Archivo del February, 2012

The Innovation Imperative: How Corporations and Nations Can Thrive and Survive the Tsunami of Global Competition

Kenneth P. Morse, Co-director of the ESADE Open Innovation and Corporate Entrepreneurship Programme

Government leaders across Europe and North America are seeking to formulate enlightened, effective policies to create the necessary Innovation and Entrepreneurial ecosystems and help their corporations respond to severe threats of loss of markets at home and abroad. The need to better commercialize public and private investments in R&D is well understood, but does not always happen as hoped for and mandated in well-intentioned protocols.

Hope is not a strategy. We know the European Innovation Engine may not be firing on all 8 cylinders and decisive action is required, particularly since competitor governments around the world are putting more of their muscle behind their drive for innovation.

Let’s go back to basics: Innovation = Invention + Commercialization

One reason that hopeful protocols fail to deliver the needed results is that Innovation is difficult, and requires teamwork among people of different disciplines. The inventors of breakthrough ideas are rarely well equipped to lead their inventions from the cool comfort of the laboratory to the cruel crucible of the marketplace. Even the best and brightest new breakthroughs need to be SOLD. Inventors need to team up with gritty, market savvy, workaholic entrepreneurs to translate their ideas into practice, quantify the value proposition, and find and convince early “beachhead” customers. The job is not complete until years later when the new invention becomes an accepted standard, and finally achieves total global domination of the carefully chosen market niche.

The Lisbon protocol in its various forms envisions top-notch inventors achieving innovation by commercializing their ideas. How will they seek out and be more easily connected to passionate entrepreneurs, and where will Europe’s next generation of entrepreneurs come from?

The challenge is palpable for both global and local corporations, as well as
government-funded laboratories. The pace of change and the need for rapid innovation has never been greater. Today the CEOs of the top companies in the so-called mature Western economies have few tools (and little time) to help them re-engineer their organizations to be more innovative. They lie awake at night worrying that faster, more innovative, lower-cost competitors are springing up every day, eager to take big bites from their cash cows and star performers.

Kenneth P. Morse

Co-director of the ESADE Open Innovation and Corporate Entrepreneurship Programme

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Intellectual Property and Open Innovation

According to the ESADE report on Open Innovation and Public Policy in Europe, “a government that wants to promote open innovation should provide private firms with enough protection to induce them to invest in creating new IP. At the same time, a government has an over-riding interest to ensure that technology is commercialised in as many ways as possible and disseminated widely throughout society. Policy makers should remain concerned with this apparent trade-off between incentives to innovate and ease of diffusion. But recent shifts in the R&D strategies of private firms may suggest that markets for technology can play a more important role in promoting diffusion than in the past. As companies look to make greater use of their IP outside of their own businesses, the supply of knowledge available in the market should increase. Thus, governments should clarify the ownership of IP, and provide the institutional and legal support for its purchase and exchange.

Trademarks, copyrights, trade-secrets and industrial design rights are important in the discussion of an open innovation policy. The emergence of the internet is changing and will continue to change the business models that are used in many service industries . Policy measures can have a considerable impact on the speed and direction of these changes – as we have seen in the music industry – but the European Commission could play a major role in proactively ensuring that IP regulation supports the conditions for business model changes in several services industries that rely on these types of IP protection.”

On the 28th of February 2012, ESADE organizes the “Intellectual Property. Current Issues” conference to discuss IP issues linked to the political agenda. The conference will be hosted in Barcelona and it will feature some of the best specialist in the field.

More information about this event is available here.

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ESADE Report on Open Innovation and Public Policy in Europe

ESADE Professors Henry Chesbrough and Wim Vanhaverbeke have released a report that sheds new light on open innovation and public policies in Europe. The report, commissioned by the Science Business Innovation Board, was presented at the European Commission’s Innovation Convention in December. The report makes various recommendations for public policies, for boosting open innovation and for fostering competitiveness in the European economy.

Click here to read the report.

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