Video: Gertraud Leimueller on Open Innovation

On January 18th, 2016, during the stakeholder workshop for the Open Innovation Strategy for Austria, Gertraud Leimueller, founder and CEO of winnovation, talked about the importance of Open Innovation for the competitiveness of innovation systems.

“Novel knowledge is not in the centre of one discipline, an institution or a country, but can be found in the periphery. Breakthrough innovations often come from the outside, from people breaking the silos of their own disciplines. Open Innovation is the targeted and systematic crossing of boundaries of organisations, sectors and disciplines to create new knowledge. The targeted crossing of boundaries is essential to develop new products/services and processes. The way we innovate across boundaries has already changed during the last years, and will change even more dramatically in the future. It is therefore crucial to cater for future needs and create the ideal framework conditions for it.

A historic example, how innovation can be generated by targeted crossing of disciplines, can be found in the wireless technology. The Austrian-American actress Hedy Lamarr, a famous Hollywood star from the 1940s, was involved in the development of a radio control system for torpedoes, which made them more effective by frequency-hopping. This patented technology is still used today in communication technology, for example in Bluetooth and Wi-Fi applications.

Therefore, it is about a cultural and structural paradigm shift, a change in the mindset, the flexibility and willingness of people, which transcends innovative processes beyond the disciplines.

What does this mean for an innovation system? Science and business are no longer enough to innovate – we must have a broader and more dynamic view on the system, and involve the civilian population. This is exactly what Austria is trying to achieve with the Open Innovation Strategy.”

Gertraud Leimueller held this keynote at a stakeholder workshop, which was part of the creation of an Open Innovation Strategy for Austria. The input gathered during this workshop was instrumental in the preparation of the strategy, which was later presented at the European Forum Alpbach 2016. It can be downloaded here.