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Report from the conference ‘Open Innovation – The Next Wave’

The trend towards opening up innovation and the growing number of best practices motivated the prestigious Fraunhofer society to set up an event headlined ‘Open Innovation: The Next Wave?’. In this conference, some 80 innovation practitioners and experts shared their findings and discussed future trends in Open Innovation.

Magnus Karlsson, Director of New Business Development and Innovation at Ericsson, kicked off the presentations by sharing his insights on the firm’s approach to innovation. Two years ago, Ericsson innovation managers saw a pressing need to increase intra-firm collaboration. The approach that Ericsson chose was to provide an infrastructure for individual idea campaigns called Idea Boxes. In the one year since the approach ahs been implemented more than 250 successful idea Boxes have been run. With a strong internal foundation in place Ericsson is now reaching out to suppliers and end-customers to co-drive innovation.

I presented the consolidated findings of a large number of implementation projects and the many distinctions about what works and what doesn’t that I made in the last 2-3 years. In particular I demonstrated proven programs to engage middle managers and the 10 factors that are decisive for implementation success.

One of the highlights was the presentation of Solomon Darwin, Associate Director of the Center for Open Innovation at UC Berkeley who works closely with Henry Chesborugh. He set Open Innovation in a broader context and demonstrated how more open approaches to innovation could be a way to solve the planet’s most pressing problem.

The panel discussions that were arranged tried to distill the ‘Next Wave’ based on what was shared by the speakers. Summing up, the ‘Next Wave’ in Open Innovation is seen to be platform innovations (e.g. eMobility), business model innovations, professional management of innovation networks / and ecosystems and a deep reframing of innovation culture towards rigorous and proactive Open Innovation.