07 December 2021
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“Open innovation is enormously important to achieving a sustainable society”
The World Open Innovation Conference (WOIC), which until now had been organized by the University of California, Berkeley, will take place online this year from the High Tech Campus in Eindhoven, a hotbed of open innovation par excellence. In addition, Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) will serve as the organizational base for the WOIC from this year onward. The theme of the conference, which will take place on 9 and 10 December, is Building Successful Ecosystems Through Open Innovation.
The WOIC is the international summit for the latest academic research on open innovation. In addition, the program includes sessions on the open innovation challenges that industry leaders and policymakers face. The conference therefore attracts not only academics but also Dutch high-tech industry leaders and policymakers.
“You can’t really think of a more appropriate location for this conference,” says organizer Marcel Bogers of the High Tech Campus. Bogers is also a professor of Open and Collaborative Innovation at TU/e and, as of this year, has taken over the organization from Berkeley professor Henry Chesbrough, the founder of the concept of open innovation. “His ideas about open innovation are partly behind the success of the High Tech Campus, home to more than two hundred companies. The campus is an international model of open innovation.”
Open innovation is a concept that has been applied to an increasing degree since the turn of the century. In the past, innovation was mainly created within one’s own organization; with open innovation, this is done in collaboration with multiple partners, which often leads to better results and greater chances of success. Henry Chesbrough, who coined the term ‘open innovation’ in 2003, is one of the speakers at the conference.
“The global importance of open innovation cannot be understated,” says Bogers. “Achieving a sustainable society is the greatest challenge that humanity has ever faced and we need solutions for this very urgently. Only by joining forces through open innovation can we bring about the necessary innovations quickly enough. It’s not for nothing that open innovation is one of the three pillars of the EU innovation policy.”
Speakers include Carlis Baldwin (Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School), Hans Hofstraat (Vice-President of Philips Research), Carmen van Vilsteren (Chair of Topsector Life Sciences & Health), Professor Henry Chesbrough (educational director of the Garwood Center for Corporate Innovation at Berkeley Haas), Focco Vijselaar (Director General Industry and Innovation) and John Jorritsma (mayor of Eindhoven).
The building of innovation ecosystems is the focus of this year’s conference. Innovation ecosystems are clusters of innovative, collaborative companies and other organizations. These types of clusters have a high rate of innovation and serve as drivers of the economy. A good example of this is the Brainport Eindhoven region, where many innovations originate and economic growth rates are structurally higher than elsewhere.
In addition to TU/e and Berkeley, this year’s event also involves Brainport Development and the High Tech Campus Eindhoven, as well as around 15 universities from around the world and companies from various countries.