Stretching Your Innovation Dollar Series: How Open Innovation Unearths Corporate Potential

Show Summary

What does innovation look like in the corporate context in 2020? And how can utilities leverage their people, their partners and smaller players in the startup ecosystem to create value for their customers?

This is the first episode in a series on Stretching Your Innovation Dollar, where we explore how water utilities can partner with, co-create with and empower innovators both from within their organisations and externally.

In this episode, we talk about open innovation with David Camerlengo, until recently, Principal of Open Innovation at Unearthed. Unearthed is an Australian-based technology and innovation services platform that connects challenges facing the resources sector to a community of entrepreneurs and industry innovators.

David shares some excellent insights with us on what open innovation is, how it’s implemented and what good looks like. He also demonstrates how this approach has helped solve big business challenges through external collaboration and finding potential in unlikely spaces.

Meet this week’s expert

David Camerlengo

Principal, Open Innovation



David has a passion for matching large resource sector corporates with small startups and scale-ups from around the world. What he’s found is that sometimes the best solutions come from surprising places and ideas, and that’s the beauty of open innovation.

David’s experience is largely based in technology commercialization and senior stakeholder engagement, with a background as an engineer. Previously he served as Trade & Investment Commissioner for Queensland Government and was based in Houston, Texas.

David is a board member of both the Open World Wide Innovation Network, and the Australian — American Chamber of Commerce and is the former President of EGR Group. And, he’s just announced an exciting career move to Austrade. We wish David well in his new role.

Connect with David Camerlengo on LinkedIn


Show Highlights

  • The cultural element is probably one of the biggest impacts in that it can create around helping them to identify new ways or new approaches that they [our clients] might not otherwise have been able to find.
  • We work in specific parts of operations where there’s some incredible domain expertise. There’s a whole bunch of amazing engineers. I’m an engineer, you know, as my background. But they tend to solve problems with an engineering lens, right? You bring that same problem to maybe a data scientist, they might try to solve that problem with an analytical lens. You bring that problem to somebody else, maybe with a humanities background, and they might look to solve that problem from a people perspective or a social perspective… I think that’s really incredibly important is having that diversity of views and perspectives and backgrounds to take, maybe attack a problem or move something forward in a different approach.
  • There’s a growing capability in the world. We want to remove those barriers, those boundaries, from being able to access those capabilities. We only think it’s going to continue to grow.


About Future Water

Hear from water innovation and digital transformation leaders from across the globe and discover the technology and innovations that are shaping the digital future of water. Proudly hosted by AquaLAB, powered by GHD Digital.



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