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Top 5 Countries for Open Innovation – Nov 2012

November 26, 2012 15inno 18 Comments

I have the privilege to travel the world in order to meet with corporate innovation teams and work with them on their issues. This gives me a pretty good understanding on what is happening with open innovation globally so here comes a list of countries that in my view do well.

1. United States. No surprise here. This is where it happens. We have the companies, intermediaries/service providers, top academics and all the best conferences. There are simply too many to mention here.

2. The Netherlands. I have had the opportunity to engage with several Dutch companies including Philips, which I believe can turn into a great case on open innovation in the near future. I really look forward to seeing them start sharing their experiences in the innovation community : – ) Other interesting companies include AkzoNobel, DSM and Unilever. The Netherlands also has several workshops and events on open innovation.

3. Germany. Many Germany-based companies including BASF, Beiersdorf, Siemens, Deutsche Telekom, Bombardier, Lufthansa and SAP have embraced open innovation or they have strong initiatives for the kind of knowledge / innovation communities that I believe will be very important in the near future. Germany is well-represented on this list: 40 Examples of Open Innovation and Crowdsourcing

Germany also seems to be the place in Europe (together with the Netherlands) with the most relevant conferences and events although several of those are in German language only. Germany also has several service providers including Hype Innovation, which does a good job on educating their customers and the community.

I did not have much trouble naming the U.S., the Netherlands and Germany for the top three spots. Now, it gets more tricky as I don’t think other countries can match these three although several countries such as France, United Kingdom, Chile, Brazil, Sweden, Singapore and South Korea have the potential to develop into regional or perhaps even global hotspots.

4. France. I used to have the United Kingdom on my top 5 list, but I think the fourth spot now belongs to France. One reason is service providers such as Hypios and bluenove (check their report on Open Innovation in France). I am also getting in touch with a growing number of corporate innovation teams in France although I must admit that I have not yet worked with any of them.

5. Not decided yet. I will leave this slot open and have you help decide which country we should add here. Please drop a comment on which country you choose and why.

One big disappointment is the Nordic region and in particular Denmark (with the exception of LEGO). Many Nordic companies do well on innovation in general, but they just seem to miss out on open innovation. They need to get their act together or risk falling behind.

Back to the number 5 spot… Should your country be on the list? Drop a comment and “vote” for this fifth spot…

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Currently there are "18 comments" on this Article:

  1. Marko Savić says:

    Do you have any experience with Slovenia?

  2. Anette Holm says:

    Interesting. Any thoughts of how the rest of the world can get inspired and learn from Top 3? It would be nice if we could find some shortcuts.

    • Stefan Lindegaard says:

      Hi Anette, I think this is quite easy as there are so many cases and so much learning already in place. You can just tap into this and start building an overview of what could work and what could not work in the specific cases. However, this takes me back to the notion that open innovation is very much about the mindset. It does not matter much that you have lots of inspiration available if you are not ready to embrace it.

  3. Gocha Goguadze says:

    Hi, Stefan.

    Great topic. I also travel a lot worldwide the last 17 years and agree with your list, and in my mind Japan is 5th, of course.



  4. Linda Swart says:

    Hi Stefan,
    I think South Africa is mentionable. There are many corporate companies using open innovation to solve challenges etc. In terms of product innovation I think a lot gets done abroad, and then gets imported into our market.

    I think there is a huge gap in South Africa but companies are trying, and there has been successful pilot projects. I will gladly share if someone is interested.

    Thanks for the great articles.


  5. Pablo says:

    Switzerland! http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-07-03/switzerl

    We have an economy that relies on innovation to support itself, uncountable free courses on start up, uncountable funding pools,…

  6. Hi Stefan

    Thank you for your stimulating review. I am surprised by the reason you are giving to position France. You are mentioning two small consulting players, which have a limited influence, in spite of their marketing activity. Open Innovation initiatives have started a long time ago in large companies of different sectors, including aircraft industry, IT… The issue here in France is that it is spreading slowly to SMES of traditional sectors which have a strong exposure to international competition.

    • Stefan Lindegaard says:

      Hi Jean, I see your point. The reason I mentioned the two consulting players is that they have been pretty active in spreading the word that open innovation is developing in France. I still miss more specific examples of open innovation in French companies (a key reason that France is not in the top 3), but the work of especially bluenove is encouraging. Open innovation is slow to spread to SME's in all countries. Open innovation is foremost for big companies, but it is good to see some changes in this albeit slowly. Which French company cases would you highlight?

  7. Varad says:

    Am part of an Open Innovation initiative in India. There are some companies like P&G, Unilever, 3M who are practicing OI in India. You could consider either India or Brazil for position 5. You must look at http://www.openinnovationseminar.com.br/2012/OIAr


  8. Matthew says:

    for France : some towns like "Montpellier", "Rennes" and of course "Paris" are very actives on this thematic.
    And the fact that in France 36000 cities exist, show us a big potential for "open data"

  9. […] the list. In addition we included the top 5 open innovation countries list from Stefan Lindegaards blog (and also the recent OECD report 2013 report on open innovation (see here and thanks to Sharon from […]