Author: Gertraud Leimüller

Small- and Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs) are flexible, have short decision making structures and are close to their customers. These characteristics put them in an ideal position to innovate. However, there are significant disadvantages when it comes to developing innovations: lower HR capacity, less expert knowledge and less money.

As part of the Open-Alps-Project, ITG-Innovationsservice for Salzburg has organized the first Open Innovation training specifically for SMEs and intermediaries.

winnovation was commissioned to design the ambitious content and facilitate the training: In the course of 3 intense days in Oct and Nov 2013, the participants learned how to compensate missing resources of SMEs by applying thought-through, modern Open-Innovation-Strategies, but at the same time systematically capitalizing on the advantages of SMEs, like flexibility, openness and speed.

„The training exceeded my expectations by far“, „I’m taking many ideas and strategies with me that I will implement in my company“. These are just two of the many statements made by participants at the end of the interactive training that was facilitated by Open-Innovation experts Marion Poetz and Gertraud Leimüller. The training dealt with various, international Good-Case-Practices as well as questions brought forward by the participants and discussed by the group.

Aside from a general overview over Open Innovation methodology, search strategies for different sources of innovation outside of the company (How do I get access to relevant knowledge?) and internal organisational questions relevant for making an enterprise ready for Open-Innovation, the training also brought forward concrete ideas for various innovation projects that will be implemented by the participants after the training. For us, that is the best compliment!