How to implement open innovation: lessons from studying large multinational companies

This report sets out to answer the question: ‘I want to implement open innovation – where should I start and what should I do?’ It provides an overview of existing approaches to OI and outlines how a company can start to implement a strategy to match the organisation’s needs. The report will be particularly relevant for CEOs, CTOs and senior managers of R&D and supply chains. It will also be useful for senior managers who have been charged with OI implementation.

The report is the product of two years’ research within the Cambridge Open Innovation Network, a network hosted by the Institute for Manufacturing and funded by Unilever and the Cambridge Integrated Knowledge Centre. It illustrates the challenges facing senior managers who are setting out to implement an open innovation strategy in their companies. The importance of organisational culture, and ways in which the culture can be influenced, has been the key focus of this research.

From interviews across various sectors, it was clear that OI means different things to different industries. However, all the companies involved recognised that OI represents an opportunity to improve innovation capability and to confront business challenges. All the contributors to our study showed a great interest in understanding and sharing practice about ways to implement OI in their business.

ISBN 978-1-902546-75-9