Did you know that the Innovative Europe pillar was called Open Innovation in the original proposal on Horizon Europe Pillars?
This is also because "a relevant reflection concerns the role of open innovation for the new forms of innovation: business model, design-driven, experience-based, blue ocean, disruptive. These innovations are based on new "concepts "rather than merely "new technologies". The name of the pillar was then changed to make sure all applicants understand open innovation is a horizontal priority – essential to consider in any project.
Regarding innovation, the official definition itself
An innovation is the implementation of a new or significantly improved product (good or service), or process, a new marketing method, or a new organisational method in business practices, workplace organisation or external relations.
should be understood slightly differently in Horizon Europe. Innovation in a research and innovation project will be the outcome used for the benefit of the society or a part of it. So, the process is important, but the outcome is the innovation only if it is exploited and generates benefits.
To summarise, in the proposals, we talk about innovation potential only.
Open innovation is part of the 3Os principles: Open science, open innovation and open the world. Open innovation is about collaboration - you have heard this a lot! Open innovation for a company would mean that they must talk to their suppliers, they must speak to their customers, and of course, they need to create an innovative solution together. But also, for a company, it would mean that they also talk to other stakeholders such as the authorities or civil society organisations if relevant. Collaboration can even be built up with other companies from different sectors or even competitors. This is more of a possibility within a research project funded by the EU.
The keyword here is co-creation. Within the research projects, you need to understand who could have a good positive impact on the innovation that you're trying to create and how your results would affect other types of stakeholders. From the very beginning, you should be talking to those stakeholders and trying to co-create the concept and the methodology. Different collaboration solutions are possible in different phases of the project. This co-creation perspective and specific co-creation methodology will be the key part of your project proposal that you discuss in detail in the 1.2 section.
Remember: During the project implementation phase, pay attention to innovation management tasks and methodologies and implement those co-creation activities specifically from your work plan. Innovation management tasks include mapping the innovation capacities of the consortium and creating synergies, understanding the innovation potential, capturing all results and continuously discussing results' development with the final users and beneficiaries.
It would be best if you made sure that you create solutions that meet users' needs at the end of the project and that exploitation happens. Open innovation is only one of the topics we are discussing during our webinar series. You can find our complete offer here. So make sure to check it out and forward the information to someone who might make use of it!
You can read the post on Open Science from our 3Os in Horizon Europe series here and stay tuned for our next post on Open to the World principle.