Valmet Innovation Pathways.

Securing new profitable innovation growth whilst developing an intrapreneurial innovation culture and mindset: Board of Innovation for Valmet.


Strengthening innovation collaboration across the global R&D.

Valmet is a Finnish corporation dating back over 220 years and is the global leader in board and paper, pulp, energy, and automation. Valmet develops mill-wide technologies and industrial machines for board, paper, and pulp mills and bio-energy plants with a strong focus on sustainability across 30 countries worldwide.

In 2017 Board of Innovation was selected to design and develop a tailored Innovation program for Valmet to instill an intrapreneurial way of working across the global organization (12,000+ employees).

“Valmet’s second global Innovation Pathways program nearly completed. This innovation training concept works better than I ever imagined, Valmet participants seem enthusiastic and customers more than happy. The plan is to continue full speed the coming years!”Ari Saario, Vice President of Research & Development, Valmet


A tailored B2B Innovation Pathways run twice a year with a live B2B client.

Board of Innovation designed, developed and facilitated “Innovation Pathways” programs in collaboration with a select B2B strategic partner during each program. This gives cross-disciplinary project teams real client needs, problems and opportunities to uncover in order to ideate, prototype and test new breakthrough innovations with early stage validation (problem-solution fit) from the customer, before moving into Business Modelling validation (product-market fit).

“Most of us were not familiar with the topic, which meant that we needed to expand our own knowledge, tap into the team’s collective knowledge and utilize our networks to come out as winners,” explains Keijo Kivimäki from Valmet.

The program is split into several modules held at inspiring startup-hub cities throughout Europe. We inspire the teams to experiment with new ways of working spanning from Design Thinking, to Lean Startup and Business Model Innovation, with the support of our proven tools, methods and processes. 

While innovation in the B2B space used to take several years, with Valmet we were able to reduce the process of testing and validation to just 4 months.

During the last module, project teams develop executive pitches for their concepts and business models to present via Dragon’s Den to senior management both from the B2B partner and Valmet executives. The panel can choose to invest in new breakthrough innovations to take forward and vote on the best proposition bring to market together right after the program end.

“The whole concept of the program is new and innovative and watching teams stand up and present their ideas to a panel of “dragons” was really exciting. I am proud of the teams and I especially like the fact that they had the chance to interact with the customer several times during the program,” says Ari Saario, the owner of the program from Valmet R&D.


Inspiring 300+ intrapreneurs from cross-functional global business units.

The first training program was completed in December 2017 and resulted in 2 ‘Golden Ticket’ innovations to take forward with the B2B partner after the program.

In addition to the business value generated by the Innovation Pathways track, participants could experiment with new innovation tools to support an intrapreneurial way of working. To support and ease the consolidation of the new way of working, we delivered a Playbook & Toolbox for the alumni members of the program, to support an ongoing iterative, customer-focused innovation culture and mindset.

“The program puts you into start-up company mode, brings out your competitive spirit and gives you tools to innovate and solve problems, which can be applied to your own work. I particularly enjoyed learning about minimum viable products and business concept modeling, essentially how to make a new business out of an idea,” Tuomas Petänen from Valmet.

The Valmet Innovation Pathways will run again, together with a different B2B partner, twice a year through 2019.

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