the world a couple of years ago. Today, it may be a smart move to reward existing customer and to find new customers.

KBC wants to offer soccer fans that don’t have the time to watch full games a user friendly solution to follow their favorite team(s). All goals and other highlights will be pushed in real time to fans their mobile phones during the game. It allows you to follow the game in real time without watching every single minute of it." (read the article by Steven van Belleghem)

Fashion meets navigation

Crumpled maps uses the properties of expensive handkerchiefs for easy city navigation (without looking like a tourist, as you can just fold the map for the little area you are at the moment).

Automotive meets equipment

Hilti Fleet Management has a fixed monthly charge that covers all tool, service and repair costs. This new business model inspired by car fleet management simplifies financial planning and results in less administrative work.

Phone booth meets solar

Red London phone boxes on Tottenham Court Road are converted into free solar- powered mobile phone charging points.

These are just 25 cool cross-industry innovation examples, for even more (business model, process and other) examples, check out our LinkedIn.
If you want custom support or a report for your business/sector/area, just contact us! Copy-Adapt-Paste these insights for your own area!

Extra cross-industry overviews

Here some examples we are using in innovation websearches or workshops.

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