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Peter Turner:

"helps its clients “source innovative ideas, technologies, products and services from outside client organizations quickly and inexpensively by connecting them to the best innovators and solution providers from around the world.”

NineSigma is at the leading edge of Open Innovation. Like Innocentive NineSigma offers a marketplace for seekers and solvers of solutions. The trend of more and more companies seeking to leverage external innovation strategies to better focus on their internal core capabilities is growing. NineSigma facilitates connections between companies and expert solution providers. They encourage “solution providers” to respond to the requests NineSigma issues on behalf of its client “solution seekers” so that they may create “win-win” relationships.

The connections that are being formed are creating real value for both parties in the form of contracts, supply agreements, co-development or licensing arrangements, research contracts and consulting agreements across a broad range of industries." (

How it Works

Peter Turner:

"NS maintains “open identities” throughout the sourcing process. They help their clients define the problem so that “solution RFPs” more closely meet requirements and to protect a client’s IP. Proposals are posted to its community of solution providers via email (NS uses business intelligence to refine its email database of contacts from every search it performs).

NS acts as the intermediary between the thousands of solution providers to see the request and the dozens that are asking questions and fashioning a response. Then NS manages the response process, and in about 4 weeks, receive, summarize and present the results to its client.

NineSigma is compensated by the client based on a shared risk model which rewards NS by helping the client make connections that result in transactions that solve client problems.

Solution providers benefit because the process is fast, reduces the prospecting time, and is at no cost to receive RFPs. Providers can negotiate directly with the NS client and NS encourages its clients to quickly communicate about proposals that they aren’t going to select.

NineSigma offers an Innovation Alliance Program that let’s partners earn compensation in return for giving NineSigma access to its supplier community. The program helps to create new member value for these partners within their own science or technology community.

Some associations are partners in this program: the American Oil Chemists’ Society, National Microelectronics Institute, and the Indian Innovators Association.

If a partner’s member submits a proposal that is accepted by NineSigma’s client, the partner will receive 10% of the success fee with a minimum of $1,000. On average, NS says partners may expect to receive $3,000 for each successful proposal." (