Open innovation refers to the business model that encourages collaboration and cooperation with individuals outside of a company, as well as other companies and organisations. This concept has become increasingly popular, as the results of this approach have been more effective than those achieved by traditional linear models.

However, some companies are reluctant to take full advantage of this approach as they wish to retain an advantage above other companies in their industry by keeping their innovations to themselves.

Huawei as an Example

Huawei has proven that making use of open innovation is the way of the future. They have made extensive use of academic partners to initiate open innovation and because of this, they have become the market leader in information and communication technology, and telecommunication manufacturing. This has also led to them owning 37% of the 5G patents.

How to Source and Work with Academic Partners

Huawei has made it clear that finding the right academic partner is crucial to success. Thus, one must find an academic partner that can provide one with the research and information required for a specific product or technology. This partner might not be the most well known academic facility. It is also important to take a systematic approach when searching for an academic partner. This approach will yield long term results rather than quick growth.

More on how Huawei made use of open innovation to skyrocket their company to success can be found in the Leveraging university research within the context of open innovation: The case of Huawei paper.

Yan, X & Huang, M. 2022. Leveraging university research within the context of open innovation: The case of Huawei. Telecommunications Policy. Vol 46(2): 1- 11.