June 6, 2007

Open Innovation: A Worldwide Perspective

By Vareska van de Vrande

During the past few weeks, I have been immersed in open innovation research around the globe.

From May 16-19, I have co-chaired the Open Innovation track (#12) at the EURAM conference in Paris. From a large number of well written submissions to the track, 14 papers, broadly representing 4 different topics, were selected for presentation. On the first day of the conference, the track started with an overview of the current status of open innovation research, stressing the importance of management related issues in the implementation of open innovation in both large and small firms. The second session, on "External Knowledge Sourcing", stressed the roles of different external parties in the open innovation process, such as competitors, end-users and universities. During the third session, two more presentations stressed the role of universities as a source of external knowledge. The last session included a number of presentations around the organization of open innovation within companies and the corresponding challenges faced by firms. The keynote speech by Julian Birkinshaw advocated once more the need of a theory on open innovation and the issues that should be concerned when developing such a theory. In all, the different presentations in this track have shown once more the many aspects of open innovation research and the many questions that are still open for discussion. If you want to learn more about the different papers, please visit OpenInnovation.eu, where all presentations are available for download.

Soon after Paris, I left for the 5th International Symposium on Management of Technology (ISMOT'07) in Hangzhou, China. The conference was focused around the theme "Managing total innovation and open innovation in the 21st century" and was held at one of the leading research institutes of China: Zehjiang University. A number of keynote speeches from academic researchers as well as from leading industry experts stressed the growing importance of open innovation in their respective fields, indicating that open innovation is a truly global concept. The paper presentations furthermore showed that many Chinese researchers have also picked up on this topic. For more information about the conference, please visit the ISMOT'07 website.

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