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Thoughts On Open Innovation

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Open Innovation is everywhere. However, the precise scope of Open Innovation, its impact on daily life, and the policy measures needed to sustain it are still a matter of intense discussion and debate. This book goes some way to addressing these challenges. It covers openness in software, data and access in an accessible way with essays penned by leading thinkers in each field. It forms part of OpenForum Academy's policy outreach and is presented by the Fellows from our think-tank.

Thoughts On Open Innovation builds on the success of 'The First Openforum Academy Conference Proceedings', which collected essays from a broad range of thinkers who collaborated to consider Open Innovation in the context of economics, society and global affairs. The new book is intended to provide additional context regarding Open Innovation, focusing on explanation rather than research, and to deliver a snapshot of important developments for policy-makers, business leaders and researchers to consider.

'Thoughts On Open Innovation' was launched at the Digital Agenda Summit in Dublin on the 20th June 2013. You can read the official launch announcement on the OpenForum Europe website.

Chapter Overview

Although the term “Open Innovation” is attributed to Prof. Henry Chesbrough, who used it in a book published in 2003, the concept is much older, as demonstrated by the quote of Sir Isaac Newton. Already in the 17th century, scientists all over Europe were in contact with each other, sharing the results of their experiments and the theories based on these results. Since then, collaboration and sharing has been the norm in scientific communities and limitations in the possibilities to do so – due to tensions or even wars between nations – have always been considered as hampering progress. <Read more...>
Until the advent of the Internet, the acquisition of knowledge was a linear process, with the discoveries of one innovator only becoming available to be built upon by the next after being reported to, evaluated by, and eventually published in a journal of repute. Similarly, the process of creation of collaborative works was largely limited to individuals that were physically in one location, due to the need for real time communication. Not surprisingly, the legal rules, tools and practices that evolved over time reflected this sequential and insular process of creation, tilting the balance of rights towards the creators, in part because the opportunities for societally beneficial, real-time sharing were limited. <Read more...>
Open Innovation is one of the most frequently cited terms in Information Technology. It is applied to software, to data, and to hardware. It manifests itself in practically all discussions around standards and access to information. Whenever an argument can be made for increased collaboration or sharing, Open Innovation is invariably proposed as an approach that offers an equitable solution for the majority of stakeholders involved. But what is it, and how does it work in the real world?  <Read more...>
When OpenForum Academy sent out a call for its second book, we felt the need to contribute a piece on the enormous upwelling of openness in the scientific process. At the Open Knowledge Foundation, we had already published a chapter in the last book and felt this was a good opportunity to present some of our ideas and culture to a readership who would appreciate it. <Read more...>
With the growth of the open data movement, governments and data publishers are looking to enhance citizen participation. OpenStreetMap, the wiki of world maps, is an exemplary model for how to build community and engagement around map data. Lessons can be learned from the OSM model, but there are many places where OpenStreetMap might be the place for geodata to take on a life of its own. <Read more...>
  • Getting Requirements Right: Towards a nuanced approach on standardisation and IPRs by Jochen Friedrich
Global ICT standardisation takes place in a diverse ICT standards ecosystem. Different organisations cover different technology areas. This includes a diversity of IPR policies – tailored by the members of the respective standards bodies so that the market is served best and innovation is promoted in an optimal way. Governments reflect this in their policy making when including a reference or requirements to standards and specifications. The differentiate between policy areas and the needs that evolve for standards supporting the respective actions. This level of differentiation leads to a nuanced approach which best serves the markets and unleashes the potential for innovation which can be achieved with the support of standardisation. <Read more...>
Public procurement makes up 19.4% of EU-wide GDP. The public sector's procurement choices therefore have very real effects on the economy, and play a significant role in determining the sort of firms that thrive in the market. 62Even with current procurement practices, Free Software is already delivering very significant benefits to the European economy. Based on the evaluation of several code reuse surveys, Daffara (2012) estimates that Europeans enjoy 114 billion EUR per year in direct cost savings thanks to Free Software. [...] Despite this evidence, most European public bodies continue to rely mainly on non-free software. <Read more...>
  • Understanding Commercial Agreements With Open Source Companies by Amanda Brock
According to ZDNET’s Dana Blankenhorn, most open source software no longer comes from open source developers, but from the proprietary companies. Having  worked for 5 years as Canonical’s General Counsel, heading up the legal team commercialising services associated with the Ubuntu operating system,102 I was immersed in the hard work that comes with the commercialisation of open source software and been exposed to the models and tribulations of making money from FOSS. In this article I have taken some time to think about commercialisation as an issue and the models for commercialisation. <Read more...>
  • No One Speaks For Me: The Legislative Disconnect Of The Meshed Society by Simon Phipps
What is the "meshed society"? It is people, joined together by the Internet, able to interact -- to collaborate, to create, to transact and to relate directly with each other -- without the need for another person to mediate. As we discover more and more ways to disintermediate our interactions, society is transformed: from a series of hubs with privileged interconnections intermediating supply to consumers, into a constantly shifting "adhocracy". <Read more...>
  • Forking the patent system: Pollyanna in Patent-Land? by Peter Langley
A powerfully effective system of social organisation. A template for driving widespread, collaborative innovation. Crafted through a complex, multi-expert process of collaborative development. Constantly evolving. Largely above, and indifferent, to the perceptions of ordinary consumers. May fork in interesting ways. That these attributes apply equally to both patent law and to open source is one of those interesting paradoxes worth reflecting upon for a moment. <Read more...>


The contents of this book are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-SA 3.0)

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