Scouting for Ideas with Eidos Market

Published on Monday, 3 March 2014

A way of sharing ideas over the web to raise awareness of them and turn them into tools for innovation is the idea behind Eidos market, the crowdsourcing project that has allowed users to create networks through which the skills and best practices of individuals and organisations are turned into assets that can be shared and adopted.

The goal of crowdsourcing is to involve people in activities that require the raising of funds and that can be properly promoted only through the web.

The Enel Group in Spain and Latin America has adopted and developed the potential of this sharing model, keeping an eye on sustainability and involving the participation of its employees. Pilot projects were launched in the Group's companies in Spain and Latin America between 2012 and 2013, resulting in the creation of the Eidos platform that recognises the company's professional skills, giving a voice to Enel employees.

Last April Endesa launched Eidos Market, a portal created to collect the ideas of employees, giving them the chance to show their potential. The initiative, which was put to the test through a six-month pilot project by Endesa Chile, scouted for bottom-up ideas through the crowdsourcing platform. During the first stage of the project 1,249 ideas were collected and 249 of them were finally approved. The website attracted 32,500 visits from users from seven different countries.

The ideas submitted by Endesa employees that received the highest number of votes were those aimed at solving daily workplace issues: safer remote management in order to lower the risk of electrocution and fraud; augmented virtual reality applied to grid installation, and the use of organic solvents for the cleaning of used oils.

The most original idea came from Pablo Reyes, a marine biologist at Endesa Chile, who based his idea on the technique used by whales to hunt for food: he created a physical barrier of bubbles to prevent fish and shellfish from approaching water supply points. The prize for the 'Leonardo Da Vinci of our times', which was handed out as a result of large number of ideas being presented, went to 38-year-old Ramón Martín Álvarez, who started working at the Planning and Grid Quality Department at Endesa in Seville seven years ago. Álvarez presented an incredible 66 ideas, of which 63 passed to the next stage.

The Eidos Market pilot project launched in Italy saw large-scale participation, with 479 employees responding to the call to deal with three business sectors: new customer products and services, customer experience and customer loyalty.

'It is a process that begins with the development of ideas from our colleagues, suppliers and research centres,' explained José Arrojo, head of Innovation at the Enel Group and the initiative's main supporter. 'We need Eidos because it is part of a complex process that enables us to create a good strategy, a good ability to build projects, and a culture of innovation that begins with participation.'