Jerome Guillen

Jerome Guillen is Daimler’s director, business innovation

Daimler has been a big user of Web 2.0 technology to generate new ideas and boost its three-year old Business Innovation initiative.

The German premium-car maker said that, after three years, the unit has generated 58 new business ideas. About 12 of these have been launched through pilot projects so far.

Business Innovation started in October, 2007. A team of 15 managers led by Jerome Guillen had clear goals: identify and realize profitable growth opportunities along the entire value chain.

“Business Innovation is today the right partner when it’s a matter of finding and rapidly marketing new products and services outside the Group’s core activities of developing, producing and distributing vehicles,” Guillen said in a statement.

Daimler is pleased that its Web 2.0 Business Innovation Community has allowed employees all over the world to contribute ideas, discuss them and develop some of them further. It said the community includes 20,000 employees, who have submitted 1,500 business ideas. Out of these, about 35 are being worked on at present.

Some examples of successful ideas from the Business Innovation department are:

car2go: An innovative car-rental scheme now piloted in Ulm in southern Germany and in Austin, Texas. International commercialization is planned for 2011.

car2gether: A car-sharing project in Ulm

Solar roof for car2go edition: smart models used in car2go will be equipped with solar roofs from next year.

Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy: A UK and German project to teach young children aged 13 to 15 to drive.