Current research and practice on Open Innovation (OI) reveals that there are still significant challenges to be tackled with regards to the diffusion, management and support of open innovation in European SMEs.
INSPIRE project aims to thoroughly investigate how OI is managed and organised in SMEs, in order to leverage and expand the existing scattered initiatives and professionalize their services, through:
- In-depth understanding of good practices of Open Innovation in SMEs, including their critical success factors and the open innovation “pathways‟ they follow. Good practices will be identified and understood in all varieties of SMEs (economic context, innovation trajectory, stage of lifetime).
- The design, development and validation of an Integrated Toolbox for OI in SMEs to enable the professional management of an open innovation project by an SME, which combines internal and external innovation activities in various kinds of open innovation initiatives.
- Communicate and disseminate into the EU-wide Innovation Ecosystem stakeholders, including SMEs, innovation intermediaries and policy-makers, the success track record of (managing and supporting) open innovation in SMEs through various web-based methods.
- The development of a deployment plan for an Open Innovation System for SMEs in Europe, by initiating an EU-wide strategic engagement of innovation stakeholders and spreading the practice and the support of OI in innovation and entrepreneurship systems (National, Regional or Sectoral) in Europe.
INSPIRE project activities will result in the empowerment of European SMEs with their own skills and organisational capabilities to actually plan and execute OI strategies, relevant to their context and needs, which generate value for them. It will also induce the development of new ways to capture value, new business models and therefore the realization of new business opportunities for the SMEs and the mobilization of other OI players (policy-makers, OI partners & innovation intermediaries) to kick-start the INSPIRE Open Innovation System for SMEs.
Exploiting its significant experience in designing and providing Innovation Support Services to SMEs, KiNNO will actively participate in the elaboration and analysis of OI in SMEs good practices, as well as co-develop and formulate the OI Integrated Toolbox for SMEs. Furthermore, it will design and develop dedicated training modules and processes supporting the professionalization of open innovation management in SMEs, readily available and accessible to the EU-wide innovation ecosystem stakeholders.
KiNNO will also lead, in collaboration with the partnership, the validation of the OI Integrated Toolbox, through pilot implementation in real life OI projects carried out by SMEs and will be responsible for the Southern European economies analysis and the involvement of OI SMEs and players at project activities. Finally, KiNNO will manage the OI INSPIRE toolbox deployment and exploitation activities in the area.
Partnership: University of Brighton (United Kingdom), Lappeenranta University of Technology (Finland), Institute for Management of Innovation and Technology (Sweden), Verhaert New Products & Services (Belgium), Knowledge & Innovation Consultants – KiNNO (Greece), Lithuanian Innovation Centre (Lithuania), Technology Innovation International (Luxembourg), Science and Technology Facilities Council (United Kingdom), Fundacion ESADE (Spain).