Building an internal accelerator with Ramboll


Enable Ramboll to build the core capability to systematically innovate to drive future growth and revenue.


Together with Ramboll, we designed an internal accelerator with a dual focus on developing internal capabilities and accelerating expert ideas into internal startups.

Strategic Innovation Management – embedding an innovation framework

Despite significant growth since 2001, Ramboll experiences pressure on margins and acknowledges the value chain of the industry is challenged by startups and corporates from different industries. The sheer speed of change in the industry made Ramboll recognize a need to leverage and systematize their innovation capabilities even further.

So how does a global corporate like Ramboll succeed in systematically strengthening their innovation capabilities?

With 15,000 consulting engineers, designers and management consultants employed, Ramboll holds an enormous reserve of expertise to tap into. To facilitate this potential systematically, Rainmaking designed the ‘Ramboll Innovation Accelerator’. The accelerator provides a framework for developing new ideas, rapidly assess their commercial potential and grow them to innovative businesses unlocking new revenue streams. But the accelerator does not only serve as an epicentre for organisational innovation – it also functions as a vehicle for cultural change towards an even stronger client-centric based business development.

Intense work with proven tools – testing desirability, feasibility and viability

In March 2018, the Innovation Accelerator was launched by inviting every employee to hand in an application with their best idea for how to create future value for Ramboll. With no less than 270 completed applications from 16 different countries, the Innovation Accelerator had officially started.

From day one, the accelerator was permeated with an energy focused on developing client-centric innovation based on proven startup methodologies. The participants worked with Lean Startup principles coupled with practical tools like Business Model Canvas, Value Proposition Canvas, Customer Validation, Market Sizing, User Journey Mapping and Digital Marketing. These tools provided the teams with new ways of working and enabled them to test the desirability, feasibility and viability of their idea with a speed surpassing their expectations.

During the program, the 3 final ideas were able to generate over £300k in revenue and secured partnerships with companies such as Google. By end of the program, the 3 teams all received investment and are forecast to generate over £1.5m in new revenue in 2019

Once again, I have been blown away by the professional commitment and passionate engagement from all teams. They are an inspiration to all of us in Ramboll and they play a very important role on our journey to become a digital leader of our industry.
Hilde Tonne
Group Chief Innovation Officer

Learnings & conclusion – a catalyst for personal and organisational transformation

The participants of the Innovation Accelerator recognised their journey as transformative, both personally and professionally – and now become ambassadors for innovation inside Ramboll, sharing their learnings with colleagues across the organisation.

It’s been a great experience. One of the best experiences I’ve had here in Ramboll. It’s been really fun to learn new things as a scientist. New ways to thinking about businesses. New partnerships and friendships, too.
Mike Rawitch
Senior Consultant at Ramboll Environment & Health

From an organizational perspective the Innovation Accelerator has proven a great tool to leverage Ramboll’s existing innovation capabilities. It has furthermore served as a catalyst for illuminating where Ramboll needed to strengthen their internal innovation ecosystem. This organisational learning has been critical to further Ramboll’s capability to systematically innovate and drive future growth and revenue.

We are eager to leverage these learnings even further in the Innovation Accelerator 2019 and 2020.