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Open Innovation: New Enlightenment? Participation – Democratisation – New Solutions

Plenary / Panel
english language

Opening up innovation processes to the outside world and linking hitherto unconnected knowledge in the fields of economy, science, administration and the populace can lead to a breakthrough of innovative ideas. How can we create a culture of Open Innovation and how can it contribute to substantially increase the competitiveness of countries?


Director-General for Research and Innovation, European Commission, Brussels Abstract Introduction
Innovation is central to Europe's ability to achieve productivity gains, generate new jobs and economic growth as well as to tackle major challenges that our society is facing such as climate change, an ageing population, energy and food security.
For this reason, innovation plays a major role in delivering many of the Commission's ten priorities, including a Boost for Jobs, Growth and Investment, the Digital Single Market, Capital Markets Union, and the Energy Union.
While Europe is a world leader in some segments of the innovation process, there is clear need to up-grade Europe's innovation ecosystem, notably in the areas of private investment, the regulatory environment, market-creating innovation and scale-ups. To realise this, Open Innovation offers enormous opportunities.
The term Open Innovation (OI) was popularised in 2003 by Berkeley professor Henry Chesbrough. The OI paradigm is about combining the power of ideas and knowledge from different actors (whether private, public or civil society/third sector) to co-create new products and find solutions to societal needs; creating shared economic and social value, including a citizen and user-centric approach; and capitalising on the implications of trends such as digitalisation (including Big Data), mass participation and collaboration.
OI is a core priority for the European Commission policy in the field of science and innovation, with three main goals:
- Optimising regulatory frameworks, including application of an 'innovation principle';
- Boosting private investment, including through a venture capital Fund of Funds and the European Fund for Strategic Investment (EFSI); and
- Making room for disruptive, market creating innovation under Horizon 2020.
The Commission intends to build on the good progress achieved under the Dutch Presidency (first half of 2016) on framework conditions for innovation. Particular areas of focus will include the practical application of an 'innovation principle', piloting 'innovation deals', preparations for a potential 'European Innovation Council' (EIC) ensuring easier access for innovators to Horizon 2020 and support for breakthrough innovations. The 2018-20 work programmes under Horizon 2020 will prioritise support for these activities.
Professor and Director, Research Center for Open Digital Innovation, Discovery Learning Research Center, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
Head, Research Group Cyber-Physical Systems, Corporate Technology, Research and Technology Centers, Siemens AG Österreich; Honorary Professor for Innovation and Technology Management, Vienna University of Technology, Vienna Abstract
Open Innovation stands for the conscious opening of organization borders for the innovation process. "Opening the borders", however, frequently leads to reservations in established industrial companies: "Innovation is the most important factor for competition and safeguards the survival of my company. Why should I therefore share my innovations with the rest of the world?" If Open Innovation approaches are falsely understood in this manner and, as a consequence, therefore not implemented, it can happen that companies lose their grip on the innovation ecosystems and thus also lose their ability to compete.
Open Innovation as a catalyst for the flexibilization of the value creation chain
The more services and products become globally available, the more important it is to be perceived as the best provider. What is the best for a customer depends on his needs: Quality, price, time, place, ecological and social footprints are typical parameters in this regard. How these parameters are weighted, varies. For industrial companies it is significant that their value creation chain only consists of the best subcomponents. Which subcomponents are the best for manufacturing companies can change as a result of new requirements or new solutions. It is therefore essential that the subcomponents of the value creation chain can be flexibly exchanged and can be replaced by the currently best ones.
At present many customers still prefer industry solutions from one source. In future, the focus will also be on the exchangeability of individual subcomponents, no matter which company or startup actually delivers them. Some customers will also wish to bring components into the ecosystem themselves. Those companies, which offer open platforms, which function as Open Innovation ecosystems, will have the advantage.
Modularization follows digitalization
In more complex value creation chains, the lock-in effect of established solutions is presently still too high for them to be simply exchanged. The ongoing digitalization and the coupled (de facto) standardization, however, will result in a further modularization and encapsulation of the individual subcomponents, which will ultimately lead to a complete exchangeability of subcomponents. In the consumer segment we are already familiar with this effect in terms of apps on our smartphones. In the industry, exchangeability will affect both, hardware (e.g. machining tools, automation systems) and software (e.g. procurement, planning, simulation, automation, optimization, operational and invoicing software) as well as processes and services (e.g. logistics, maintenance, integration). Digitalization technologies such as for example the digital twin promote exchangeability and/or make it even possible in this generalized form.
New business models and platforms, so that opening the borders is economically attractive
This is where Open Innovation has to focus. We must learn to collaborate beyond organizational borders, industries and disciplines and develop new business models and platforms, which subsequently make an opening of the borders attractive. Open Innovation does not imply giving everything away for free. Instead, Open Innovation means that one has learned to establish collaboration models in the sense that it is not clear right from the start, who will contribute which innovations over the course of time. Smartphone apps also serve as a good example in this regard.
Open Innovation is more than just innovation contests
It is important to understand that Open Innovation is more than just innovation contests. No Open Innovation expert will ever claim that open innovation contests are the sole solution for industry innovations. At present, industrial Open Innovation methods such as for example "Hackathons" and innovation marathons, co-creation, call for proposals, lead users, Startup Founder Spaces and crowd funding are already in use. In far too little cases, however, are hardware/software platforms and their ecosystems also perceived as Open Innovation methods.
The new Enlightenment: Trial-and-error instead of pure rationality
In the industrial environment, Open Innovation enables SMEs and startups to participate in the innovation ecosystem. The new Enlightenment shines in a different light here: Successful is what is acknowledged as the best on the market, i.e. in the democratic sense, no matter whether it can be rationally explained or not. Here we can observe a - well-known innovation-facilitating - much stronger bottom-up trial-and-error approach than in centralistically planned approaches.
All Open Innovation approaches are important "warm-up exercises" in order to prepare for the future working world, which will be strongly determined by flexibilization. Those who think through to its conclusion, the trend of continuous replacement by the best, will understand what these major changes will bring for all of us.
Founder and Chief Executive Officer, winnovation consulting gmbh; Deputy Chairwoman, Kreativwirtschaft Austria, Vienna Abstract
Austria is the first member state of the European Union with a comprehensive open innovation strategy on the national level. The rationale for its development is
1) to open and develop the Austrian innovation system further by accessing new innovation sources and increasing actor's capabilities to collaborate with heterogeneous partners;
2) to involve citizens (in their role as users and as such experts in specific fields) into research and innovation activities and by that not only increase innovation success, but also enhance the awareness for innovation in society and
3) to foster the efficiency and output-orientation of the Austrian innovation system by strengthening the translation of novel knowledge into real-world-solutions demanded by markets and society.
Developing an Open Innovation strategy for a national innovation system means to look with fresh eyes at the concept of Open Innovation, which itself originated from social sciences, especially business studies and has been studied in academic research for decades. The concept needed to be transferred from the perspective of a firm, increasingly challenged to overcome industry, disciplinary and organizational boundaries in a targeted manner to gain new knowledge and derive competitive advantages in markets, to the perspective of a complex and dynamic innovation ecosystem which heterogeneous actors and feedback loops.
Applying the principles of Open Innovation to the Austrian innovation system challenges current practices and linkages in entire research and innovation process. Major points in this paradigm shifts are
- the extension of the classic triple helix model (science, industry and public policy) to a quadruple helix model including civil society,
- the inclusion of new knowledge sources, "unusual suspects" like users (end-users as well as business-users), user communities, online crowds and NGOs into research, technology and innovation systems by using suitable incentive and support systems,
- enabling intelligent bottom-up processes in the prioritization of research and innovation fields through problem crowdsourcing and other Open Innovation methods for example - key word: demand-driven innovation and societal/social innovation and
- the conceptualization of innovation systems as dynamic ecosystems with interlinked heterogeneous actors involved in various forms of online and offline knowledge exchange processes.
In order to implement the Austrian Open Innovation strategy, three areas of action need to be addressed: (1) the development of a culture for open innovation, (2) the formation of heterogeneous networks and partnerships across various disciplines, industrial sectors and organizations and (3) the allocation of resources and suitable framework condition for fostering innovation. The 14 distinct measures of the Austrian Open Innovation strategy are introduced at European Forum Alpbach - Technology Symposium 2016 and online at the Open Innovation Portal of the Austrian Government
Associate Professor, Department of Innovation and Organizational Economics, Copenhagen Business School, Frederiksberg Abstract
Creating innovation and capturing value from doing so have considerably changed over the last two decades. New technologies - specifically rapid advances in information and communication technologies - and their extensive use, higher labor mobility and new divisions of labor, increased customer demands and shorter product life cycles have triggered new forms of value creation and innovative practices.
These new forms can be characterized by being more open, distributed, collaborative, and democratized than traditional models of innovation. Many organizations like the NASA or the Lego Group have started incorporating such new forms to leverage widely distributed knowledge for their innovation efforts, and current research indicates a positive effect of open innovation practices on value creation and value capture in different types of organizations and industries.
As of today, the question is not anymore whether or not to consider open innovation, but how and how well open innovation principles and methods are internalized and applied. It is therefore crucial to advance our understanding of when and for which projects and organizations various forms of opening up innovation processes are most beneficial in terms of enabling a working open innovation process, a successful innovation outcome and a sustainable distribution of value among contributors. Relevant contingencies and influencing factors which have important management implications relate to, for example, the characteristics of different knowledge sources, the nature and formulation of innovation problems and their fit with open innovation approaches as well as the different qualities of individuals, organizations or industries. One aspect that has so far received little attention, both in research and in business practice, but that may specifically be relevant for directing innovation initiatives and creating a culture for open innovation is the potentially conflicting role of traditional forms of leadership in open innovation systems, processes and projects.
Leadership of open innovation practices, however, may require from management a different understanding of individual actions, the social practices that underpin innovation work and new approaches to instilling collective creativity, at a distance and up close. This is because the fiat principle of hierarchy no longer applies to networks, communities or new forms of collaboration among firms such as e.g., incumbent firms collaborating with start-ups and communities or engaging in crowdsourcing initiatives.
If we start with the premise that the Internet itself is an expression of our growing ability to relate to multiple individuals in distributed and coordinated ways then leadership is a process, it is no longer an individual task to be filled by someone at the top, nor does it end with the creation of a vision or its communication. Leadership is a collective challenge, a matter of directing and holding space for and with a collective of individuals and institutions. It is a process that involves multiple challenges and requires care and attention from everybody involved in complex, contextually as well as culturally and geographically dispersed systems.
Editor-in-Chief, Die Presse, Vienna Chair

Robert-Jan SMITS

Director-General for Research and Innovation, European Commission, Brussels

 Director-General of DG Research and Innovation (RTD) at the European Commission. In this capacity he is responsible for defining and implementing the EU policy and programmes in the field of research and innovation (average annual budget 8 billion euro).
 Instrumental in the development of several other policy initiatives in the field of European science and innovation such as: the European Research Council (ERC), the European Roadmap for large scale facilities, Public-Private Partnerships in research, the Innovation Union and the European Research Area (ERA).
 Mr Smits is chairing several high-level committees such as European Research Area Committee (ERAC), the Steering Committee of the ERC (ERCEA) and joint S&T committees with Europe's key global partners.
 Mr Smits was born in The Netherlands. He has degrees from Utrecht University in The Netherlands, Institut Universitaire d'Hautes Études Internationales in Switzerland and Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy in the United States of America.
2014-2020 One of the main architects and negotiators of Horizon 2020, the new 80 billion EU programme for science and innovation.


Professor and Director, Research Center for Open Digital Innovation, Discovery Learning Research Center, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN

1989 Researcher Associate - Research Unit for Computational Linguistics - University of Helsinki
1994 Postgraduate studies, University of Cambridge
1998 DG Translation - European Commission
2001 Intermediate Diploma, Mechanical Engineering & Management Sciences University of Technology, Darmstadt
2005 Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering & Management Sciences University of Technology, Darmstadt, Germany
2005 Master of University of New South Wales
2005 Project Officer, Cognition, DG Information Society, European Commission
2007-2012 IMP³rove Global Coordinator, IMP³rove, Düsseldorf, Germany
2008 Deputy Head of Unit - Cognitive Systems, Interaction, Robotics - DG Information Society - European Commission
2011 Ph.D. in Engineering Sciences
2011-2013 Senior Lecturer, European School of Business (ESB), Reutlingen, Germany; Teaching in International Partnership of Business Schools Program (IPBs)
2012-2013 Visiting Research Fellow, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia
2011-2013 Head of Open Innovation, Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, Institute for Industrial Engineering (IAO), Stuttgart, Germany
2012-2014 Visiting Scholar, New Science and Engineering Center, School of Information Systems (visiting period over Christmas and during summer breaks). Queensland, University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia
2012-2014 Senior Research Fellow, ESADE Business School, Barcelona, Spain
since 2013 Associate Professor for Innovation, Purdue University, West Lafayette
2014 Head of Unit - Robotics - DG Connect - European Commission
since 2014 Director of Purdue Research Center for Open Digital Innovation (RCODI) in the Discovery Park, Purdue University, West Lafayette
since 2014 Director of Research of the Joint Purdue-Tsinghua Center for Innovation (JPTC)
since 2014 Adjunct Professor Digital Innovation, School of Information Systems, Science and Engineering Faculty, Queensland University of Technology, Australia
2013-2015 Strategic Advisor Open Innovation, Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, Institute for Industrial Engineering (IAO), Stuttgart, Germany
2014-2016 Visiting Professor Open Innovation and Public Policy, Institute for Innovation and Knowledge Management, ESADE Business School, Barcelona, Spain
since 2014 Director of Purdue Research Center for Open Digital Innovation (RCODI) in the Discovery Park, Purdue University, West Lafayette

Dipl.-Ing. Dr. techn. Michael HEISS

Head, Research Group Cyber-Physical Systems, Corporate Technology, Research and Technology Centers, Siemens AG Österreich; Honorary Professor for Innovation and Technology Management, Vienna University of Technology, Vienna

1986 Master's in Electrical Engineering, Vienna University of Technology
1989 PhD, 1995 Habilitation for Control Eng., Vienna University of Technology
1986-1990 Voest Alpine Automotive (today: Bosch)
1990-1991 Visiting Scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
1991-1995 Vienna University of Technology (associate professor since 1995, honorary professor since 2015)
1996 Siemens AG Austria (System Engineering and Development)
1998 Vice President Technology Management, responsible for knowledge networking, innovation management and technology management
2007-2009 Global Vice President for Knowledge, Innovation and Technology at Siemens IT Solutions and Services
2009 Additionally responsible to build up the knowledge networking for Siemens globally, leveraging the innovation potential of Siemens as an Enterprise 2.0
2010-2014 Corporate Technology, Innovation and Technology Management (CT TIM), Open Innovation and Scouting, Siemens AG, responsible for Open Innovation Networks (globally).
since 2015 Head, Research Group Cyber-Physical Systems, Corporate Technology, Siemens AG Österreich;


Founder and Chief Executive Officer, winnovation consulting gmbh; Deputy Chairwoman, Kreativwirtschaft Austria, Vienna

1990-1994 Freie Journalistin, Tageszeitung Der Standard, Wien
1993 Mag.rer.nat, Universität Wien, Diplomstudium Ernährungswissenschaften
1994-2006 Redakteurin, Tageszeitung Salzburger Nachrichten, Büro Wien
1997 Dr. rer. nat., Universität Wien, Doktoratsstudium in Ernährungswissenschaften
1999-2008 Lektorin, Universität Wien
2004-2005 Studium, Harvard University, USA; Master in Public Administration (MPA)
2004-2005 Studium, Massachussetts Institute of Technology (MIT), USA
2006-2013 Gewählte Vorsitzende der arge creativ wirtschaft austria, der bundesweiten Creative Industries Plattform in der Wirtschaftskammer Österreich
seit 2006 Gründerin, Geschäftsführende Gesellschafterin, Innovationsberatung winnovation
seit 2007 Wöchentliche Innovationskolumne "Gewagt Gewonnen", Tageszeitung Salzburger Nachrichten sowie als Blog im Internet
seit 2013 Gewählte stellvertretende Vorsitzende der arge creativ wirtschaft austria

Dr. Marion POETZ

Associate Professor, Department of Innovation and Organizational Economics, Copenhagen Business School, Frederiksberg

1990-1995 Student, Technical College for Mechanical Engineering and Business Management, Weiz
2003-2008 Research Assistant, WU Vienna, Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Austria
2004 Magister rer. soc. oec. (MBA equivalent) in International Business, WU Vienna, Austria
2006-2008 Visiting Scholar, MIT Sloan School of Management, Cambridge, USA
since 2006 Academic Advisor and Innovation Consultant to organizations from various industries including national and international firms and policy-making institutions
2008 Ph.D. in Social and Economic Sciences, WU Vienna, Austria
since 2008 Head of the Academic Advisory Board, winnovation consulting, Austria
2008-2013 Assistant Professor (tenure track), Copenhagen Business School, Department of Innovation and Organizational Economics, Denmark
2011 Visiting Scholar, Bocconi University, Italy
2011 Visiting Professor, ETH Zurich, Switzerland
since 2014 Associate Professor (tenured), Copenhagen Business School, Department of Innovation and Organizational Economics, Denmarkssince 2014 Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum
since 2014 Academic Director, Lab for Open Innovation in Science (LOIS), Austria
since 2014 Advisory Board Member, Danish Crowdsourcing Association, Denmark
since 2015 Member of the Foundation Council, Julius Raab Stiftung, Austria

Rainer NOWAK

Editor-in-Chief, Die Presse, Vienna

1992-1997 Study of History and Political Science (without completing)
1994 Freelancer "Vorarlberger Nachrichten"
1996 Entry to "Die Presse"
2002 Editor, Domestic Policy Department, "Die Presse", Vienna
2004 Appointment to Department head "Chronik/Wien", "Die Presse", Vienna
2009 Appointment to Editorial Director for the new "Presse am Sonntag", Vienna
2010 Appointment to Head of Domestic Policy, "Die Presse", Vienna
since 2012 Editor-in-Chief, "Die Presse", Vienna
since 2014 Publisher, "Die Presse", Vienna
2017 Appointment as Managing Director, "Die Presse", Vienna

Technology Symposium

show timetable


13:00 - 13:10OpeningPlenary
13:10 - 14:15RTI TalkPlenary
14:30 - 14:50From Austria to Silicon Valley - Cyber Security as a Global FactorPlenary
14:50 - 16:10Cybernetics in Advanced Energy and Production SystemsPlenary
16:30 - 17:45Complexity and the New EnlightenmentPlenary
20:00 - 20:15Best of Art and ScienceCulture
20:15 - 21:15Tickets to Berlin: Falling Walls Lab Austria and Alpbach Summer School on EntrepreneurshipPlenary
21:30 - 23:00Career LoungeSocial
21:30 - 23:30Evening ReceptionSocial


09:00 - 10:30Digital MedicinePlenary
09:00 - 18:00Junior Alpbach - Science and Technology for Young PeopleBreakout
09:00 - 15:00Ö1 Children's University Alpbach - Science and Technology for KidsBreakout
10:30 - 12:30Cross-sektorale Kooperationen von ClusternPartner
11:00 - 12:30Personalized Cancer MedicinePlenary
12:30 - 13:00Lunch Snacks for the Participants of the Breakout SessionsSocial
13:00 - 18:00Breakout Session 01: Innovation by Making: Paradigm Shifts and New Innovation CulturesBreakout
13:00 - 18:00Breakout Session 02: Silicon Austria: A Game Changer for Austria as a High-Tech Location?Breakout
13:00 - 18:00Breakout Session 03: Creating the Future: How to Reinvent Innovation ProcessesBreakout
13:00 - 18:00Breakout Session 04: The Cycle of Innovation and its EcologyBreakout
13:00 - 18:00Breakout Session 05: Heavy Impact of Lightweight DesignBreakout
13:00 - 18:00Breakout Session 06: Looking Into the Unknown and Shifting HorizonsBreakout
13:00 - 18:00Breakout Session 07: Radical Innovations: More Courage to Take RisksBreakout
13:00 - 18:00Breakout Session 08: The Acceptance of Technologies by Pupils with Migration History - a Plea for Transcultural Competence as new EnlightenmentBreakout
13:00 - 18:00Breakout Session 09: Cyber Security: A Fundamental RightBreakout
13:00 - 18:00Breakout Session 10: Open Access & Open Innovation - Tools for a New Enlightenment?Breakout
13:00 - 18:00Breakout Session 11: Realities and Futures of RoboticsBreakout
13:00 - 18:00Breakout Session 12: Energiewende - Empowering ConsumersBreakout
13:00 - 18:00Breakout Session 13: Security of Supply as a Locational FactorBreakout
19:00 - 20:30Innovation Marathon: Ideas Made to Order - 24 Hours NonstopPlenary


09:00 - 10:30Art Meets Science and Technology - Towards a New EnlightenmentPlenary
10:45 - 11:45Open Innovation: New Enlightenment? Participation - Democratisation - New SolutionsPlenary
12:15 - 13:30ETH Zurich, this Year's Special Guest at the Technology SymposiumPlenary
13:30 - 14:00Snack ReceptionSocial