Nissan has announced the winners of its inaugural Chairman’s Innovation Awards as part of the company’s drive to nurture top talent and innovative ideas from within the business.
Launched internally in May last year, the first Chairman’s Innovation Awards encouraged employees to share their innovative ideas to unlock business growth and product transformation. An additional award was also developed to celebrate existing innovative behaviour within the business.
Over 2,000 entries were received from across nine European regions, with 20 finalists being invited to the Nissan Brand Centre in Barcelona to pitch their ideas to a judging panel consisting of Nissan Europe Chairman Paul Willcox, members of the Nissan Europe board, Frank Campbell, from Energy management experts and Nissan partner EATON, and Carolina Costa, former MD of Orange Labs London – the incubation hub for the telecommunications firm. As well as the judging panel, Nissan employees were also given a say on the winners using a “people’s vote” function via the company’s employee app.
The two winners announced are:
John will also be given dedicated time out of his job, budget and mentoring to bring the idea to life.
Both winners will also be rewarded with a trip to the NASA Space Centre in the US.
Earlier this month, at the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nissan reiterated its commitment to growing its collaboration with NASA when Nissan Chairman and CEO Carlos Ghosn announced a new ground-breaking innovation developed from NASA technology for seamless integration of autonomous driving called “Seamless Autonomous Mobility” (SAM).
Commenting on the competition’s success, Nissan Europe Chairman Paul Willcox said: “At Nissan, we’ve always believed winning ideas come from within and with more than 17,000 employees across Europe, there’s so much potential to be unlocked. The caliber of the entries we received surpassed all our expectations. We expect The Chairman’s Innovation Awards to continue to serve as a catalyst to encourage our team members across Europe to celebrate and unlock innovation in all its forms across the business.”
John Ferguson said: “I’m shocked, humbled and honoured to win the Chairman’s Innovation Awards. It’s a fantastic initiative and it’s a dream come true for me to part of it. I can’t wait to start making my idea a reality”.
The 20 finalists of the Nissan Chairman’s Innovation Awards 2017 were:
Peter Jones, Manufacturing, Nissan UK
German Pla Vidal, Manufacturing, Nissan Spain
Jean-Christophe Sellier, Sales and Marketing, Nissan France
Jorn Jergens, Sales and Marketing, Nissan Motor Part Center, Amsterdam
Vito Ruggiero, Sales and Marketing, Nissan Italy
Geoff Hicks, Research and Development, Nissan Technical Center Europe, Cranfield
Pierre Montjean, Administration and Finance, Nissan Europe
Vyacheslav Markushin, Human Resources, Nissan Russia
Elisenda Fornols Rovira, Communications, Nissan Spain
Raphael Meillat, Corporate Strategy and Planning, Nissan Europe
Steven Thompson, Manufacturing, Nissan UK
Tony Saxelby Purchasing, Nissan UK
Frederic Puech, Manufacturing, Nissan Spain
Artem Kuzmin, Sales and Marketing, Nissan East
Gary Yuen, Sales and Marketing, Nissan Europe
Sharon Sulu, Research and Development, Nissan Technical Center Europe, Cranfield
John Ferguson, Administration and Finance, Nissan UK, Sunderland
Yana Tkachenko, Human Resources, Nissan Russia
Angela Huang, Communications, Nissan Europe
Stephan Domburg, Corporate Strategy and Planning, Nissan Europe
The 11 judges of the Nissan Chairman’s Innovation Awards 2017 were:
Paul Willcox, Chairman Nissan Europe
Colin Lawther, SVP Manufacturing, Nissan Europe
Takashi Shirakawa, SVP Research & Development, Nissan Europe
Laurent David, SVP Administration & Finance, Nissan Europe
Guillaume Cartier, SVP Sales & Marketing, Nissan Europe
Anish Baijal, VP Human Resources, Nissan Europe
Guillaume Pelletreau, VP Corporate Strategy & Planning, Nissan Europe
Stuart Jackson, VP Communications & Corporate Responsibility, Nissan Europe
Carolina Costa, former MD of Orange Labs in London
Frank Campbell, President of EATON
ABOUT NISSAN IN EUROPE
Nissan has one of the most comprehensive European presences of any overseas manufacturer, employing more than 17,000 staff across locally-based design, research & development, manufacturing, logistics and sales & marketing operations. Last year Nissan plants in the UK, Spain and Russia produced more than 660,000 vehicles including award-winning crossovers, commercial vehicles and the Nissan LEAF, the world’s most popular electric vehicle. Nissan’s Intelligent Mobility vision is designed to guide Nissan’s product and technology pipeline and this 360 degree approach to the future of mobility will anchor critical company decisions around how cars are powered, how cars are driven, and how cars integrate into society. Nissan is positioned to become the most desirable Asian brand in Europe.