I spoke this morning at the Web 2.0 Kongress in Hamburg, Germany. My topic was – you guessed it – Open Innovation. The audience was terrific and highly engaged. During the Q&A, one of the forum facilitators asked me an interesting question: “Given that many emerging technology trends make it to Europe 3 years or so after they find acceptance in the US, what should we be thinking about with regards to Open Innovation adoption in Europe (and Germany)?”
I found this question fascinating and responded that interestingly, nearly a third of our commercial customers are headquartered in Europe today. While our Solver Community is truly global and represents over 160,000 Solvers in 175 countries, all of our resources dedicated to identification of new Seekers are US based today. As a consequence of this higher than expected adoption, we believe there is a considerable openness to “Open Innovation” in Europe that surpasses what we see in other areas of the world today. It should be no surprise that InnoCentive is planning its first European office next year as a result of these findings.
So what explains the higher than expected adoption in European countries? I theorize that the realities of constant coordination and collaboration across countries and firms in the European Union have created not only the skill and will requisite to engage in this type of model, but also the common cultural and organizational understandings necessary for successful institutional adoption. As further evidence of Europe’s openness, visit www.openinnovation.eu or scan the web for open innovation resources and conferences in Europe.
I ask this to anyone, but particularly our European Seekers and Solvers: What do you think? Is Europe more open to “Open Innovation”?