Professionalization of OPen Innovation in SMEs (POPINS)

Professionalization of OPen Innovation in SMEs (POPINS)

Developing a sustainable ecosystem for the adoption and professionalization of open innovation management in SMEs.


By Alexandre Almeida, LOBA,  (on the picture) 

As identified by the European Commission, “Current research on open innovation has not taken into account the extent and creativity of SMEs in designing and implementing open innovation strategies.

The lessons learned from open innovation come from large firms and are not readily transferable to the context of SMEs. While open innovation in large firms does not affect its strategic objectives, in the case of SMEs, it alters the strategic orientation of the company and requires a comprehensive overhaul of the firm’s strategy.”[1]

In other words, managing and organizing Open Innovation in SMEs is quite specific, and the lessons learned from Open Innovation in large firms are not readily transferable to the context of SMEs. These factors make the need for specific studies on Open Innovation in SMEs even more urgent.

Considering the ‘Annual Report on European SMEs 2013/2014 – A Partial and Fragile Recovery’ published by the European Commission in July 2014, there were across the EU28 in 2013,21.6 million SMEs in the nonfinancial business sector employing 88.8 million people and generating €3,666 trillion in value added.

According to the survey undertaken as part of this report, and as shown below 46% of the SME respondents consider skills and innovation as a significant challenge to address.

POPINS:Professionalization of OPen Innovation in SMEs

POPINS will develop a sustainable ecosystem for the adoption and professionalization of Open Innovation management having in mind these SMEs and with the  objective of offering information vault on best practices of Open Innovation management, methods & tools for helping SMEs identifying their Open Innovation level.

In addition POPINS will be providing on-line training courses covering the key elements of Open Innovation daily management.

This ecosystem will capitalize on a platform for gathering and exploiting information on best practices (organized according to sector, country, and company size characteristics) and will be equipped with a tool set of SME management instruments (including assessment capabilities and training modules).

In Open Innovation environments it is of paramount importance to work with a culture cooperation to shift from coordinated research to the creation of Innovation ecosystems that co-create value.

POPINS will focus its analysis on three priority sectors, namely ICT, Healthcare and Manufacturing. The Healthcare sector can be considered transversal for the SME global world.

The impact of technological advancements (e.g. ICT tools, digitalization, cloud computing, smart software, Key Enabling Technologies ‐ nanotechnology, micro‐ and nanoelectronics, biotechnology, photonics, advanced materials and manufacturing technologies) on the innovativeness, productivity, and profitability of SMEs is already tangible and Open Innovation approaches are often adopted to link Healthcare development to the SME strategy and development.

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