“Even if we don’t have a lot of money we can still be innovative,” says Open Innovation guru Henry Chesbrough. The global economic crisis is a good opportunity for companies to open up, collaborate, and find new partnerships. The key, he says, is to create new business models that can add value to already existing technologies.
“The nice thing about Open Innovation in business models is that it isn’t just about having more money, it is about thinking differently about what you can offer to your customers and finding new ways to differentiate your business and add value to it,” said Chesbrough, Director of the Open Innovation Centre at Berkeley University in California, in an interview with Science|Business on a recent visit to Barcelona, where he is Visiting Professor at the business school, ESADE.
With world economies struggling, Chesbrough urges governments to support innovation. “The only way that countries with high debts are going to be able to deal with it is to figure out new ways to get economies to grow again, and to get this growth we need innovation,” he says. “It’s too punishing to citizens to simply cut spending and services, if we don’t get economies to grow again, it will be politically very difficult. Innovation is not only for companies, but for society.”