ICDE Open Innovation Framework & Ecosystem ‘Clusters’

Suggested framework for Open Innovation

Earlier this year the International Council for Distance Education published a report which is relevant to the activities of the ENCORE+ project. The report – titled “Open Innovation Framework: Emerging Narratives from the ICDE OER Advocacy Committee” – was composed by the ICDE OER Advocacy Committee after a virtual workshop in October 2021.

The focus of the report is to make sense of the concept of ‘open innovation’ through its relations to aspects of open education such as open educational resources, open science, and open access. Key questions from the workshop included:

  • How can Open Science support the design, implementation, and validation of formal, non-formal, and informal learning environments in innovative ways (e.g., under the rubric of Open Innovation)?
  • What are the key pillars of a proposed common framework for Open Science?
  • What are the potential barriers to supporting Open Science and a proposed common framework?

The report concludes that a joined-up approach is needed to support non-linear and inter-sectoral collaborations focused on innovation, making direct reference to Chesborough’s (2003) concept of open innovation. Key elements include democratising participation in knowledge economies, engaging stakeholders around alternative visions and discouraging siloed models of innovative practice.

Three core pillars of openness are identified: open educational resources, open access publication and open science. These are used as the basis of a proposed framework for Open Innovation (seen at the top of this post).

As the report reflects the output of a workshop this framework is perhaps more conceptual than a model which has been determined empirically, but it still represents a way to link together a series of related, abstract concepts. There are also a series of recommendations made, which are reproduced in full here:

Recommendation 1: Raise awareness to create legal frameworks and guidelines at the federal level to increase openness in government and public agencies. COVID-19 was a catalyst for increased use of OER worldwide, and how this can continue and become a standard for arts institutions should be addressed.

Recommendation 2: In collaboration with relevant international organizations, provide support to countries that adopt Recommendation 1. We believe there is an urgent need to create a legal framework and policy that promotes openness at various levels.

Recommendation 3: Create an incentive structure for companies, institutions, and individuals to create OER and open repositories. We have recognized that the driving forces of the market make private institutions and scientific companies reluctant to advocate for openness and promote OER widely. Therefore, regulatory frameworks and incentives should emphasize the benefits of Open Science collaboration and innovation.

Recommendation 4: Translations and contextualization, are essential for implementation and integration of Open Innovation.

Recommendation 5: Update institutional documentation to ensure inclusion of the three cornerstones. The three cornerstones require an operational environment that encourages the creation, practice, and use of OER, Open Science, and Open Innovation. Therefore, educational, and scientific institutions are encouraged to review their policies and strategic documents to incorporate a philosophy of openness that will, in due course, enable the implementation of the recommendations of UNESCO OER, Open Science, and Open Innovation.

Interestingly, another publication from earlier in 2022 also draws on Chesbrough’s ideas but also adjoins this to an ecosystem model similar to the concept that informs ENCORE+. Kiseleva et al. (2022) provide the following useful description of open and closed innovation models.

The comparison between the concepts of “closed” and “open” innovation in terms of major characteristics

Kiseleva et al. (2022), focused on Russia, recommend a degree of centralised control/coordination to coordinate ‘clusters’ of activity around different market segments, such as industry, academia and the media. The Russian context is less relevant to Europe, but the idea of clustered activity within an ecosystem is an interesting one.

Chesbrough, H. (2003). Open Innovation: The New Imperative for Creating and Profiting from Technology. Harvard Business School Press:
Boston, MA, USA

Kiseleva, O.N., Sysoeva, O.V., Vasina, A.V. and Sysoev, V.V. (2022). Updating the Open Innovation Concept Based on Ecosystem Approach: Regional Aspects. Journal of Open Innovation: Technology, Markets, Complexity 8, 103. https://doi.org/10.3390/joitmc8020103

Ossiannilsson, E., Gomes de Gusmão, C. M., Ulloa-Cazarez, R. L., Obiageli Agbu, J.-F. (2022). Open Science, Open Educational Resources, and Open Innovation. International Council for Distance Education. https://www.icde.org/knowledge-hub/open-innovation-framework-oerac-2022

ICDE Open Innovation Framework & Ecosystem ‘Clusters’
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