Open Innovation

Henry Chresbrough, the father of all of this. talking about Open Innovation at the Open Innovation & University Conference.

Current paradign: a closed innovation system: a lot of ideas and knowledge that have to be transformed, ‘standarised’ for current production models to reach the market, loosing a lot o possibilities. The process is an one-way-in and one-way-out process: from science -> development -> market.

Which sources of information have we nowadays? Public repositories, as Google or the Public LIbrary of Science. Faculties are anpother good source of infromation and knowledge. Kowledge monolopies are over: industry, the Academia, Journals, USPTO (patents) recipients and, of course, the WWW.

Internal R&D is still needed: it helps to recognised external sources of knowledge, it identifies gaps and holes (they can be sourced outside-outsourcing-) and it enables integration os individual pieces (service?) into a larger whole (it sounds to me gvery close to agent-based systems).

Smallest companies are investing more and more in R&D in the last five years, while largest ones keeps their investent at the same levels. What changed? Five things:

  • increasing mobile trained workers
  • more capable universities
  • dimished US hegemony: Finland, Taiwan…
  • erosion of oligopoly market positions
  • enormous venture in venture capital (3 orders of magnitude y barely 30 years)

What’s new? An Open Innovation Paradigm: many inputs: internal and external technology bases, tech. insoircing… and meny outputs: licensing, spin-offs.. It’s a tunnel (embudo) with many holes. Each in-way can fill different gaps in the process (some kind of spin-ins). And new information arrrives to new markets or even the market of other firms.

The example of IBM: besides its internal tech base, they used Java and LInux (external tech. base) for their products. And they reach other markets with its licensing OEM and ODM program. Other samples: Procter&Gamble.

How can companies gain access to these ideas?: (1) cultivating relationships with academic researchers and institutions (I like this one ;-): odd and funny critters to manage, with different motivations (money is not the most important thing) (2) knowledge discovery processes: tech scouting, idea «hunts», innovation prizes (as Google Android Developer Chalenge or the Lunar X Prize), internal tech fairs and innovation communities. Very «wikinomical».

A couple of good questions: Can you depend on a continued supply of good external ideas? Can competitors get to those ideas as well as you?

Just to finish, the logic of Open Innovation:

  1. Good ideas are widely distributed today. No one has a monopoly on useful knowledge anymore
  2. Financial managers must play poker, as well as ches, to capture the values in false negatives
  3. Not all of the smart people in the word work for us

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