PITA Fiscal Year 2008 Projects - Courses and Outreach Programs

Collaboration On "Open Innovation" Course Development And Dissemination In Support Of The Need To Create More Innovative Products, Processes And R&D In Pa Based Companies

Innovation has become the key competitive differentiator in 21st century global competition. Historically an individual company could use internal resources to generate ideas and turn them into innovative products, and processes. In short they would capitalize on their internal R&D to establish sustainable competitive advantage. In today’s dynamic and highly agile global markets demanding sophisticated products and processes with short lifecycles the go it alone internal R&D strategy is not enough. In his landmark book “Open Innovation”, Henry Chesbrough demonstrated that because useful knowledge is no longer concentrated in a small number of large organizations, business leaders must adopt a new, “open” model of innovation. Using this model, companies look outside their boundaries for ideas and intellectual property (IP) they can bring in, as well as license their unutilized home-grown IP to other organizations. In his new book “Open Business Models”, Chesbrough explains how to make money in an open innovation landscape.

In this project we have collaborated with Henry Chesbrough and Air Products (AP) on the development of a class designed to share the ideas in his two books and much more. The goal of the project is to enhance the two day executive version of the course which was piloted at Air Products and the semster long version taught to Lehigh graduate studentsand two seniors in our first PITA grant on this topic.

In this extension of the original grant we are developing generic case study reccomendations to be used at Air Produicts and other PA companies. While the course objectives continue to be (1) to describe open innovation (OI) and why/how it evolved from closed innovation, (2) to make clear what the elements of OI are, (3) to examine case studies covering companies such as Procter & Gamble, IBM, and Air Products, and (4) to show participants how to organize to gain strategic benefit from OI. We will now offer an executive version at Lehigh University open to all PA companies and seek thirty participants who will pay a reduced fee to enroll.