Verhaert is member of INSPIRE, a multidisciplinary consortium of experienced organizations working in Open Innovation and SMEs. By investigating current case studies we will be able to encourage Open Innovation in European SMEs.
Shift towards open innovation
To increase the efficiency and effectiveness of innovation processes, we see companies shifting from a so-called closed innovation towards a more open way of innovating. To create customer value, they search for new technologies and ideas outside the company. Open Innovation can be described as ‘combining internal and external ideas as well as internal and external paths to market to advance the development of new technologies’ (source: openinnovation.eu).
Managing and organizing open innovation in SMEs
The last 10 years Open Innovation has been mainly embraced by large companies. The evidence for the value of Open Innovation in SMEs is significant. However, there are still crucial challenges to be tackled regarding the management and support of Open Innovation in European SMEs. INSPIRE aims to investigate how open innovation processes can be professionally managed and organized in SMEs.
Integrated toolbox for SMEs and innovation practitioners
To achieve this goal, INSPIRE will study a critical mass of SME Open Innovation cases. Of more than 300 examples collected from different countries, 120 were selected for detailed exploration. The findings will be translated into an Integrated Toolbox, a targeted support framework to be offered and exploited by SMEs and innovation practitioners in Europe. The findings of INSPIRE will be disseminated extensively to a wide audience. This in order to raise awareness and drive the formation of a living community which can promote better Open Innovation processes in SMEs by sharing knowledge, experience and opportunities.
Multidisciplinary consortium of organizations
To access the whole open innovation chain across a range of geographical, economic and SMEs’ context, the consortium includes a variety of competences. There are 8 European countries participating in this project, including strong academic research partners in innovation management. The project is coordinated by the University of Brighton and will run until March 2019.
With our profound experience in managing the innovation process, Verhaert will have a strong contribution to this project. More specifically, Verhaert will have a leading position next year in developing models for the toolbox. We expect that the outcome will help the European SMEs to manage open innovation in a professional way so they become more competitive in the long term.
Visit the website of www.brighton.ac.uk for more information.