Corporate Open Innovation Policy Outlines: Product Idea Acquisition from Private Sources, Pull and Push Procedures

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School of Engineering | Master's thesis
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During the last decades the concept "Innovation" has been one of the main issues, in media, in national policy settings as well as in strategies of individual finds. Innovation is supposed to create us eternally growing material well-being. National policy outlines courage firms to invest on R&D and develop innovations. Recently, in these texts a new concept "Open Innovation" has started to take space. In spite of all the discourses on Open Innovation, not too much actual action has taken place. The concept "Open Innovation" itself was fussy and sometimes even misleading with connections to Open Source software development policies. The goal of this thesis is to remove the vagueness regarding the term Open Innovation in general and particularly define the two mechanisms in company's quest to obtain outside ideas, technologies or products from private inventors. The terminology for these mechanisms is more or less my own contribution. The research consists of literature analysis and real-life cases. Literature resources are from known international books and articles, as well as Finnish ones. The real-life cases are done mostly using the internet (international cases) or interviews (Finnish cases). The basic idea is to show the nature of growth of the firms, and the role innovations play in growth of firms. Nobody knows beforehand the products and earning mechanisms, how the firm would achieve its vision in growth and what are means in doing so. One thing is for sure: the firm is making its cash flow-in by the products and the products will not be sold if the products are not carrying the features with innovative nature. The firm does not in advance know where it's getting the best new product ideas from internal sources or from external source. Open Innovation management is about managing the discourse with all possible sources who might deliver feasible product ideas to the firm. In this research I suggest new terms to be considered to give a better picture of Open Innovation processes. By pull process I emphasize the model how the firm might announce to public generally or to a certain group particularly a list of product ideas they are searching for. By push process is described model where the firm has built an access for individual inventors and idea brokers to approach the firm and make their proposals. The main focus is defining the aforementioned two mechanisms and the infrastructure and knowhow they require from the company. The conceptualization of Open Innovation might create models for Open Innovation management systems.
Ekman, Kalevi
open innovation, idea broker, product development, crowdsourcing, private inventor, inlicensing, innovation marketplace
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