Our Research

Research is our core focus in order to develop new theoretical explanations and empirical evidence on new practices, policies, infrastructures and design principles for open digital innovation. Our research considers both the social and technical dimension of the design of complex innovation systems. Most of our work is based on naturally occurring data, or field experiments and action-research. Our research encompasses a range of topics in four main categories: (1) Open governmental innovation and open data, (2) Innovation communities and network analytics, (3) Governance of innovation ecosystems, and (4) IP management, open source, and open standardization. Some of our current projects include the following:

Open DataCo-Creating Governmental Open Data for Continued Value Creation

The Democratization of Government Data initiative and the Data.gov platform should fuel what we refer to as continued value creation (CVC): that is, the use of open data to not simply create new software applications that are downloaded, but the use of those software applications to provide a continued flow of new or improved services to citizens in terms of improved efficiencies in services (such as time and costs), effectiveness (such as enhanced user experience), or novel forms of service value. Although Data.gov offers public access to an impressive number of machine-readable datasets, there is a significant gap in the government’s ability to draw upon theoretical explanations and empirical evidence on how to structure the open data initiative in a manner that fosters CVC.

To address this gap, this research will examine two critical elements of a structure supporting CVC from open data initiatives: (1) a lifecycle-oriented innovation ecosystem, in which dispersed actors involved in the entire open data application development lifecycle are included in the identification, design, development, deployment, and continuity of the application; and (2) a socio-technical co-creation infrastructure that makes it possible for the ecosystem to iteratively co-create solutions as barriers to CVC arise.

Managing Open Innovation in Large Firms

In 2012, we performed a large-scale Open Innovation Executive Survey to explore to what extent open innovation was applied in large firms in the USA and Europe. Results show that open innovation is growing into a mainstream phenomenon of increasing business relevance in large firms where 78 percent of large firms in the sample had been applying open innovation although they were in the early stage of practicing and understanding open innovation. (To access the survey report, please click here: http://goo.gl/wC6qRT).

Building upon these results, there is a need to advance our understanding of adoption of open innovation at project level.   Existing academic literature and theories on open innovation have regularly focused on firm-level aggregates to understand the role of open innovation in firm performance; they have not provided sufficient insights into the adoption of open innovation at project level. The Open Research Center for Open Digital Innovation (RCODI) at the Purdue University and the Garwood Center for Corporate Innovation at the University of California-Berkeley in collaboration with the World Economic Forum and Fraunhofer-Society want to address this gap by conducting this research. We implement the second Open Innovation Executive Survey in order to deepen our understanding of adoption of open innovation not only at firm-level but also at project level. In a nutshell, in this research project we aim to implement a quantitative survey study on open innovation among senior executives in large firms in the USA, Europe and Japan with the main focus on different open innovation practices, new practices and ways to deal with managing and sharing know-how and IP, and new ways to measure open innovation performance.