In the 21st century, unbridled competition requires organizations to constantly renew their offerings and skills in order to remain competitive within the marketplace. In this challenging context, Open Innovation (OI) emerges as a key tool to promote business agility, thus enabling differentiation from competitors.
Increasingly, companies are moving away from the traditional model of R&D based on vertical access to resources and knowledge within organizational walls, in favor of the participatory approach to innovation proposed by OI, which recognizes the value of external collaboration.
In order to investigate how business leaders and their organizations implement OI, The Economist – supported by SUSE – conducted an interesting research that included not only a review of the relevant literature and a series of interviews with experts, but also the administration of a survey of 500 executives in 5 market sectors in the following countries: United States, United Kingdom and Germany. The study found that 95% of investigated companies practice Open Innovation. More specifically, 54% of the organizations surveyed implement this approach on all or most projects, and as many as 41% of the remaining organizations practice OI on selected projects.
In the light of these data, is of particular interest the article of Dr. Alberto Onetti – Professor of Entrepreneurship & Innovation Management at the University of Insubria in Varese – published on Economy up, a magazine of reference in Italy for topics related to the world of Startups, Digital Economy and Innovation. In his contribution to the journal, Onetti offers a twofold answer to the question of whether it is still possible to make a distinction between innovation and Open Innovation. He asserts that this differentiation is no longer relevant from an operational standpoint, as evidenced by a growing number of professional figures and ways of working that signal a rethinking of how innovation should occur, to the benefit of an IO that is becoming progressively ubiquitous. On the other hand, this distinction is maintained on a cultural level, since, if we consider SMEs, there is still a lot of confusion among the top managers who guide them about what Open Innovation and startups are, thus preventing them from adopting this practice, which has proven to be positively correlated with company performance.
Innogrow fits into this overall picture by recognizing the value of sharing knowledge, skills, talents, and ideas in order to keep up with technological change. As an Open Innovation Enabler, in fact, it involves startups in the innovation and R&D strategies of medium and large companies to obtain all the potential synergies that arise.