What is Open Innovation?

According to Chesbrough (2006) open innovation is based on the “simple” notion “that firms can and should use external ideas as well as internal ideas (…) as they look to advance their technology”.

Economists have traditionally identified, especially since Solow’s growth model (1957), innovation and technical advance as the main engines for gaining competitive advantage and steering economic growth. In the context of the “previous” paradigm, innovation was, generally speaking, conceived as an inner process within organisations, closed to and from the outside, in order to “secretly” nurture and preserve their competitive advantage along the course of product development and commercialisation (Gassmann, 2006).

However, today open innovation is considered the new paradigm on the field of industrial innovation, as long as many companies have been progressively opening up their innovation systems with “the use of purposive inflows and outflows of knowledge to accelerate internal innovation, and expand the markets for external use of innovation, respectively” (Chesbrough, 2006).

Is open innovation only possible in the private sector? Can the public sector develop processes of open innovation? is there already any example of open innovation in the public sector? what are the differences between private and public sector types of open innovation?

These are some of the underlying questions addressed by the research inspiring this blog.



Gassmann, O. (2006). Editorial Opening up the innovation process : towards an agenda, 223–228.

Chesbrough, H. (2006). Open Innovation : A New Paradigm for Understanding Industrial Innovation. In Open innovation: Researching a New paradigm. Oxford University Press.

Solow (1957) Technical Change and the aggregate production function. The Review of Economics and Statistics, Vol. 39, No. 3 (Aug., 1957), pp. 312-320.


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