The Market for Open Innovation: Great Insights on Accelerators and Intermediaries


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In the last decade, a new industry of service providers for open innovation has emerged helping companies to address the challenges related to this new paradigm of innovation.

Kathleen Diener and Frank T. Piller of RWTH Aachen University call them Open Innovation Accelerators (OIA). They are intermediaries, consultancies, and agencies helping their clients to accelerate an open innovation project by providing dedicated tools, methods, access to an established community of solvers or participants, but also education and process consulting. With more than 180 players, the market for OIAs however is getting complex and difficult to navigate.

This complex picture prompted Diener and Piller to publish an extensive survey in which they provide an overview of the OIA industry as well as provide good insights to companies on what they should consider when they are about to engage with OIA’s.

As an example of what you can read about in their free PDF summary of their findings – The Market for Open Innovation – Summary – I can share these key characteristics that companies should consider when picking the right OIA:

(1) What is the expected outcome? First of all, consider the type of task and the nature of your innovation problem. Not all OIAs are suited for every open innovation challenge (even if some advertise so!!). OIAs differ with regard to the breadth, scope, and structure of their pool of potential participants, and the options for clients to control access to this pool and the interaction within a given project.

(2) What is the software platform? Software plays an essential part of any open innovation venture. Web 2.0 and social software technologies allow OIAs to operate globally and integrate large numbers of participants without high transaction cost. In 90 percent of all cases, OIAs offer a distinct software solution.

(3) What are the characteristics of the OIA’s community? OIAs build on the involvement of a community (in the broader understanding of the term). OIAs connect clients through their communities with a variety of external actors, most of them are new and unknown to the client (this “looking out of the box” is exactly the value of open innovation).

There are loads of great insights in the summary. Check it out here: The Market for Open Innovation – Summary

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Stefan Lindegaard
Stefan is an author, speaker, facilitator and consultant focusing on open innovation, social media tools and intrapreneurship.


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