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J. Open Innov. Technol. Mark. Complex. 2018, 4(1), 12; (registering DOI)

Open innovation concept: integrating universities and business in digital age

Department of Empirical Education Research, FernUniversität in Hagen, Hagen, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 24 July 2017 / Accepted: 12 March 2018 / Published: 3 April 2018
PDF [397 KB, uploaded 12 April 2018]


There exists a huge amount of literature with regard to the new openness of firms or universities to trigger innovations. Among others the Triple-Helix approach conceptualizes the role of the state to fulfill the demand of social welfare. The state, universities and private companies together fulfill different values und function according to different rules of the game. In fact, the state disposes of the monopoly of power. Therefore, it is of interest to further elaborate the question of how the state should fulfill its role within this interplay. The purpose of the following paper is therefore to reveal firstly a corresponding research gap and to formulate an answer by referring to organizational formats. By means of a theoretically derived concept according to plausibility considerations the superiority of a network over a hierarchy governmental approach is proclaimed. Secondly, the paper highlights the new demanding and conflicting role of universities with regard to the collaboration with private business companies. Universities as a knowledge supplier fulfil a crucial role within this institutional framework and need to redefine their self-understanding as collaboration with business gains importance. Thirdly Web 2.0 applications within the framework of lifelong learning concepts are being discussed as an adequate tool to fulfil the requirements developed earlier on: The question arises in what way innovative technologies and blended learning can support learning by business people on the one hand and adapt research work of university people to the realistic demands of business on the other. In conclusion some policy implications are derived from this conceptual paper, focusing on the role of intermediary agents and innovative technologies to enhance trust relationships between the different stakeholders and seeking to add useful considerations with regard to innovation policy. The main findings deny a restrictive policy approach. Instead, rather a concept in the sense of help for self-help seems to be fruitful. By means of organizing the innovation policy throughout a sense of “Openness” towards all relevant stakeholders the impetus lies on strengthening the system from the inside. Considering the interests of the stakeholders and subsiding digital formats of learning and knowledge transfer a valuable contribution possibly could be done.
Keywords: Open innovation; Innovation policy; Institutional framework; Lifelong learning; Knowledge transfer Open innovation; Innovation policy; Institutional framework; Lifelong learning; Knowledge transfer
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Becker, B.A.; Eube, C. Open innovation concept: integrating universities and business in digital age. J. Open Innov. Technol. Mark. Complex. 2018, 4, 12.

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J. Open Innov. Technol. Mark. Complex. EISSN 2199-8531 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
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