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Driving Open Innovation

It was 15 years ago that Open Innovation was coined and defined by Henry Chesbrough in “Open Innovation: The New Imperative for Creating and Profiting from Technology”.

He opined, that business was changing and the days when companies prioritised internal excellence, protected intellectual property and looked to secure the lion’s share of the market and profits were no longer the pathway forward.

In his article in 2003, Chesbrough produced a table identifying the key principles operating in both Closed and Open Innovation.

Closed Innovation Principles Open Innovation Principles
The smart people in the field work for us. Not all the smart people work for us, so owe must find and tap into the knowledge and expertise of bright individuals outside our company.
To profit from R&D, we must discover it, develop it, and ship it ourselves. External R&D can create significant value: internal R&D is needed to claim some portion of that value.
If we discover it ourselves, we will get it to the market first. We don’t have to originate the research to profit from it.
The company that gets an innovation to the market first will win. Building a better business model is better than getting to the market first.
If we create the most and the best ideas in the industry, we will win. If we make the best use of internal and external ideas, we will win.
We should control our intellectual property (IP) so that our competitors don’t profit from our ideas We should profit from others’ use of our IP, and we should buy others’ IP whenever it advances our business model.

Closed Innovation is symptomatic of the 20th century and was considered the only way to get ahead in business and remain one step ahead of your rivals.

But that is no longer the case where, through globalisation, greater knowledge is accessible outside of an organisation and that collaboration actually brings much greater benefits than trying to pursue success alone.

Improved technology, the advanced capability of the internet, enhanced communications and a more open-minded approach has changed how the world works together.

At Sci-Tech Daresbury, Open Innovation is very much part of everyday life for businesses on the campus with 80 per cent of companies confirming they collaborate with other companies or organisations on site.

We acknowledge that the success of Sci-Tech Daresbury isn’t just down to bricks and mortar and the world-class facilities, but also that there is a natural environment for businesses to collaborate together, share knowledge and mutually benefit in the process.

This is an ethos we have deliberately strived to achieve. We promote the campus as being a technology business community, and being a community is important.

We are looking to further enhance this over the next three to five years with our focus to create ‘clusters’ in a variety of specialisms including data-intensive businesses, MedTech and advanced engineering.

The creation of clusters will also push collaboration and Open Innovation to higher levels than we are already achieving.

There are plenty of examples on the campus of where Open Innovation and cross-campus collaboration has worked.

Arcis Biotechnology has really benefited from being located at Sci-Tech Daresbury since 2010. The opportunity to collaborate at Sci-Tech Daresbury has been vital for Arcis Biotechnology and helping the business achieve its ambitions.

Over the course of the past eight years, it has worked extensively with design consultancy, 4D Products and health economics and business intelligence specialists, HCD Economics with all three located at the campus’s Innovation Centre.

Combined with the support of Sci-Tech Daresbury, it has really made a huge impact on according to Arcis Biotechnology chief scientific officer Jan Rogers.

She said: “Without this collaboration, it would so much harder. Collaboration has helped us to deliver our products and systems faster and with everything in place here is allows us just to focus on what we need to do without distraction.

“The whole ethos here allows the flexibility of growth patterns and as we have expanded to 10 people. Our close collaboration with Sci-Tech Daresbury’s has also accommodated our very specific needs.”

This view is echoed by the businesses here, but we are aware that we’re not achieving 100 per cent in Open Innovation, which has to be our target.

Some businesses may not feel they can open the doors or but using people outside of your business can bring many benefits. It is worth developing an Open Innovation strategy as benefits include

  • Bringing skills, expertise and experience together
  • Complementing resources and talent
  • Increasing speed to market
  • Lowering cost and risk
  • Defining objectives, roles and timings effectively
  • Enhancing communication between the team

There is a dedicated website to Open Innovation, which has a US slant but explores the theories and practices deeper.

However, if you want to know how we can assist with helping you create and exploit Open Innovation then contact us.

The table in the article: http://www.openinnovation.eu/open-innovation/