Philips sponsors search for ‘the next big thing’

Iain BurnsMARKHAM, Ont. – Philips North America has launched the second annual Philips Innovation Fellows competition, and released the findings from its 2014 North America Innovation Report. According to the survey, three in five Canadians (60 percent) consider themselves innovators, and 66 percent believe their innovation idea could be “the next big thing,” if only they had enough money and know-how to develop it.

The second annual Philips Innovation Fellows Competition, launching for the first time in Canada, awards mentoring and $100,000 in cash prizes to inspire those would-be entrepreneurs to bring their ideas to life by entering the competition.

“Philips knows innovation has the ability to transform people’s lives for the better and we want to support the visionaries out there to create that next big thing,” said Iain Burns (pictured), CEO of Philips Canada. “We are dedicated to meaningful innovation that helps us all live healthier more satisfying lives, and encourage innovators across Canada and the U.S. to submit their ideas and let us help them turn their vision into reality.”

Survey Findings
Fifty-two percent of Canadian survey respondents (50 percent in the US) said financial support from big companies is the key to achieving successful innovation, followed by 44 percent who cited mentor relationships (47 percent in the US). But Canadians were much more likely than Americans to look to government for the answer – 54 percent vs. 42 percent.

Sixty percent of Canadians – broken down by 68 percent of men and 52 percent of women, (two-thirds in United States) – think of themselves as innovators, but only 11 percent said they think big companies are. Almost half of Canadians said the best innovations come from individuals (46 percent).

Of those who consider themselves innovators, around two-thirds (66 percent in Canada) said they have an idea for the next big but 71 percent of Canadian respondents said lack of money prevents people from innovating. While people don’t expect innovation from big companies, they see an important role for big companies in funding, supporting and promoting innovative ideas.

North Americans believe successful innovation must have a purpose, beyond creating technology for technology’s sake, according to the survey’s respondents. A majority said successful innovation improves lives (64 percent in Canada), or makes daily life easier (54 percent in Canada). One-third said successful innovation meets an unmet societal need (29 percent in Canada).

The subject of healthcare innovation showed a Canadian cultural difference. Overall, 57 percent said healthcare was the top area where innovation can improve lives, but that broke down by country as 62 percent in Canada and 56 percent in the US. Work/life balance followed at 38 percent overall, but 44 percent in Canada, and then education methods at 33 percent (just 30 percent in Canada.) The research suggests North Americans think they can implement some important innovations if only business will help them.

Philips Innovation Fellows Competition
Philips is encouraging would-be innovators in Canada and the U.S. to submit their big ideas for the next meaningful innovation that will help people live healthier, more sustainable lives. Entrants will have the chance to tap into $100,000 in prize money to help make their innovations a reality. To further promote open innovation, entrants can gain financial support for their idea on, a global web-based crowd funding site.

“Indiegogo is dedicated to helping innovators make their ideas a reality by connecting them to individuals from around the world, who can endorse their innovations through financial support,” said Slava Rubin, CEO and co-founder of Indiegogo. “Corporations need to be more involved in helping everyday innovators succeed and we’re thrilled to partner with Philips on this competition to bring new ideas to fruition.”

The grand-prize winner will be announced this fall and will receive a $60,000 cash prize from Philips, in addition to the funding raised through Indiegogo, to help make their innovations a reality. Along with the monetary prize, the winner will receive mentoring from Philips executives around their “next big thing” idea. Each of the remaining four finalists will receive a $10,000 cash prize.

Last year, Philips named Fosmo Med, developer of the Maji Intravenous (IV) saline bag, used to create a sterile solution for patients in developing countries or underprivileged communities, the grand-prize winner of the first Philips Innovation Fellows competition, revealing it as the next big, meaningful innovation in health and well-being.

“We were honored to win the Philips Innovation Fellows competition,” said Ben Park, CEO and founder of Fosmo Med. “Winning has not only helped fund the research and development completion for Maji, but more importantly, validated the idea of our product. Philips helped give us the resources and credibility we need to save lives on a global level.”

The “Philips Innovation and You survey” was conducted online in partnership with Research Now and CQuest, among a nationally representative sample of 1,505 consumers in North America, including 1,005 in the United States and 500 in Canada.

To learn more about the Philips Innovation Competition and the North American Innovation Report visit

About Royal Philips
Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA) is a diversified health and well-being company, focused on improving people’s lives through meaningful innovation in the areas of Healthcare, Consumer Lifestyle and Lighting. Headquartered in the Netherlands, Philips posted 2013 sales of EUR 23.3 billion and employs approximately 112,000 employees with sales and services in more than 100 countries. The company is a leader in cardiac care, acute care and home healthcare, energy efficient lighting solutions and new lighting applications, as well as male shaving and grooming and oral healthcare. News from Philips is located at

About Indiegogo
Indiegogo empowers people around the world to fund what matters to them. As the largest global crowdfunding platform, campaigns have launched from every country around the world with millions of dollars being distributed every week due to contributions made by the Indiegogo community. At its core, Indiegogo is the equal opportunity platform dedicated to democratizing the way people raise funds for any project – creative, entrepreneurial or cause-related. The company was launched in 2008 and is headquartered in San Francisco, with offices in Los Angeles and New York. For more information, visit and follow us at and

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