Car manufacturer Nissan Europe has held its first Chairman’s Innovation Awards, which aim to celebrate ingenuity and engage employees with innovative behaviours.
Nissan Europe launched the awards internally in May 2016 in order to encourage its 17,000 employees to share innovative ideas to drive product development and business growth, in addition to recognising existing innovative behaviour within the organisation.
The organisation received 2,000 entries across nine European regions, with 20 finalists selected to pitch their ideas to a judging panel at the Nissan Brand Centre in Barcelona, Spain.
The judging panel included Paul Willcox, chairman at Nissan Europe, members of the Nissan Europe Board, Frank Campbell, president at energy management organisation Eaton, and Carolina Costa, former managing director at telecommunications incubation hub Orange Labs London.
Nissan employees also took part in the judging process through a people’s vote function on the organisation’s employee app.
John Ferguson (pictured), from Nissan UK, won in the Unlock category for his idea to use digital e-ink and e-paper technology to provide customers with a limitless choice of car colours, and Jean-Christophe Sellier, from Nissan France, won in the Celebrate category for demonstrating innovative behaviour in leading an online car-sharing programme that allows up to five people to own a Nissan Micra.
Both winners will be rewarded with a trip to the Nasa Space Centre in the US.
Ferguson will also be given six months out of his day-to-day role, as well as budget and mentoring support, to allow him to bring his idea to life.
Paul Willcox, chairman at Nissan Europe, said: “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 calibre 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.”