Digital for all now

Open innovation: the focus of TF1 Group’s strategy

Econocom 20 Jun 2016

At a time when large companies have begun their digital transformation, open innovation can enable companies review their organisation by drawing inspiration from new methods, with the aim of adapting faster to market changes and new types of competitors. This is the approach one of France’s leading broadcasting groups has opted for, as Olivier Abecassis, Director General of TF1, explained on website Maddyness.


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We began by exploring the startup ecosystems in France, Europe, Israel and the States,” says Olivier Abecassis. This enabled the channel to improve its methodology by getting ideas from startups, which are often models in terms of agility. In exchange, startups can learn about the methods used by a major group.


This resulted in the arrival of a new innovation team six months ago at TV channel’s headquarters in Boulogne-Billancourt on the outskirts of Paris. The young, dynamic team can enable the group to be more responsive and act as a liaison between the group and startups.





Since 2008, France’s leading television channel has been part of an open innovation laboratory, the Minatec Ideas Laboratory, which works closely with the CIA Grenoble (a public  organisation devoted to scientific research in the field of energy, Ed), so it can keep abreast of changes in society and the necessary transformations they imply.


In addition to its new innovation team, TF1 has also launched a broader structure which is devoted to collaboration. This partly involves a student internship programme via a partnership with IT school Epitech, whereby final-year students are given assistance for setting up their own business.





The startup ecosystem is the second aspect of TF1’s collaboration system, with a particular focus on new concepts which the startups can develop quickly. The TF1 brand, meanwhile, gives them the prestige and credibility they need to break into the market. The innovation department keeps a close eye on the market, thus offering valuable support to the startups.

The ultimate aim is to strike a balance between the two models which are structured completely differently. Olivier Abecassis believes this objective has already been partially achieved by bringing on board a young flexible team. Ideally, TF1 intends to build an effective collaboration model in line with the needs of each of the parties and based on transparency.

According to Abecassis: “Some people are very familiar with the group and can find the right sponsors to see projects through, whilst others are entrepreneurs, business developers or startuppers who understand all the issues associated with startups and customer relations.” TF1 has embraced open innovation and incorporated it into its strategy: watch this space to see how it pans out over the next few months!



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=> Le Village by CA: a hub of innovation in the heart of Paris

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