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The term Open Innovation is based on the principle of Crowdsourcing. Thereby the process of innovation within organisations is open and the knowledge and skills of the crowd are used to optimize the innovation potential. The open-innovation-concept describes the functional use of the in- and out-going knowledge to improve innovation. The difference to, for example Crowdfunding is that it's not the aim of Open Innovation to collect money.


In the running process of globalization grows the pressure on developers. The increasing opening of the procedure in competitions to everyone enables a growing number of solutions for products. Furthermore the life time cycle of innovation shortens more and more, so it becomes necessary that the wishes and the knowledge of the users become part of the developing process. The goal of Open Innovation should be to produce specific, target-oriented and useful products for the user.


The traditional way to create new products and innovations within companies is Closed innovation. That means that only employees and members of a firm take part in the development. With the development of the internet new ways of teamwork with different types of processes appeared.

OpenInnovation Concept.jpg

Closed Innovation -> Open Innovation (Quelle: BME - Innovationspotential von Lieferanten nutzen)


The Ouside-In-Process describes the integegration of external knowledge to an innovation-process. With that instrument, the risk of a flopping innovation and the coherent economical dangers shall be minimized. This kind of process makes clear, that the place where Know-How is created must not be the same like where innovations are generated.


The Inside-Out-Process means the externalization of internal knowledge. It is used by companies to generate license fees for any patent or innovation. This kind of process makes clear, that the place where Know-How or the innovation is created must not be the same like where innovations are used.

There is also a possible combination of these two processes, which is called the Coupled-Process.

Application Areas

Nowadays this type of innovation process is practiced in many areas of social and creative actions. Companies in design- and technical branches and even many polticians use the great knowledge of the crowd and involve the people in the innovation process.


Crowdfunding and crowdsourcing fashion

Food & Drinks

Starbucks advertising campaign
  • Mc Donald's
  • Starbucks Coffee

Politics & Administration

  • citizensourcing
  • workshops


BMW Co-Creation Lab
  • Peugeot | Audi | BMW
  • Bombardier
  • research