Forum Open Innovation at Fraunhofer Insitute in Stuttgart

How does firms like Intel, SAP, Daimler, Philips, Ernst & Young work with open innovation? These were some of the highlights at the Forum for Open innovation, arranged by Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering last week. Some 100 representatives from the German business and academic sector gathered to listen and discuss topics related to the concept of open innovation.

Sabine Brunswicker from the Competence Team Innovation management at Fraunhofer hosted the event.

-We think  open innovation is a new means of value creation and offers business future growth opportunities. It is a phenomena extending well known innovation practice of the past (such as joint ventures and R&D collaboration). Currently, we see an “evolution” taking place and the crystallization of the next generation of open and distributed innovation where not only the firm but also its ecosystems play a central part in innovation activities. By hosting this event we want to bring together both practioneers and researchers to share experiences within the field of open innovation. We want to address questions like: Is open innovation just a hype? What are central topics of the future? How can you design and implement open and distributed innovation processes and structures to ensure sustainable impact? What are the potentials and challenges?  said Sabine Brunswicker from the Competence Team Innovation management at Fraunhofer-IAO, responsible for the practice “Open Innovation”.

Dr Thomas FischerDr Thomas Fischer, senior consultant from five is innovation consulting gmbh was one of the participants in the conference:

-How to work with open innovation and innovation processes is a growing interest and increasing topic in the consultancy business. So I´m here to learn more and get inspired.

Martin GreffMartin Greff is working as quality- and innovation manager at the Academy of German Cooperatives.

-I´m here to get new ideas within the field of innovation management. As for open innovation, we haven´t started to work with that yet in my organization. We are still in the process of starting up our processes.

Christiane Hagmann-SteinbachChristiane Hagmann-Steinbach is a management consultant working mainly with SME:s.
-I´m here to get more knowledge of what´s going on within the field of open innovation. Is it just a hype or is it real? And what are the trends? So far my clients have not started to work with open innovation, although many express an interest in it. According to my experience there is a lack of innovation management structures in many SME:S. And this is something you have to work with before you start working with open innovation.

One of the keynote speakers was Professor Martin Curley, Global director of Innovation and Research, Intel Labs Europe. He gave a talk on Collaborative Innovation and Globalization and used this video to illustrate the struggle of many CEO:s.

-In a sense, this is what innovation is about, you have to do it while up and running.

Facts/ Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IAO

The activities of the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IAO focus on investigation of current topics in the field of technology management. A holistic approach is applied to the study of commercial success, employees’ interests and social consequences.

The Institute helps companies to identify the technologies of relevance to them, and draws up a technology strategy aligned to the competitive environment and the market. It plans the deployment of technology for the entire enterprise, in the business sectors and in individual projects.

Depending on the requirements of the company, the Institute develops or modifies technical systems. The Fraunhofer IAO plans and organizes future-oriented structures suitable to the needs of people involved in production, as well as in the administrative and technical departments of companies in industry and the service sector. Research focuses on the development of advanced information and communications systems.

Fraunhofer IAO works in close cooperation with the Institute for Human Factors and Technology Management (IAT) of the University of Stuttgart. Both Institutes employ a permanent staff of over 250. More than 10 200 m² of offices, laboratories and technical installations are available to carry out contracted research.