The future of open innovation

by Cecilia Thirlway, on 2 Jun 2016 1 min read

The future of open innovation - a neon open sign.

Open innovation has come a long way. Initially described by Henry Chesbrough in 2003, it’s now firmly established as an approach, with innumerable books and research papers published on the subject.Helpfully for those of us who don’t want to wade through all of them, Henry Chesbrough recently published a useful summary of the progress of open innovation since his first book was published.

Titled ‘Reinventing the Company in the Digital Age’, the paper describes not just the origins of open innovation for technology and product-focused companies, but also Chesbrough’s subsequent books Open Business Models and Open Services Innovation.

It includes a useful discussion of the difference between open-source and open innovation, drawing an important distinction between models that include protection for intellectual property and those that rely on everything being shared with everyone.

Perhaps most importantly, the paper also includes Chesbrough’s thoughts on where open innovation is headed, with a strong focus on the idea of organisations building innovation communities rather than just one to one partnerships.

On a related subject, business model innovation is a topic that has not enjoyed as much attention as other forms, but is now coming to the fore. A very timely email from Cambridge’s Institute for Manufacturing alerted us to some of their most recent work on the topic, including a white paper that looks at the theoretical challenges underpinning this type of innovation and makes recommendations for academia, business, funding councils and government.

You can see the full email here - it also contains a number of links to other papers on business model innovation.

Topics:Creative ThinkingOpen Innovation