Although much has recently been published on open innovation, little knowledge has been gained on how to manage open innovation beyond the star case studies that have characterized the field. To make open innovation practices broadly available, there is a need to understand what open innovation demands of leadership and organizational design.
This project aims at longitudinally investigating open innovation in practice. The focus of the project is SAFER, an open innovation arena for vehicle and traffic safety. SAFER hosts collaborative projects, and currently has 24 partner organizations, including Chalmers, Autoliv, Volvo Cars, Saab Automobile, VTI and Viktoriainstitutet among others.
The project takes a closer look at how SAFER handles issues of leadership, innovation activities and organizational structure as they are opening up the innovation process, from the perspective of the arena as well as the perspective of the partner organizations. By doing this, insights can be gained into the challenges of creating such an arena for collaborative knowledge transformation, but also the challenges for the partner organizations to leverage the outcomes of the collaborative projects in their own organisations.
SAFER associated organisations, in particular Autoliv, SAAB, AB Volvo, Volvo Car Corporation
This far, a number of activities have been carried out in the project:
• The 22 partners (2009) of SAFER have been interviewed on open innovation in practice, and how they look upon SAFER and their own participation
• Interviews with members of the SAFER board
• Interviews with members of the reference groups (which allocate project resources to lower levels) of SAFER
• Continuous interviews every other month with the director of SAFER, Anna Nilsson-Ehle, on how she manages SAFER
• Participative observations and interviews in a SAFER project
• Interviews with SAFER partners on openness, forms of collaboration and how they utilize the outcomes from SAFER.
• Interviews with participants of a SAFER project (SEVS) on creativity and the selected way of working
• A complementary study of a project in a French innovation cluster and a project at SAFER (SEVS)
• A comparison of open innovation activities with researchers in similar projects at Mines ParisTech and Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg
• Interviews with 19 partners of SAFER on how they leverage the outcome of SAFER. The findings from interviews were discussed at a workshop with some of the interviewees(2011).
• One master thesis on the creative climate at SAFER
• One master thesis reviewing literature on Open Innovation
• One master thesis analysing how researchers in open innovation have operationalized the concept of open innovation in their studies
Connected to the Open Innovation-project is a four-year PhD-project looking at managerial practices for open innovation.