2 Decades of Open Innovation: an infographic

2 Decades of Open Innovation: an infographic

The rise of open innovation has been a long-standing trend in business. In the early 1990s, companies were starting to realize that they could improve their competitive edge by sharing their ideas and innovations with others. This led to the development of the concept of “open source” software, which allows for free exchange of information among developers. Open innovation is a term first coined by professor Henry Chesbrough in his 2003 book “Open Innovation: The New Imperative for Creating and Profiting from Technology”. It describes the process of organizations leveraging external ideas and resources to drive innovation and growth. This can be done through things like open R&D, corporate venturing, collaborative research, etc.

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Open Innovation’s Latest Papers: Wicked Acceleration, Entrepreneurial Ecosystems & More

At OpenInnovation.eu, we are on a mission to bridge the gap between education and industry. That’s why we continuously scan the newest, open access, publication in the field of innovation & entrepreneurship for you. These are some of the most interesting publications recently:
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33 routes

33 Routes to Open Innovation

It has been a while since Henry Chesbrough coined the term Open Innovation and formulated its definition: “combining internal and external ideas as well as internal and external paths to market to advance the development of new technologies.” (Chesbrough, 2003). Over the course of time, the terminology relating with Open Innovation has evolved alongside developments in management literature and practices. Open Innovation as a paradigm on itself is on its quest to touch base outside the academic world. Rather than taking a (technical) process-oriented approach, Open Innovation is now also about Open Business Models (Chesbrough, 2006), Open Services (Chesbrough, 2010) – both from a more strategic perspective – and practical tools (Vanhaverbeeke, 2017) – more from a tactical or operational point-of-view.

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15 Best Open Innovation Articles of 2015

15 Best Open Innovation Articles of 2015

2015’s Innovation Management conference (ISPIM) was all about Open Innovation. In fact, it was one of the most keywords – and definitely the most specific one – used amongst all 233 papers presented during the conference. Although the articles are not completely available yet (if you’re not a member), I have used it to draw up a list of the 15 best articles presented on the conference on Open Innovation of 2015 so far. I have added elements of the abstracts here, but following the links you can download the full papers from the ISPIM website.

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10 Years of Open Innovation Research

This scientific publication by Bogers and Chesbrough provides an interesting and pragmatic overview of 10 years of scientific research towards Open Innovation. It uses trends graphs, wordclouds and most cited articles to clarify the development of the expertise.

Topics include:
– Intra-organizational Individual : Group/Team , Project , Functional area , Business unit
– Organizational Firm : Other (non-firm) organization, Strategy , Business model
– Extra-organizational: External stakeholders, individual, community, organization
– Inter-organizational: Alliance , Network , Ecosystem
– Industry: Industry development , Inter-industry differences
– Regional innovation systems: Local region, Nation , Supra-national institution
– Society: Citizens, Public policy

Read full article: 10 Years of Open Innovation Research

Source: Bogers & Chesbrough, 2014
Source: Bogers & Chesbrough, 2014

Open innovation as a start-up strategy

Interest in open innovation has risen dramatically in recent years. However, much of that interest has centred on large-scale enterprises. The focus of this paper is to explore open innovation from an SME perspective and in particular the under-researched perspective of a born global firm. We seek firstly, to explore the viability of open innovation as a start-up strategy for two Irish born global firms within the ICT industry. Secondly, we examine the impact of certain contextual factors on the adoption of particular forms and modes of open innovation.

Read full article: Open innovation as a start-up strategy

Towards an Open Innovation Measurement System

Since the beginning of an open innovation era back in 2003, the
research of the phenomenon keeps spiking the interest and the publications
with the keyword open innovation grow exponentially every year. The
multitude of research focused on many details of open innovation, at the same
time literature reviews of this research aimed at classifying and structuring this
enormous amount of information. Nevertheless, there has been no interest so
far in understanding how we should study open innovation to stop going in
circles. In order to do so, the analysis of the methods and measures of open
innovation to date had to be analysed. This paper represents a structured review
of quantitative publications of open innovation and analyses the indicators
applied by different researchers in different contexts. By doing so, we
contribute to the theory of open innovation and add to the understanding of
how it is measured.

Read full article: Towards an Open Innovation Measurement System

Open Innovation cooperation strategies in Regional Innovation System

The paper tackles an interplay of two theoretical approaches
concerning innovation management understood as a collective process of at
least a few interacting entities. The first approach is anchored in management
and covers Chesbrough’s Open Innovation concept and its followers. The other
refers to regional science with focus on Regional Innovation Systems. Both
approaches use quite a similar toolkit to support their relevant objectives:
business models enhancement for OI and regional business dynamics for RIS.
Correlations and interactions between business involvement in RIS processes
and OI processes were scrutinized in Southern Poland, where 3 regions selected
ICT to be their technological specialization. 200 companies were interviewed
to find out whether territory plays a significant role in OI management.
Altogether the paper answers a question whether theoretically not so distant
concepts of OI and RSI co-exist in business routines of Polish companies.

Read full article: Open Innovation cooperation strategies in Regional Innovation System

FEI open innovation 2014

FEI Open InnovationPrint

Open Innovation as an Enabler to Inclusivity, Frugality and Agility

May 13-15, 2014 | Boston, MA



Featuring Unilever, Singularity University, Clorox, Roche, General Mills, Pfizer, Pitney Bowes, and more

Open is a foundational concept– it’s not new, and it’s not going away. How to strategically use and ADAPT open is where real innovation is happening and new ideas can be shared. FEI: OPEN focuses on the next generation of open innovation uses- deploying open innovation to innovate faster, better, and cheaper. The event covers three core tenants, OPEN as an enabler to inclusivity (changing the mindset to be even more inclusive), frugality (doing more with less, also known as Jugaad innovation.. innovation with constraints), and agility (accomplishing even more in even less time).

Special rate for OpenInnovation.eu subscribers: Register with code FEI14OPEN & save 20% off the standard rates.

3 aspects in which Open Innovation companies distinguish themselves: results from science

Recently, the Open Innovation Research Forum – part of the University of Cambridge – released a paper that shows results of a study among almost 1200 German innovation companies. The paper provides the hypothesis that several different innovation-enabling factors would generate more revenue within companies that embrace Open Innovation than within companies that don’t.

To be precise: the authors refer to Open Innovation as the use of “search openness”, i.e. the use of external ideas and developments as an influx for internal research and development. According to research findings, almost 70% of these companies indicated they absorbed external knowledge from one or more source. Because it is near-to-impossible to gather information on all these sources, the authors focused on gathering data on the influx of ideas from 5 sources: customers, suppliers, competitors, research institutions and government.

Most importantly, they defined four “moderating factors”: factors that could distinguish organization that absorb from the above-mentioned 5 sources from those that are not. Explanation of these four can be found in this table:

Factors distinguishing Open Innovation companies Characteristics used in study
Technology Leadership
  • Focus on Technology Leadership
  • Focus on Leadership in New Product Development
  • Focus on Leadership in New Process Development
  • Focus on Introduction of Entirely New Technologies
Incentive System
  • Use of Innovation Performance Indicators for Staff Assessment
  • Use of Tangible Incentives for Innovation Managers
  • Use of Intangible Incentives for Innovation Managers
  • Use of Incentives for Idea Development by Staff Members
Research Capacity
  • The ratio between firms’ R&D expenditures and their revenues.
Cross-functional Collaboration
  • Cultivation of Informal Internal Exchange Networks
  •  Joint Development of Innovation Strategies
  • Open Sharing of Innovation Ideas and Concepts
  • Reciprocal Support with Innovation Challenges

Table 1: four factors that are studied.


The authors gathered information from 1170 different organization, mainly from Germany. They are based upon a larger survey of which only a certain percentage was led to useful information regarding this study. The sample group spreaded out across several sectors:


For more information about the methodology used, please see the attached document.

Results: what factors are more present in Open Innovation organizations?

The study reveiled that 3 out of 4 hypotheses showed different results for companies that act on Open Innovation compared with companies that do not act on Open Innovation.

  1. The Incentive System: having a high Incentive Design, companies that use Open Innovation generate much more revenue from New Products.
  2. Research Capacity: having more research capacity, companies that use Open Innovation generate more revenue from New Products.
  3. Cross-Functional Collaboration: having higher cross-functional internal collaboration, companies that use Open Innovation generate more revenue from New Products.

The study also showed that Technology Leadership, although, like the rest, is generating more revenue when more present, doesn’t show significant differences between companies that use Open Innovation and those that don’t. In other words: Open Innovation companies with great system of Technology Leadership don’t necesseraly generate more revenues from new products, then Closed Innovation companies with a great system of Technology Leadership.

This figure shows the results:


Download the paper:

Click here to download the full paper.