New report on open innovation

Posted on 5 Oct 2009 by The Manufacturer

Cambridge University’s Institute for Manufacturing (IfM) has produced a new guide to show how other companies can follow in the footsteps of companies such as BP, GSK, Phillips and Unilever.

The report, “How to Implement Open Innovation”, is the result of a two-year study of some of the world’s leading firms.

The research team looked at more than 30 major companies from a variety of sectors, including energy, aerospace and defence, software and media, electronics and telecommunications.

It is thought that open Innovation could be a way of improving a firm’s ability to create and capture value, by improving the rate and quality of innovation. Rather than relying on internal resources firms share knowledge and technologies with other companies in a bid to create new commercial opportunities

Report co-author Dr Letizia Mortara, of the IfM’s Centre for Technology Management (CTM), says that while Open Innovation is relatively new phenomenon, “it has started to gain traction in businesses across a range of sectors. We wanted to try and find out if there was a framework or guide for other firms to implement Open Innovation and to understand what people involved in its adoption did on a day-to-day basis.

“Philips is a good illustration of OI implementation; it created incubation processes to carry out research into ideas which do not immediately fit within existing businesses, but in time could lead to the introduction of new products.

“But Philips is not the only firm to embrace OI, and others have adopted interesting approaches. Our study provides an overview of a range of current practice and illustrates the challenges firms may face when attempting to implement OI.”