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Key issues in Open Innovation networks

Recently, innovation-3’s Frank Mattes ran a high-level workshop with 6 firms from different industries on “Best Practices in managing Open Innovation networks”. The participants were at C-/SVP-level coming from Bayer (Chemical/Pharma), Beiersdorf (FMCG), Deutsche Telekom (Telco), Evonik (Chemical), Samsung (Electronics) and Siemens (Electical).

In preparing the workshop, the participants were asked to rank potential discussion topics by the importance for their respective firms. While the results are certainly not representative, they still provide an interesting insight into where leading German firms see priorities in innovation networks.

We sent out ten possible topics for discussion in the workshop that we have been discussing with our clients in the recent past:

  • How do we acquire new potential co-innovators?
  • What is the best organizational set-up for managing a number of external innovation networks?
  • What type of external innovation networks should be used for which type of business / R&D situation?
  • How should inside-out Open Innovation be aligned with external innovation networks?
  • What elements of governance should be put in place for which types of external innovation networks?
  • What is an optimal way of dealing with IP (regarding protection, fostering co-innovation, costs and resources involved, etc.) in external innovation networks?
  • How should the interplay of internal collaboration platforms (e.g. IBM Connections, Jive) and external innovation networks be orchestrated?
  • How should processes be designed that connect innovation management (Stage Gate, portfolios, etc.) with external innovation networks?
  • How can internal experts be motivated to tap in into the potentials of external innovation networks?
  • How should “real life” internal innovation groups / teams be connected with external innovation networks?

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It turned out that for the mentioned leading German firms three of these questions are of particular importance:

  • How do we acquire new potential co-innovators?
  • What is the best organizational set-up for managing a number of external innovation networks?
  • What type of external innovation networks should be used for which type of business / R&D situation?

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The complete priority assessment is shown below.