Reprinted from BioPharmaMarket on the 31st January 2012
Although the term ‘Open Innovation’ was coined relatively recently1, the concept is not a new one: it is about promoting the flow of ideas, from any origin, to any destination, irrespective of organisational boundaries in order to create value.
What is relatively new is the attention that Open Innovation is getting from the Pharmaceutical Industry as an opportunity to address the economic issues that it has been facing.
This paradigm shift is being perceived as an opportunity for all those interested in the Health sector, be they already established players, working in the Life Sciences, or from other sectors entirely such as wireless or IT.
The term, ‘Open Innovation’ was coined by Henry Chessborough in 20031. It is a concept that several organisations, across various sectors, have already had success with. Notable examples are: Proctor and Gamble, Philips, Nokia and BT. Philips’ R&D facility in Eindhoven is a real ‘ecosystem’ for Open Innovation. The company shares prototyping and other facilities with start-up companies and more established companies on the site. It has a venture fund that can help spin out companies from Philips as well as providing funds for other start-up ventures. New companies have access to technical support and also business support via both Philips and the central site services. It is this initiative that has enabled Philips to rebrand itself as a ‘wellness’ company.
A major challenge to Open Innovation, and one that the Pharmaceutical Industry in particular still needs to come to terms with, is the accompanying change in mindset required. There are implications for organisational and regulatory cultural changes, including for example the approach to intellectual property and the protection of patient data.
However, many Pharmaceutical Companies are beginning to explore both the opportunities and the challenges of Open Innovation.
Some of the greatest innovation happens at the interface between non-traditional partners – commercial, academic, clinical, government etc.; or when traditional partners begin to work together in new and creative ways to solve problems. This would seem to be a perfect opportunity for all those with an interest in Health, from whatever sector, to join in exploring the different mind-set involved in Open innovation.
Notes and references
1. Chesbrough H. Open Innovation: The New Imperative for Creating and Profiting from Technology, Harvard Business School Press, Boston, 2003
2. This article was written by OI Pharma Partners – http://www.oipharmapartners.com OI pharma partners helps the Pharmaceutical industry, academia and the public sector use Open Innovation to accelerate drug development and leverage the power of underutilised Intellectual Property.
We use our pharmaceutical expertise, networks and experience of implementing cultural change to understand your needs, explore with you how OI can help achieve your vision and then work with you to implement OI solutions