Category Archives: OI Practice

Articles dealing with the Open Innovation practices

[Videos] What you need to know about ideXlab’s Open Innovation platform


ideXlab: a worldwide Open Innovation platform providing multiple services


Using an Open Innovation platform can improve your technology intelligence and accelerate innovation within your company by offering access to the right experts and knowledge at any time. ideXlab provides as a multi-service platform the opportunity to leverage the scientific community. On ideXlab’s platform you can find companies, experts and acadamics researchers. You can also analyse hundreds of millions of publications and patents.

Thanks to a dedicated algorithm, the platform allows users to:

  • Search and analyse publications and patents
  • Store your researches and structure them with a simple “map mind” view
  • Find, identify and rank experts relevant to your needs within among 10 million identified individuals or companies.

ideXlab’s platform connects in a simple way technical questions and their solutions. The platform’s cross-industries approach helps define the state-of-the-art of specific scientific, technical, or marketing innovations. Discover in this short video the story of the platform:

open innovation platform video


Create, store and exchange: a unique Open Innovation platform


In this second video you will go more deeply in platform’s functionalities, simplicity and search potential. It shows a use case related to ceramic parts additive manufacturing.

This case illustrate searching for new technology to improve the manufacturing of ceramics parts by using new additive manufacturing techniques or by using substitute materials.

open innovation platform video

The Open Innovation platform’s added value comes from its capability to combine users’ needs within “four S” actions:

  • Search: find any publication, patent or expert linked to subjects your company is interested in, thanks to ideXlab’s search engine
  • Structure: the platform allow to store previous searches and help structure the acquired knowledge
  • Save: thanks to a storage space you can create your own bibliography
  • Share: last but not least, ideXlab’s Open Innovation platform allows you to share and exchange with other colleagues you findings


If you are ready to try Open Innovation and identify the best experts to solve your technical question, you can start now and open a trial account that includes 10 search credits on our website.


[Guide] Open Innovation options to consider


Open Innovation Practice – Which option to choose?

When an answer to a question cannot be found internally, when the company has opted for outsourcing, what is the best way to deliver that answer, what are the best options for finding this outsourced solution?

For example,

o   Is it necessary to ask the market intelligence or scouting teams (if they exist)?

o   Or should the project manager be sent to a few conferences?

o   Maybe Google is the best way forward?

o   Or would an external consultant be more effective?

o   Is it better to address the question to experts or ask as many people as possible (the crowd)?

o   Is LinkedIn an option?

o   What about open innovation platforms?

Three families of approaches can be identified: doing oneself / DIY, using a consultant, or going through a platform; One can also consider that two main sources of ideas can be mobilized.

In this Guide, you will discover the list of options to consider, their pros and cons, how to choose the best Open Innovation approach for your company, and a practical way forward.


[Ebook] The crucial concept of co-development for Open Innovation


Many companies have evolved from a closed-innovation model to Open Innovation, and have made the most of their networks to satisfy their need for innovation. Is collective knowledge a prerequisite for Open Innovation today? Let’s discover the concept of co-development!

Co-development, from the idea of the product to its production


Co-development is inseparable with Open Innovation. This concept relies on experts and skilled workers from all horizons collaborating all together, but also on a common goal directing the collaborative development of a project. Co-development can be set up at any level of technological growth, from the conceptualisation of the product to its production or methods of distribution. But isn’t sharing for growing a utopia?

Is co-development a relevant solution for all industries?


Don’t be mistaken: collective innovation isn’t as foggy as it may seem at first. In fact, it can apply to any industrial sector in search for innovation. When knowledge passes from one industry’s hand to another’s, it can indeed be a great source of inspiration and growth to both sectors.
In this ebook, you’ll discover 6 very concrete examples of Open Innovation and co-development strategies that performed brilliantly. These innovative success stories take place in the context of various technical problematic, such as:

• Improving bread crispness
• Assessing the application of new materials to electronic enclosures
• Preparing titanium surfaces and composite parts by dry processing
• Seeking a safe and controlled exothermic reaction
• Designing a contactless braking system
• Conceiving a guiding system for autonomous vehicles

image download the ebook


[White Paper] Open innovation in business: incompatible with Intellectual Property?


In an economy of knowledge, it seems essential to be able to protect our industrial properties. Intellectual Property titles are the key for a company’s development and constitute a shield in case of industrial conflict. On the other hand Open Innovation seems to rely on a sharing and exchange, which threatens the company’s safety…

Intellectual Property Rights and Open Innovation in business: from exclusivity to complementarity?

Intellectual Property, and particularly the industrial one, has many advantages, including the submission of patents to protect your creations. As the Worldwide Intellectual Property Organization says, the patents enable your business to:

Establish exclusive rights allowing your company to use this innovation during 20 years, but also to concede or sell this license to a third legal entity
Take a stronger position on the market and a give a power of negotiation by reducing the competition on this market and concluding more cross-licensing agreements
Increase the reputation of your company, as it will be recognized for its ability to innovate and develop new products or services

Open Innovation in my company: it works!


Innovating in business thanks to Open Innovation is easy if you accept its notion of sharing. Nowadays, one notices an innovation freeze in new technologies due to an excessive manipulation of Intellectual Property. Indeed, the WIPO observed in 2015 a record in terms of patent submissions with 2.9 millions handing-in.

As a company, Open Innovation system raises many questions, such as :
How can I protect my business and products without Intellectual Property titles?
Is my company weakened when sharing a license or an Intellectual Property title?

Discover in this White Paper how Open Innovation platforms can answer your questions thanks to an anonymous process, avoiding risks of knowledge loss. Companies that want to launch their products more quickly on the market can’t rely on their own property of their internal resources anymore. On the contrary, they must accumulate opportunities!

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Knowledge Transfer between Academics And Companies In Open Innovation

NCUB made a research commissioned by the Technology Strategy Board and Research Councils UK on the benefits of academic and business knowledge transfer partnerships through a model of best practice (you can get the full Successful engagement in Open Innovation  report here).  The academic expertise engaged with British businesses so as to improve their competitiveness and performance. The knowledge transfer (KT) partnerships has been shown to be particularly useful for universities wanting to engage with SMEs that do not have enough expertise and resources to manage an open innovation partnership.

There were challenges in the open innovation process. According to a study done on innovation , 65 per cent of UK businesses don’t like the long-term nature of academic research. Fifty-five per cent cited regulations regarding confidentiality or intellectual property. More significantly, the study suggests that UK trends in academic-industry engagement in innovation may be going in the wrong direction.

Factors that businesses cited to being a hindrance in creating a smooth relationship between the two worlds, in this study, were researchers focusing on achieving strong and leading hedge results while businesses were okay with 80% solutions, the speed of working  between the two or even un-shared expectations leading to barriers and broken trust and many others. Academics on the other hand found that they were at times insufficiently rewarded, there was too much academic bureaucracy or a lack of experience in dealing with external partners…

Generic model of ideal outcomes and attributes of Knowledge Transfer (5 Cs Model) and the importance of the individual who bridge the two communities

The Creative process in the study has been divided into five parts which can be seen below:

Company Opportunity: A business recognizes that there is an opportunity or a problem that it could address if it had access to knowledge and expertise in specific areas and this may come from a university or academic institution.

Co-Recognition: With the match already in place, a formalized agreement on issues such as IP and delivery conditions is sorted out. This agreement process will also involve the Technology Transfer Office of the academic institution (TTO) and legal representatives on both sides. Academic benefits of the collaboration need to be clear at this stage or the academic partner may not have the incentive to invest the resources required.

Co- Formulation – Knowledge from the academic and business domains is synthesized. This requires collaborative working and the building of trust amongst the partners.

Co-Creation: As the project develops, the partners create the opportunity for innovation in process, product or markets.

Commercialization – This is a mark of success for both parties.

During this process there are two people important to the success of the project:

1. Associate role – The Knowledge Transfer Partnership model allows the business partner to supplement their in-house resources through an Associate. He / She is an outsider recruited by the partnership, employed by the academic partner but embedded in the business to work on the project. Training and development for the Associate are a key part of the Knowledge Transfer Partnership.

2. Adviser role – He/ She is provided by the Technology Strategy Board to support the partnership in the development of its proposal and advise on the managerial aspects of the Knowledge Transfer process. Advisers act as mentors in the preparation for and the implementation of Knowledge Transfer Partnership projects and specifically focus on managerial requirements.

Importance of mechanisms that build trust and allow organisational learning

Knowledge Transfer Partnership is particularly successful at helping partners learn by doing and overcome the barriers to absorbing new knowledge and putting it into practice. It is crucial that staff from the business partner invest sufficient effort and time to absorb or embed the knowledge that they have gained. Over half the partnerships studied commented that the Project Plan was valuable.

It was observed that it:

• Offered a structure that stimulated informal contacts but also provided a controlled means of discussing changes to project plans.

• Provided a framework for regular review and reflection, enabling lessons learned to be fed into future planning.

• Encouraged learning by doing or ‘action learning’.

• Facilitated accountability and the clarity of roles and also helped in partnership building.

• Focus attention on the project through the regularity of contact. Regular attendance by the Academic supervisor is particularly important in this respect.

• Allowed wider contacts to be established through the Local Management Committee. This strengthens partnership bonds and enables knowledge to be embedded.

Added value of Knowledge Transfer Partnership

The Knowledge Transfer Partnership provides weekly meetings between the Associate and the academic supervisor on the business premises and monthly meetings between the Associate, academic supervisor and business supervisor. This helped in the communication between the specialist knowledge in a form that is comprehensible to the business environment. It contributes to building a sustainable relationship between the business and academic institution, which is critical for the innovation process.

The table below  summarizes the processes and mechanisms of the KTPartnership and shows how they help innovation partners meet the challenges of knowledge transfer and develop operational strategies for success, at each stage of the innovation process.

process and mechanism table 1

 from:  Successful engagement in Open Innovation, page 18

process and mechanism table2

from:  Successful engagement in Open Innovation, page 21


The study has shown that, in the new world of open innovation, engagement with business can bring tangible benefits for the Higher Educational Institutions that go far beyond patents, licenses or academic deliverables. It brings for instance case studies for teaching, new field research methodologies and management techniques. It also helps academics develop the skills and experience necessary for working with external partners in a sustainable fashion all equal to the importance of  business’ goal of commercialization.

One aspect remains unsolved in the article which is how SMEs identify the right academic partners that have the expertise for solving their problems. This is a difficult question that open innovation intermediaries as ideXlab have a mission to resolve.

To sum up the report is an overall diagram showing the value added of the KTP.

value added table

from:  Successful engagement in Open Innovation, page 21


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