Fostering open innovation
Innovation processes are becoming more open. The large, vertically integrated R&D labs are giving way to distributed networks of innovation, which connects numerous companies and organizations into ecosystems. Public policy should follow this evolution and consider the roles of human capital, competition policy, financing, intellectual property, and public data in promoting open innovation.
We conducted in-depth interviews with several leading, innovating companies in Europe and we combined these insights with the policy recommendations we could deduct from the existing literature on open innovation. We summarized the results of our research in several recommendations. These recommendations cover several policy areas such as education, funding innovations, new approaches to IP, fostering cooperation, and experimenting with open government initiatives.
Within education and human capital development, we recommend increased meritocracy in research funding within the EU and support enhanced mobility during graduate training.
In regards to financing open innovation and the funding chain, an important aspect is to increase the pool of funds available for VC investment, and support the formation of university spin-offs to commercialize research discoveries.
Another recommendation refers to the adoption of a balanced approach to intellectual property (IP) through the reduction of transaction costs for intellectual property; by fostering the growth of IP intermediaries; and rebalancing university IP policies so broad diffusion of publicly funded research results is easier, rather than focusing on royalty income alone.
Cooperation and competition must be promoted. It is important to abandon policies to support national champions, and shift support to SMEs and start-up companies; promote spin-offs from large companies and universities; focus on innovation networks.
Last recommendation but certainly not the least is to expand open government. This can be realized through the acceleration the publication of government data, the use open innovation processes in government procurement and the support of private commercialisation of government funded technology.
In the report, we explain in a pragmatic way why these policy recommendations foster open innovation. The report focuses on the general policy principles providing a guideline to policy makers to develop or change policies that focus on the innovations needs in an era in which open innovation generates new opportunities for policy makers, firms and consumers. Click here
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This article is in collaboration with Tuba Bakici and Henry Lopez-Vega.