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Open innovation among university spin-off firms: what is in it for them, and what can cities do?

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>2012
<mark>Journal</mark>Innovation: The European Journal of Social Science Research
Issue number2
Volume25
Number of pages17
Pages (from-to)191-207
Publication statusPublished
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

R&D and innovation increasingly take place in networks beyond the boundaries of a single firm with customers in a more important role than in previous times. This new innovation model has been labelled as open innovation. In studies on innovation, learning mechanisms have largely remained a black box, causing difficulty in assessing what the benefits of open innovation might be. This paper examines a particular category of high-tech firms, university spin-offs, and illustrates resources that are missing and the level of openness in learning networks to gain these resources. Spin-off firms from Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands, are taken as a case study. Resource deficiency among these firms mainly concerns understanding and accessing the market, whereas the learning networks point to a negative impact of relatively closed networks (strong relationships, mainly local/regional orientation), thereby confirming the need for more open innovation. Next, the paper turns to an assessment of the potentials of certain types of open innovation to further enhance the growth of spin-off firms. The paper also identifies various new (or renewed) roles of city governments in promoting open innovation in a new scenario.