Polytechnique Montréal, HEC Montréal, Université du Québec à Montréal, Concordia University, the Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en analyse des organisations (CIRANO), Industry Canada, the Consortium for Research and Innovation in Aerospace in Québec (CRIAQ), the MiQro Innovation Collaborative Centre (C2MI), Thales Canada and Nano-Québec have joined forces to expand knowledge of open innovation practices.
Catherine Beaudry (Polytechnique Montréal, CIRST and CIRANO), Patrick Cohendet (MOSAIC HÉC Montréal), Nathalie de Marcellis-Warin (Polytechnique Montréal and CIRANO), Andrea Schiffauerova (Concordia University) and Majlinda Zhegu (CIRST, ESG-UQÀM) have created a research partnership with Industry Canada, the Consortium de recherche et d'innovation en aérospatiale au Québec (CRIAQ), the Centre de Collaboration MiQro Innovation (C2MI), Thales Canada and Nano-Québec that seeks to expand and mobilize knowledge of open innovation.
Headed by Prof. Beaudry, lead researcher and associate professor in the Department of Mathematics and Industrial Engineering at Polytechnique, the project has created a partnership for open innovation in new technologies, called the Partenariat pour l'Ouverture de l'Innovation dans les Nouvelles Technologies (POINT), between researchers, political decision-makers and industry groups. The three-year research partnership will have a budget of $199,950 from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.
Innovation plays a key role in the success of the businesses and organizations that contribute to the development of all high-technology fields. Following the arrival of the triple-helix concept (university-business-government collaboration), the next new paradigm is without a doubt that of open innovation, which pushes the boundaries of inter-organizational collaboration. How is the flow of knowledge structured within an open system? What influence do international innovation networks exert over the development of innovation in this context? How does the university contribute to the openness of innovation? Are the risks related to innovation greater in an open innovation context?
“POINT will benefit from the expertise of top-notch partners. Industry Canada, for example, has very specific knowledge of the industries under study, which will enable us to more easily tap into these sectors,” says Ms. Beaudry. “CRIAQ and C2MI are two examples of groups seeking to integrate research and its application within the key areas of Québec industry. In this sense, the field studies resulting from this project will allow us to observe innovation in highly diversified contexts.”
The objectives of the POINT program
The POINT program's primary objective is to expand knowledge and produce new knowledge on open innovation practices in four major sectors that are of strategic importance for Québec and Canada: new technologies flowing from science, meaning nanotechnologies, life sciences and biotechnologies, and more mature sectors such as information and communications technologies (ICT), from semi-conductors to software, and aerospace. This will enable the second objective, to mobilize knowledge and transfer new open innovation practices from one sector to the next by means of liaison and transfer activities.
The first phase of research aims to co-create a common analysis framework for open innovation practices in concert with the partners. The second phase will integrate the results of existing national studies on innovation into an original study on best innovation practices with the aim of generating new indicators appropriate for open innovation, and to measure the scope, inherent risks and impact of open innovation. The third step will seek to understand the structure of university researchers' international co-publication networks, their links with international co-invention networks, and their anchor points within regional business agglomerations, and to showcase universities' impact as agents of open innovation.
The research team will carry out its own studies of their industry partners and collaborators, and will identify the most promising open innovation practices. The mobilization of the knowledge produced, and the involvement of public-sector partners, will help private-sector partners to adopt certain open innovation practices and to consider the importance of these new innovation models in public policy. The mobilization of the new knowledge so generated will contribute to the development of policies on science, technology and innovation based on the analysis of the most recent knowledge in the field of innovation.
Through this program, a framework for analysis will be developed in order to precisely measure the repercussions of implementing open innovation practices within various sectors. This inventive tool could serve as a conceptual model for future studies led by governments and researchers. This way, the various steps of the study will make it possible to advance knowledge and will contribute to the improvement of innovation strategies for businesses and indirectly to the improvement of public policy on innovation.
From left to right: Andrea Schiffauerova (Concordia), Patrick Cohendet (HÉC), Majlinda Zhegu (UQAM), Nathalie de Marcellis-Warin (Polytechnique Montréal and CIRANO) and Catherine Beaudry (Polytechnique Montréal, CIRST and CIRANO)