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Industry Imperatives:

In a rapidly changing world there is a continual need for access to knowledge and skills to innovate. There is an increasing demand on resources and the need for a return on investment.

Firms must collaboratively innovate to reduce the cost and increase the output from our innovation effort.
(Reference: ABS 2010, Catalogue 5260.0, ‘Experimental Estimates of Industry Multifactor Productivity, 2009-10’).

The traditional mentality around innovation in the manufacturing sector in Australia is slowly being redefined as immense pressure is being put on Australia’s economic global competiveness. The technology transfer process calls for an active participation and support from the technology source. 

"Open Innovation" involves companies acquiring external knowledge from a variety of sources. 

Open innovation is a business model that encourages collaboration with a broad range of external partners. It acknowledges that no one company can have all the expertise and own all the best ideas. Indeed solutions to technical challenges could already exist in non-competing sectors.

Professor Henry Chesbrough, the pioneer of Open Innovation, describes it as a "paradigm that assumes that firms can and should use external ideas as well as internal ideas, and internal and external paths to market, as they look to advance their business." (Chesbrough, H. 2011, Open Services Innovation: Rethinking your business to grow and compete in a new era, John Wiley & Sons, San Francisco, CA).

Open innovation can include:

  • seeking access, licensing and use of existing technologies or collaborating on joint research projects
  • research and collaboration with partners such as university groups and key suppliers
  • co-development with other companies (either competitors or non-competitors)
  • out-licensing technology to non-competing groups.

Just about anyone can benefit from Open Innovation including:

  • Manufacturing firms of any size
  • Research Institutions
  • Service providers
  • Industry associations
  • Community innovators

An innovation system is necessary to fully grasp the economic, social and environmental impact of innovation strategies throughout an organisation. Those enterprises that thrive in the foreseeable future will be those that acknowledge the need for help and are willing to systematically share process, knowledge and technology adoption to succeed on the global front.

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