Innovation in general means renewal. From an economic point of view, it is about creating something new that benefits an organisation or society. The demands placed on innovation management in companies have changed considerably in recent years. In the traditional understanding, the own research and development department is the driver of innovations (often called Closed Innovation): From idea generation to development to marketing, the innovation process takes place exclusively in the company. An opening to the outside world in order to be able to better meet the increased demands changes this classical understanding.
The term Open Innovation refers to the opening of the innovation process of organisations and thus the active strategic use of the outside world to increase the innovation potential for other stakeholders. These could be customers, universities, research institutes, suppliers or spin-off companies. The process of open innovation becomes visible to the general public above all when the company calls on its customers to generate proposed solutions for problems or product innovations within the framework of so-called crowdsourcing, usually via the Internet. (expanded and translated according to Gabler’s Wirtschaftslexikon)
However, Open Innovation not only integrates external innovation into internal innovation processes, there are also external innovations that do not fit the company - through spin-offs, licensing or Open Source initiatives.
For companies, this means creating an open culture that allows and promotes the opening up of the innovation process. Individual companies create their own platforms for crowdsourcing, partner search or patent filing.