Open Innovation – the International Partner Approach

  • Posted on: 3 March 2020
  • By: John.Holmes

Open Innovation (OI) is a process that in the information age requires a mindset focused toward innovation that runs counter to the secrecy and silo mentality of traditional corporate research labs. In this vein one of the guiding ideas behind the OI2Lab is to encourage cross border partnering.

With the successful launch of the latest challenge call OI2lab is again pushing companies to think beyond their own borders.

The call “Boosting business growth through open innovation” challenged SMEs, start-ups and entrepreneurs who wanted to improve their existing products, services or processes or who wanted to bring a novel idea to life, to opening their ambition to external input.

The call received an overwhelming response from across Europe. So popular was it in fact that over 67 businesses submitted their ideas for further scrutiny.

Following a rigorous evaluation process 36 finalists were selected as winners. The list of winners can be found here: https://oi2lab.com/opportunities/open-calls-profile/30

But this is only where the process begins!

By encouraging a ‘partnership approach’ the process of developing from an idea to success is much, much quicker. So the next step and the test now for these winning businesses is to embrace the idea that shared development is the key to success. The €5000 voucher that each of the winners receives supports this process and gives them a chance to purchase assistance.

But it is not all about the money. Open Innovation will only work properly if all the companies involved are prepared to engage fully with their partner. At the moment the winners are in an exploratory phase: engaged in finding the right partner with whom to work in developing their idea.

Hopefully these conversations will be the start of fruitful and rewarding relationships but the next steps are critical.

OI2 lab is only the catalyst for what, all being well, will transcend this programme and lead to real advancement for those concerned. The real test of their Open Innovation ambition is whether these winners are able to embrace full and capitalise on the opportunities they gain from partnering.

We will of course continue to assist them in their journey and provide further support to them as they go forward. Whether this is through e-learning:  https://oi2lab.com/elearning/modules, through growing their network: https://oi2lab.com/collaboration/network or tapping into other sources of funding: https://oi2lab.com/opportunities/financial.

However the results pan out, we wish them well. The true success of OI2lab is in their hands and how they are able to replicate this partnering on a long term and sustainable basis in the future.