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Symposium 2011

Open Innovation and Access to Knowledge

The Challenge

The world is full of unexploited knowledge and brilliant ideas that are never realized. Innovators often fail to take note of external innovations and sometimes they are not even aware of the market for internal ideas. “Open innovation”—that is, using external knowledge and sharing internal knowledge with external players—is a promising step towards reducing this fundamental mismatch between the global supply and demand for knowledge.

In open innovation projects, innovators from the private sector and academia voluntarily disclose innovation processes and results to other (potential) innovators. They make internal knowledge accessible to the outside world and attract external expertise in exchange. By doing so, they are able to improve their innovativeness.

The success of open innovation projects hinges on the incentives of innovators to share their knowledge and to interact with each other, as well as on the matching of knowledge supplied and demanded. Institutional environments of different quality, for example, in terms of different intellectual property right (IPR) systems, may affect innovators’ incentives to share knowledge and thus the pool of knowledge available for follow-up innovations. To build an efficient institutional environment that fosters both open innovation and competition between innovators, contributions from policy-makers, the private sector, academia and non-governmental organizations are all essential.

How can knowledge sharing be encouraged and supported by redesigning existing IPR systems? Going beyond the purely legal aspects, how can the culture of knowledge sharing in a society be developed and sustained in general? How can the ideas of individuals be better traced and integrated in the innovation system? How can information and communications technologies be used to improve intermediation and communication between innovators? How is it possible to reconcile the social benefits of free knowledge flows and innovators’ private benefits from preserving their knowledge advantages?

    Solutions

    Solution
    Symposium 2011

    Companies need to create suitable and attractive framework conditions: they should foster a corporate culture of openness and trust that supports cooperation in innovation activities across internal and external boundaries ...

    Companies need to create suitable and attractive framework conditions: they should foster a corporate culture of openness and trust that supports cooperation in innovation activities across internal a ...

    Companies need to create suitable and attractive framework conditions: they should foster a corporate culture of openness and trust that supports cooperation in innovation activities across internal and external boundaries to create greater value and work effectively.

    Business
    Solution
    Symposium 2011

    Take customer feedback seriously and integrate customer proposals into business procedures.

    Take customer feedback seriously and integrate customer proposals into business procedures.

    Take customer feedback seriously and integrate customer proposals into business procedures.

    Business, Civil Society
    Solution
    Symposium 2011

    Companies should establish reward systems that encourage both individual innovation performance as well as knowledge exchange and collaboration with external players.

    Companies should establish reward systems that encourage both individual innovation performance as well as knowledge exchange and collaboration with external players.

    Companies should establish reward systems that encourage both individual innovation performance as well as knowledge exchange and collaboration with external players.

    Business
    Solution
    Symposium 2011

    Use social media to provide video interviews with entrepreneurs of SMEs that have successfully opened up their innovation procedures.

    Use social media to provide video interviews with entrepreneurs of SMEs that have successfully opened up their innovation procedures.

    Use social media to provide video interviews with entrepreneurs of SMEs that have successfully opened up their innovation procedures.

    Business, Civil Society
    Solution
    Symposium 2011

    Build functional public innovation funding schemes that support multidisciplinary innovation networks of innovators from the private and public sector.

    Build functional public innovation funding schemes that support multidisciplinary innovation networks of innovators from the private and public sector.

    Build functional public innovation funding schemes that support multidisciplinary innovation networks of innovators from the private and public sector.

    Polity, Academia, Business, Civil Society
    Solution
    Symposium 2011

    Simplify and harmonize procedures to file patent applications and to provide unitary patent protection beyond national boundaries.

    Simplify and harmonize procedures to file patent applications and to provide unitary patent protection beyond national boundaries.

    Simplify and harmonize procedures to file patent applications and to provide unitary patent protection beyond national boundaries.

    Business, Civil Society
    Solution
    Symposium 2011

    Create a regulatory framework that promotes innovation and boosts partnership.

    Create a regulatory framework that promotes innovation and boosts partnership.

    Create a regulatory framework that promotes innovation and boosts partnership.

    Polity, Academia, Business, Civil Society
    Solution
    Symposium 2011

    Create global information repositories that provide a common open platform to address global problems at a decentralized level, which individual users could develop and build upon.

    Create global information repositories that provide a common open platform to address global problems at a decentralized level, which individual users could develop and build upon.

    Create global information repositories that provide a common open platform to address global problems at a decentralized level, which individual users could develop and build upon.

    Polity, Academia, Business, Civil Society

    Proposals

    Proposal
    Symposium 2011

    Open Innovation and Access to Knowledge

    Commented by Dr. Anna Maria Köck and Prof. Dr. Klaus Tochtermann   1. Build functional public innovation funding schemes which support multidisplinary innovation networks of innovators from the priv ...

    Commented by Dr. Anna Maria Köck and Prof. Dr. Klaus Tochtermann   1. Build functional public innovation funding schemes which support multidisplinary innovation networks of innovators from the private and public sector. Limited resources and financial restrictions are major obstacles to the companies’ innovation activities. Particularly small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) face these types of resource limitations, which may result in a lack of large-scale innovations. To overcome this resource limitation trap, governments may establish or strengthen public innovation funding schemes which promote the creation of networks and collaborations of multiple innovators of the private or public sector active

    Polity, Academia, Business, Civil Society
    Proposal
    Symposium 2011

    Reinvigorating the competitive strength of small companies through open innovation: How policy makers can help?

    Many small companies are confronted with harsh market conditions. The current economic crisis has weakened their financial health especially in industries which are globalizing rapidly. These changing ...

    Many small companies are confronted with harsh market conditions. The current economic crisis has weakened their financial health especially in industries which are globalizing rapidly. These changing market conditions force them to look for new ways to differentiate their products and services. Since they lack the required internal resources, they have to collaborate with external partners to innovate successfully and to reach more profitable positions in the competitive landscape. Open innovation is thus a logical step to take for many small firms. The SMEs in low and medium tech industries we examined at the Vlerick Management School indicate clearly

    Polity, Academia, Business, Civil Society
    Proposal
    Symposium 2011

    Open access & Open Innovation Manifesto 2011: Creating the high involvement innovation ecosystem

    Open Innovation requires a culture of innovation, external collaborations and high-speed communications to enhance the use of global digital knowledge – to the benefit of growth, employment and prod ...

    Open Innovation requires a culture of innovation, external collaborations and high-speed communications to enhance the use of global digital knowledge – to the benefit of growth, employment and productivity.   Innovation is a key factor for economic success and a prerequisite for sustainable development. Today, companies such as Deutsche Telekom are embracing “open innovation” – collaborating with external partners, whether suppliers, customers or universities. Innovation eco-systems across countries provide a larger base of ideas and technologies, a key benefit of open innovation. Basically, three ingredients are key to realize open innovation in global networks: First, a culture of innovation is

    Polity, Academia, Business, Civil Society

    Background Paper

    Background Paper
    Symposium 2011

    Open Innovation and Access to Knowledge

    This paper aims to provide a background summary of academic discussion and empirical evidence on “open innovation” and its interrelationship with a more open knowledge access. Based on the e ...

    This paper aims to provide a background summary of academic discussion and empirical evidence on “open innovation” and its interrelationship with a more open knowledge access. Based on the empirical evidence from both quantitative data analysis and qualitative case studies, some current obstacles and challenges confronted by companies in engaging in open innovation are identified: limited innovation capacity and financial resources, mismatches regarding partners, incentives and locations, and high administrative burden of applying open innovation in practice. To cope with these obstacles and challenges, some solution proposals are provided.

    Acknowledgement: We thank Prof. Dr. Klaus Tochtermann and Dr. Anna Maria Köck for their useful comments and suggestions.

    Polity, Academia, Business, Civil Society