Background to the research project

Today, innovations are of crucial importance for companies in their competitive struggle and their efforts to maintain and expand market share. High innovation capability is therefore considered key to sustainable business success. The Open Innovation approach is defined as the planned opening of the innovation process, i.e. the strategic use of the outside world to increase innovation potential, as well as the strategic integration of the corporate environment. In addition to the positive sides of cooperation within the framework of the open innovation approach, however, there are also "dark sides" such as process complexity, higher expenses, additional management tasks and, in particular, the risk of an unwanted outflow of knowledge. The more intensively the open innovation approach is practiced, the more knowledge and information companies exchange with each other within the different process phases. As a result, the breadth and depth of the open innovation project have a direct positive correlation with the risk of product imitation or product piracy. It is therefore crucial for companies to be able to weigh up whether the positive impact of exploiting third-party innovation potential justifies possible negative consequences. This is where the research project comes in.

Research project of Open-Darkness

The connection between the positive and negative aspects of a participation in Open Innovation projects is to be examined in the context of this research project. In the future, SMEs in particular are to be put in a position to weigh up the opportunities and risks of participating in an Open Innovation project both concretely and in a needs-oriented manner. This will be done taking into account organizational, legal, process-related and knowledge management aspects.

Aims and results of the research project: Self-assessment tool

The project result is a method and a software-based self-assessment tool for weighing the chances and risks of open innovation projects, developed on the basis of the elaborated SME-specific solutions. The results contribute to the preservation of competitiveness by increasing the innovation capability and increase the chances of German SMEs in international competition. In particular, an increase in the willingness to develop innovation projects with external partners and to exploit their positive aspects can be expected.

Project partners and funding

The research project Open Darkness - Dark Side of Open Innovation of the Chair of Information Systems at the University of Potsdam is funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy via the AiF within the framework of the program for the promotion of joint industrial research and development (IGF). Project partners: RWTH Aachen Chair of Technology and Innovation Management, University of Paderborn Faculty of Economics Dep. 6 - Law Chair of Business Law.