December 1, 2016

Open Innovation in Barcelona

In two weeks, #WOIC2016 will attract open innovation scholars from around the world the 3rd annual World Open Innovation Conference. (It is also the first-ever outside California, a day I have been hoping for since we launched WOIC back in 2014).

The conference will be held Dec. 15-16 at ESADE near Barcelona. It is chaired by Henry Chesbrough and Wim Vanhaverbeke, the academic program by Marcel Bogers with Jonathan Sims and Ann-Kristin Zobel; and (as in previous years), Solomon Darwin of UC Berkeley running the industry program. On a personal note, this will be my first year at WOIC as a mere program committee member (rather than conference or program chair), and thus without the (sizable) organizational responsibilities to put on an event like this.

As in previous years, the conference is distinguished by an unusually large share of participants from outside academia. The plenary sessions include the vice mayor of Barcelona, an award-winning chef, the EU Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, a Philips VP, and directors from Telefonica and a local hospital. The program also includes five ESADE faculty or administrators (plus Chesbrough and Vanhaverbeke, who hold part-time appointments there), and a panel of four China scholars talking about open innovation in China.

The academic program will begin with a plenary session of three highly-rated papers that is chaired by the editor of R&D Management (which is publishing a special issue from the conference). The remainder of the conference consists of 63 papers in 20 parallel session (across five time slots), plus the now-familiar poster reception (this year emphasizing wine over beer) with 17 poster presentations.

Over the years, we have found that the world of open (and user) innovation researchers is heavily skewed towards Europe (rather than North America). Even more so than in previous WOICs, this month’s program reflects this Eurocentric perspective. We hope to see a large turnout of leading, up-and-coming and future OI researchers in Catalonia.