Monthly Archives: December 2009

Is Open Innovation Over? What do you think?

Have a read of the excellent discussion going on around whether or not Open Innovation is actually “over”. Read here.

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The Year in Innovation

The Year in Innovation – from Business Week
The innovation industry took a hit this year, as executives dialed back on initiatives—and paid the price. But some encouraging trends also emerged

By Michael Arndt

In 2009 the world was no longer flat; much of it was flat broke. Deflated by slumping sales and income, companies roundly did what innovation consultants say they never should—they cut spending on research and development. The U.S. drug industry, historically one of the most lavish spenders on research and development, announced the elimination of a record 69,000 jobs this year, up 60% from 2008. At many companies, quick hits and line extensions replaced more costly, though potentially more rewarding, investments in game-changing inventions. Read complete story.

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Patent Filings in the US drop

CNN reports that the US patent Office has come out saying tht U.S. innovation slowed this year for the first time in 13 years as the recession cut into budgets, and costs to protect inventions rose.

The number of patent filings in the United States fell 2.3% in 2009 to 485,500 from 496,886 last year, according to a preliminary estimate by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. That makes 2009 the first year since 1996 in which businesses and inventors filed fewer patents year over year.

“That’s unfortunate because [patent filings] are a reflection of innovation,” said David Kappos, director of the Patent Office. “Innovation creates so many jobs and so much opportunity for our country. It is absolutely key to our long-term success in the global economy.”

At the same time, U.S. patents issued to inventors and businesses in foreign nations jumped 6.3% for the year. That’s a worry for Silicon Valley, which has been a global leader for decades.

Most blame the recession for the drop in U.S. filings. As a result, many companies are opting to hold off on bringing new ideas to market until the economy improves substantially.

“Our patent filings were down 25% this year, and it was a direct macroeconomic issue,” said Joe FitzGerald, deputy general counsel for tech security firm Symantec. “The overall company reduced spending, and patent filings are a very controllable expense. We might have filed four patents, but we filed three and made sure they were strategically significant.”

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Modeling a Paradigm Shift: From Producer Innovation to User and Open Collaborative Innovation

Excellent paper from Harvard on the paradigm shift from closed to open innovation. Points made include the following. Full text here.

  • When it is technologically feasible, the transition from closed producer innovation or single user innovation to open single user or open collaborative innovation is desirable in terms of social welfare and is worthy of support by policymakers.
  • Free dissemination of innovation designs is associated with the open model. Open innovation generates innovation without exclusivity or monopoly, and so should improve social welfare, other things being equal.
  • Intellectual property rights grants can be used as the basis for licenses that help keep innovation open as well as closed.
  • Policymakers should seek out and eliminate points of conflict between present intellectual property policies designed to support closed innovation that at the same time inadvertently interfere with open innovation.
  • As design costs fall, many more innovations will originate with single users.
  • Open collaborative innovation projects thrive on low communication costs.

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What is Open Innovation? – a starting point

If you are new to open innovation, have a look at the following video. The music becomes a little tedious, but it is a great place to start.

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Bangalore blooming into innovation hothouse

Great article about how Bangalore’s innovation capability is accelerating. Key points as follows:

  • Google’s Map Maker, Intel’s six-core Xeon processor, Microsoft’s search engine Bing and HP’s Dynamic Smart Cooling Technology have all been designed or have key components built in the city. IBM and Microsoft have tens of thousands of employees based in Bangalore. Cisco is developing next-gen intelligent networking technologies in the city.
  • About 60 per cent of the country’s R&D talent is based in Bangalore. Many of the nearly 700 India-based captive multinational R&D centres are located in the city. That is not counting the R&D outsourced to large Indian software companies such as Wipro Ltd and Infosys Technologies, both headquartered in the tech hub.
  • 3M, General Electric and Honeywell see a 15 to 20 per cent revenue growth in the Asia-Pacific geographies in the next three to five years
  • The swing to greater research happened a couple of years ago when Cisco set up its globalisation centre in Bangalore, making the city virtually its second headquarters outside its base in Silicon Valley. In an unprecedented move, the company then relocated its number two executive, the Dutch-born Wim Elfrink to Bangalore. Companies like Cisco and Nokia are not just shifting R&D to India, they are also shifting R&D management to India and that is the game-changer, says Navi Radjou, executive director of the Centre for India & Global Business at the Judge Business School, University of Cambridge.
  • Costs in Bangalore are still comparable to other global R&D centres such as Shanghai in China, the Ukraine and Russia. An analysis of cost per fulltime R&D employee in Bangalore and Shanghai showed Bangalore holding a 15 to 17 per cent cost advantage.

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Globalisation shapes Employees skills

From CNN

Responding to globalization of the workplace, employees worldwide are developing a new suite of cross-cultural and language skills that will equip them to prosper in a more multinational environment, according to recent findings from a global workplace survey.

The survey, by global workforce solutions leader Kelly Services (NASDAQ: KELYA) (NASDAQ: KELYB), finds that individuals across all generations believe the experience they gain in a globally oriented environment will be critical to their careers.

Gen X (aged 30-47) reports the most direct experience within a global business environment, while Gen Y (aged 18-29) is driving the trend toward globalization, making international experience central to their job selection and promotion. Although baby boomers (aged 48-65) receive less formal support and training than their younger colleagues, they still feel they can succeed in a globalized workplace.

The findings are part of the Kelly Global Workforce Index, which obtained the views of approximately 90,000 people in 33 countries across North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific.

Employees around the globe are recognizing how to thrive in a workplace with fewer international barriers, according to Kelly Services Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, George Corona.

“Exposure to the international workplace is becoming the norm as more highly skilled people develop the capacity to export their talents wherever needed around the globe,” Corona says. “In this environment, the ability to work collaboratively with multinational teams is a critical requirement that we expect to become more commonplace.”

Key findings of the survey reveal that:

--  81 percent of Gen Y believe it is important to their career prospects
    that they become more globally oriented, followed by Gen X (78 percent) and
    baby boomers (71 percent).
--  69 percent of Gen X have recently worked closely with colleagues from
    a different country or culture, followed by Gen Y (67 percent) and baby
    boomers (66 percent).
--  84 percent of Gen X feel that they possess the skills to work in a
    more globally oriented workplace, followed by Gen Y (82 percent) and baby
    boomers (81 percent).
--  In deciding where to work, exposure to a global environment is
    considered 'extremely important' by 32 percent of Gen Y, 30 percent of Gen
    X, and 26 percent of baby boomers.
--  Only 35 percent of Gen Y receive formal cross-cultural or language
    training from their employers, followed by Gen X (33 percent) and baby
    boomers (27 percent).     

Although Gen X and baby boomers have more international experience, Gen Y more readily embraces that experience as a factor in determining future job choice and career progression. Gen Y also receives the bulk of employer-provided training.

“We are seeing a generation emerge that is very confident operating in a global environment. This will lead to many more transferrable skills, and a business dynamic where human capital can be deployed seamlessly to almost any location on short notice.

“Given the significant role this will play in transacting future business and attracting new talent, we expect to see many more firms devoting resources to equip staff with the language, culture, and flexibility they need to be successful in a truly global context,” Corona concludes.

For more information on the survey results, please visit

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Cool video on the value of ideation through to execution

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