All eyes are on the government of Wales as it embarks on a brand new open innovation project that aims to forge collaborations between large and small companies and other partners. The overall intention is to increase innovation and give the Welsh economy a healthy boost.
Other towns, cities and countries will be watching to see what difference the project might make.
Seven large companies in the country successfully competed for an Open Innovation Development Award that will help them develop new relationships with external partners – customers, suppliers, inventors, universities or other stakeholders. Each company is being encouraged to appoint an open innovation champion to drive OI projects forward.
As they pursue their OI agendas these seven companies will explore best practices and introduce novel approaches. And they will share their findings with the wider Welsh business community at regular meetings.
“This pilot two-year Open Innovation Award is a new approach from Welsh Government that aims to bring commercially exploitable solutions to light for the benefit of Welsh businesses of all sizes,” said Edwina Hart, Minister for Economy.
The seven participating companies hail from different industries including pharmaceutical, defense and utilities.
Among the open innovation processes that will be adopted are advertising technology needs via a website and using technology scouts to find solutions.
According to CBI Wales (the organization that represents the country’s biggest employers) the Welsh government needs to put innovation at the heart of its growth agenda. It has called on the government to show leadership by working with businesses to support innovation. This new open innovation project is a big step in the right direction.