It is about time I start blogging about innovation. Just cameback from a trip from the US and Europe where I visited companies like Philips, Nokia, Dupont, Novozymes, Syngenta, Xerox and Telefonica to talk about open innovation and specifically, about partnership management. Interesting enough I saw various models being used depending on the industry, vision of the companies and Intelectual Property issues. At this moment I am working on a report for one of my clients o define its open innovation model. The questions range from what they should outsource, with whom to collaborate, where to locate, how to optimalize the knowledge creation within its network ad how to attract and select the right partners.
Open innovation seems to be the subject of the year, but it needs to set up in a very professional manner, otherwhise the cost of doing so, might outrun the benefits. Many times companies neglect IP issues, do not have the right partnership support in place and do not look at their overall partnership portfolio, not onlytechnically speaking, but also culturally or from managerial aspects.
Various companies are doing an excellent job, especially working heavily on the strategic collaboration aspect, but many are struggling with a portfolio of partners which was created based on historically grown ties via individual projects. University relationships are not explored correctly and the comapny fails to explore other potential ways to collaborate with partners (e.g. idea generation, single solution procurement etc.). I recommend to look at Open Innovation, but look at it from a holistic perspective, including strategic objectives, individual relationships, IP issues, processos, it systems and partnership portfolio management.