Innoman helped Neste: to speed up the analysing and developing of new ideas

Neste Oyj

Neste develops responsible solutions for the needs of traffic, enterprises and consumers. Neste helps clients to reduce climate emissions by means of a versatile product range consisting of renewable products. They are also the globally biggest producer of renewable diesel refined from waste and leftovers, and they introduce new solutions also to aviation and plastics industries. Neste are also a technological frontrunner as a company refining high-quality oil products. Neste´s aim is to be a reliable partner whose expertise, research work and responsible ways to act are widely valued. In 2019 Neste achieved the third place on the Global 100 list comprising the 100 most responsible companies in the world.

Line of business

Chemical industry


EUR 14.9 billion

Number of personnel

approx. 5500

The service business of the Neste Group is developing via new ideas. It is demanding to develop an entirely new idea: on one hand you’ll have to get rid of old patterns, on the other hand, you’ll need new tools and new ways of thinking to make the development work easier. Neste asked Innoman to help to evaluate and to develop a radical innovation.  The doctrines of neuroscience on human behaviour were also utilized in the process.

The cooperation between Innoman and the service business of Neste started from a tip provided by the product development unit of Neste. There had already been cooperation between Innoman and other units of Neste, in developing innovations.

©Innoman/ Linda Lipponen, Lifu

–We were looking for a new approach to doing, to bring a new idea to a concept level, and to test the idea. We wanted to look over various approaches and learn new methods to develop an idea particularly in service production, tells us Mr. Antti Pulkkanen, the Head of Service Design at Neste.

No actual target was set for the cooperation, but instead, the focus was placed on going through various frames of reference applied for the scrutiny, that were used in order to assess a new idea from different points of view and to dismantle it into pieces. An idea was evaluated for example on the basis of how radical it was, and various scenarios were examined. The aim was to use as versatile tools as possible and introduce them also to the organization of Neste to be used after the actual project, too. The idea was developed for instance based on the Six Thinking Hats method.

”We were able to develop a new idea systematically, using new tools effectively”, Pulkkanen tells.

–This is about a platform service innovation for the urban segment, which is so radical, that a similar one has never before even been thought of. Because in development work we usually stick to our standard patterns, we wanted to ensure the possible environment to develop a new idea. This approach proved to be excellent.


Neuroscience describes the basis of human behaviour

Doctrines of neuroscience were brought along to the project by Innoman’s expert, docent Jyrki Suomala; they enabled us to explain the basis of human behaviour, and the way how they should be taken into consideration in product development. The greatest benefit of neuroscience will be obtained in particular at the early stages of an innovation process.

”In developing an innovation, we should move from a product oriented approach to human-centrism”, says Jyrki Suomala.

–The linguistic and conscious process provides only a part of the explanation for human behaviour. For example emotions and social factors have a much greater impact on human behaviour than what is being consciously processed. Therefore, it is essential for product development to become more and more trained to understand human actions, because products and services developed this way will become the most popular ones. When developing an innovation, we should move from a product oriented approach to human-centrism, says Jyrki Suomala.

It is important to take people into consideration immediately at the early stage of an innovation process, because it is not possible to change the fundamental things later any more. It is quite often that way that the fundamental decisions affecting a person’s purchase decision and customer experience are made as early as immediately in the beginning of product development.

–We valued in particular Jyrki Suomala’s approach with a strong basis in academic research. It is about measured research data, not enquiries. Several good points came up in workshops, and we were able to test our concept from the point of view of neurosciences. We got good insights and learned new things, says Pulkkanen.

©Innoman/ Linda Lipponen, Lifu

A successful cooperation requires contributions from both parties

Along with the cooperation, Neste got practical help in developing a new kind of concept from an idea to an innovation. Furthermore, the organization still has available tools tested during the process and ways of examining an innovation, to use for developing other innovations, too. The cooperation produced both immediate and long-term benefits. Successful cooperation requires both parties’ commitment.

”People at Neste had compiled a great cross-functional team for the project, and it provided an enthusiastic environment full of ideas to develop new things”, tells us Mr. Pekka Berg who led the project on behalf of Innoman.

–The Neste team was very motivated and highly committed to develop their operations and to receive outside expertise. People at Neste had compiled a great cross-functional team for the project, and it provided an enthusiastic environment full of ideas to develop new things, tells us Mr. Pekka Berg who led the project on behalf of Innoman.

–Cooperation with Innoman went extremely well. They have good processes to develop innovations, and I’d like to thank cordially both Pekka Berg and Jyrki Suomala for our course days – we had a good thing going on, says Pulkkanen.


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Pekka Berg

Chairman of the Board
+358 40 545 5560