Open Innovation Platforms
The use of online collaboration platforms facilitates the access of SMEs to Open Innovation environments where they can collaborate, co-create and co-participate in innovation projects. In recent years, the number of online platforms for innovation and networking has rapidly grown. These include:
>>> Research & Development platforms (e.g. Innocentive, IdeaConnection, Innoget)
>>> Marketing, Design & Idea platforms (e.g. Innovation Exchange, Idea Bounty, OpenIDEO),
>>> Open Innovation software (e.g. Imaginatik, Napkin Labs, Wellspring Worldwide, connect)
>>> Intermediary open innovation services (e.g. Big Idea Group, Skild, Chaordix, DataStation)
Furthermore, there are other solutions for Creative Co-creation (e.g. Quirky) and Public Crowdsourcing such as iBridge Network.
SMEs can obtain many benefits from being part of such networks:
··· Increased flexibility and reduced costs for firms innovating collaboratively across borders.
··· Collaboration enables skill accumulation and collective learning for the benefit of all participants of the network
··· Collaboration increases the exchange of key individuals between the firms. The users of the networks are members of the staff of the companies
··· Skills can be combined and recombined to overcome bottlenecks
··· Innovation time, costs and risks can be reduced
··· The network provides entry into the industry for small innovative firms. All the companies are freely collaborating at the same level
··· The network facilitates the access to new or unknown alternative markets. SMEs are more often confined in their own market boundaries and open innovation model allow discovering new or alternative market opportunities for their own knowhow and technologies.