15 cool examples of cross-industry innovation in action

Cross-industry innovation is a clever way to jump-start your innovation efforts by drawing analogies and transferring approaches between contexts, beyond the borders of your own industry, sector, area or domain. These analogies can be drawn at various levels, from products to services, to processes, to strategies, to business models, to culture and leadership.

Take a look at here at 15 cool examples, for even more (business model, process and other) examples, check out the blog. If you want custom support or a report for your business/sector/area, just contact us!

Restaurant meets airport

This ‘take what you want’ Shushi bar uses the baggage carousel system from airports.


MRI Scan meets entertainment

GE Healthcare made MRIs less frightening for young children. Doug Dietz -principal designer- finally discovered that the real problem was the experience. The GE Adventure Series was born.


Automotive meets gaming

BMW’s iDrive system was inspired by the video game industry. The iDrive system is a solution to operate the relatively complex navigation in a simple way — while being able to keep your eyes on the road.


Mc Donald’s meets Formula 1

The Drive Thru concept is based on the principles of a fast Formula 1 pit stop.


Financial services / insurance meets mobile

Norwich Union was the first insurance company to start with the “Pay as you go” formula from telecom.


Boats meet houses

Boatbound uses the crowd-sourcing / sharing concept of Airbnb for boats.


Baby pram meets landing gear

Using the concept of an airplane’s retractable landing gear, Owen Maclaren — a retired aeronautical engineer and test pilot who worked on the Spitfire — developed the first foldable lightweight baby buggy, to save his daughter the struggle with her cumbersome pram when getting in and out of airplanes.


Vacuum cleaning meets sawmill

Dyson thought of how a nearby sawmill used ad cyclone – a high cone that spins dust out of the air by centrifugal force – to expel waste. (Cool inspiration from our friends at Creax).


Eggs meets wine

Molded pulp is a great and cheap way to protect a product. It can be applied to protect many other breakable products. Wine for instance.


Lights meets services

Pay for use instead of pay for possession.


Telecom meets toys

Phonebloks is a concept for a phone made of swappable components that fit together like Lego, with each component containing a different function. This means that components can be replaced or upgraded without having to throw away the phone.


Transport meets nature

The kingfisher’s beak became the model for the nose cone of Japan’s 500 Series Shinkansen bullet train (more aerodynamic – less noise).


Phone booth meets solar

Red London phone boxes on Tottenham Court Road are converted into free solar- powered mobile phone charging points.


Fashion meets navigation

Crumpled maps uses the properties of expensive handkerchiefs for easy city navigation (without looking like a tourist, as you can just fold the map for the little area you are at the moment).


Automotive meets equipment

Hilti Fleet Management has a fixed monthly charge that covers all tool, service and repair costs. This new business model inspired by car fleet management simplifies financial planning and results in less administrative work.



These are just 15 cool cross-industry innovation examples, for even more (business model, process and other) examples, check out the blog. If you want custom support or a report for your business/sector/area, just contact us! Copy-Adapt-Paste these insights for your own area!