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Open Innovation (OI) describes “the use of purposive inflows and outflows of knowledge to accelerate internal innovation, and expand the markets for external use of innovation, respectively” (Chesbrough et al., 2006). In other words, OI aims to involve external stakeholders (like suppliers, customers, or even peer companies) with creating internal design and development processes for products, processes, or services.
Emerging from a mainly technology-driven innovation approach in high-tech sectors’ research and development (R&D), Open Innovation is used these days in a large number of business fields, and has a variety of formats: from innovation networks and product platforms (e.g., open source software), to customer immersion and idea competitions.
Open Innovation is also well-known in the higher education sector, though it is primarily known as a tool used to collaborate with companies. As such, Open Innovation aims to transfer research results and innovation from the academic sector to a corporate environment. Other fields of collaboration include training and continuing professional development, the use of research facilities, joint research projects, and staff exchange (Howells et al., 2012).
Universities, however, that use Open Innovation processes (e.g., in curriculum or service design), can hardly be found. Instead, the development of services and programs is mainly a top-down approach or, at best, a joint venture between universities and corporate actors. The involvement of students is very often limited to the participation of student representatives in committees or study and service evaluations.
This presentation, held at Online Educa 2014, explains how higher education institutions can use Open Innovation for curriculum and service design using the example of "Create Your Studies", the Open Innovation platform of International University Bad Honnef - Bonn (IUBH).