Open innovation: Utopia?

Open innovation: Utopia?

Open innovation. Sharing, collaborating, inventing together. How obvious this all may seem, reality shows we’re not used to act in this way. 


There are several thresholds, which prevent us from sharing information, skills and knowledge. Knowledge is power and power is something we like to hold on to. Especially in our western society, based on accepted and firm economic laws.

Sure: we’ve developed a lot of methods that help us to work together. In situations where collaboration is an indispensable condition, that is. And, usually, in situations where a clear benefit lies ahead. Economic laws, remember?

Problem is: reality does no longer accept those economic laws. Society is changing in a rapid pace – we need to adapt faster and faster to keep up with all those changes. In other words: we need to learn faster. We need to combine fundamental and applied knowledge, thereby daring to mix scientific and business motives.

Assuming that cooperation is an effective way to speed up our innovative achievements, a methodical approach is worth considering. Moreover, an approach that takes into account the economic value of cooperation. Economic laws, remember? Since there is a growing demand for knowledge, the ‘open innovation business case’ isn’t hard to picture.

Open innovation can be planned and finding the right method will not be the biggest challenge. Achieving the right mindset however, will be crucial.

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