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Jose Antonio Arias, Chief Innovation Officer at MAPFRE, discusses how the company’s open innovation platform is at the heart of their business.
What makes your company truly innovative?
MAPFRE has a long history of being an innovative company, constantly generating differential value propositions for clients, driven by a transversal and integral vision responding to business challenges. Innovation is one of its main levers to boost organic growth and envision its strategic outlook.
MAPFRE OPEN INNOVATION (MOI) is an open platform born with the aim of becoming the world benchmark for insurtech. A model articulated to consider the internal strategic capabilities and digitalization of models and solutions for clients. This fostered a relationship with external agents and other players within the innovation ecosystem, mainly technology-based startups offering disruptive solutions in the insurance value chain.
The rapid succession of decisions and activities has been driven by a transformation and innovation committee chaired by the chairman and CEO, Antonio Huertas, which leverages the talent of a number of the company's principal executives.
MAPFRE's global dimension in innovation is executed in a very consistent cycle (from identifying challenges, to pilots and subsequent integration to the production of new solutions based on disruptive technologies) and doing so in absolutely relevant and competitive countries such as Spain, US, Brazil, Germany, Mexico or in such global businesses as reinsurance and assistance.
What are the major goals and results obtained from your ongoing innovation strategy?
The evolution of MAPFRE Open Innovation has achieved excellent results in each of its elements:
• Disruptive innovation, the closest link to the insurtech ecosystem, focused on three pillars: the Accelerator (insur_space) which facilitates direct interaction with selected startups; Venture Capital stakes that allow a broader knowledge in insurtech and provides a favorable position during its success; and agreements with universities and research centers that facilitate access to talent and knowledge.
• Strategic innovation, its value proposition focuses on achieving the business challenges (short-term) and the objectives identified in the strategic plans driving the business of countries, units, and corporate areas with measurable objectives. Its transversal vision and vocation keep clients at the center of the entire life cycle of projects.
• CESVIMAP, MAPFRE’s Road Safety and Experimentation Center, is a technological research laboratory in new products and services focusing on Usage-Based Insurance (UBI) and Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) in combination with crash test or traffic accident reconstruction.
How is a culture of innovation achieved across your company?
Our culture of innovation is disseminated globally within the company and proof of it is MAPFRE’s initiatives and projects recognition such as:
1. Launch of two batches for insur_space with more than 2,000 startups. We have incorporated 29 into our acceleration and adoption model. 14 startups have developed consistent pilots and in the most advanced cases solution integrations are already taking place in our businesses. We have also accessed and shared experience with external talent, in a process that we see accelerating transformation and improvement in both directions.
2. Participation as an anchor investor in the venture capital fund "Alma Mundi Insurtech Fund, FCRE," (exclusively focused on the insurtech space).
3. Consolidation of #innova, MAPFRE's intrapreneurship program, 2 editions, 9 countries, impacting more than 16.000 employees.
4. Decontamination by CESVIMAP 2,556 vehicles, more than 71,000 parts removed resulting in CO2 emissions’ saving due to the second life of these parts (totaling 50,260 metric tons).
5. International recognition as an innovative company in insurance sector:
a. “Verti Driver” finalist in EFMA-Accenture Innovation in Insurance Awards 2019.
b. Interactive virtual reality in vehicle claims adjusting (Premio Azul, INESE –Spain).
c. Socially responsible initiatives to improve the driving (II Technology and Innovation Awards La Razón- Spain).
How does your company manage the overall innovation process?
The innovation process at MAPFRE begins with the identification of the challenge (from strategic planning) and ends with the creation of the pilot, at which time leadership is transferred to the business. It is divided into pre-project (challenge and idea phases), project (concept, prototype, MVP, and pilot phases), and implementation (pilot and deployment phases).
The MAPFRE Innovation Community comprises different structures within the organization: the innovation area in the corporation, the innovation offices and ambassadors in the countries and business units, and the network of Innoagents (people who collaborate in innovation on a part-time basis at the same time as working in another position within the organization).
There is a complete alignment between innovation and business, at country, region, business unit and corporate level working closely with the corporate human resources area within the organization, with the aim of achieving greater agility for business challenges and objectives of the countries and units.
Download the full paper "Innovation in insurance: The end of insurance as we know it" and read the other exclusive interviews.