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Digital Economy & Society

ICT as driver for fast tech transfer?


Today, innovation processes are becoming the more and more permeable to the environment, as knowledge and IP is more easily transferred inside and outside a company. Behind this reality emerge the concept of open innovation. Companies cannot afford anymore to rely exclusively on their own R&D but can buy / license other’s knowledge. On the other side, they can also trade their internal knowledge through licensing, joint ventures or spin-offs etc. This is what Chesbrough called open innovation: “a paradigm that assumes that firms can and should use external ideas as well as internal ideas, and internal and external paths to market, as the firms look to advance their technology”. Knowledge that is unused in one context can become a strategic asset for another company, with a different positioning on the market.

The ability, by companies and innovation ecosystems, to identify the right sources of knowledge, and ensuring a fast transfer to the market, determines a clear competitive advantage, especially in a context where time-to-market is crucial.

For instance, Procter and Gamble, in order to increase the transfer of their huge R&D spending in marketable products, introduced a strategic approach to identifying external sources of innovation through a mix of proprietary and open networks, such as internal senior staff, their suppliers network, and open innovation platforms. As a result, the percentage of patents in use in products has increased from less than 10% to more than 50%.

ICT technologies enable these innovation flows of distributed knowledge, enabling and increasing the speed of innovation applications in the market. For instance, web platforms such as Innocentive facilitate the matching of problems and solutions, not by simply encouraging "open source" approach, but creating the appropriate system of incentives and recognition of IP.

What are the bottlenecks to fast and effective technology and knowledge transfer?

Can you point to good examples worldwide of how an organization is accelerating technology transfer through ICT?



28 users have voted.


Sofía Moreno-pérez's picture

Open innovation is everywhere to foster new feasible approaches in an complex word. ICT is the glue and the enabler. But in the core people are the key to success.
An example:
Co-creation in eHealth

37 users have voted.
Carlos Bezos Daleske's picture

Thanks for this inspiring post. Indeed, open innovation was born out of collaborative tools.

34 users have voted.
Ben Miller's picture

Excellent post.
In order to reduce the fears and concerns often associated with the collaborative approach needed to make open innovation work, it helps to create a structure for IP licensing/transfer that individuals and organisations can become familiar with. This is part of the rationale behind P&G's 'airlock', and also behind InnoCentive's six-step process to take innovation problems through to prize award and IP transfer.

32 users have voted.
Laia Pujol's picture

Thanks Ben. Impressive stats about Innocentive: 

41 users have voted.