Research paper explores benefits of open innovation to business

  • 14 April 2014
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Businesses today are increasingly engaging in open – or collaborative – innovation. The open innovation model, and the supporting role of intellectual property (IP) in this context, is the focus of the latest research paper from the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), which will be launched in Geneva today.

The Open Innovation Model is the second in a series of five research papers produced by the ICC Commission on Intellectual Property that provide insights on how IP interacts with decisions, transactions and processes related to technology development and dissemination. The report comes as businesses are being forced to contend with a range of factors, including globalization, advances in information and communications technology (ICT), and growing technological complexity, that are providing an incentive to collaborate more closely on innovation. This paper aims to inform policymakers and other stakeholders about the open innovation model, and its relevance to the business environment of today. Specifically, the report looks at the origins and evolution of open innovation, contrasting these with the traditional “closed” approach to research and development. Furthermore, it explores the importance of strategic knowledge management in the context of open innovation, demonstrating how IP rights can be used to help share technology and know-how in support of open innovation. “Open innovation is expected to become the most prevalent innovation model of the 21st century,” said Daphne Yong-d’Hervé, Chief Intellectual Property Officer at ICC. “ For this type of collaborative innovation to succeed, strategic and proactive management of a business’ intellectual assets, including through use of IP rights, is essential”
The report includes policy actions to support open innovation, including:
  • improving patent quality,
  • increasing access to the patent system,
  • educating innovators about effective intellectual asset management,
  • ensuring adequate trade secret protection is in place, and
  • fostering the creation of innovation networks and clusters
The first paper in the IP and Innovation series, Enhancing IP Management and Appropriation by Innovative SMEs, launched in October 2013, addressed how SMEs could improve their performance through better management of intellectual assets. Further papers, to be released over the course of 2014, will explore issues relating to the evolving geography of innovation; trade secrets; and diffusion channels for technology and know-how. The Open Innovation Model paper will be launched during a discussion lunch in Geneva. Speakers, who include Emil Pot, the General Counsel of a Belgian SME and Hesham Wahby from Innoventures, a start-up accelerator in Cairo, will discuss themes from the first two research papers in the series.