From the stats recited by Henry Chesbrough, the audience was unusually balanced compared to 2014. With 163 attendees, we had 69 industry, 67 academics and 27 students; 84 North America, 60 Europe and 19 RoW. Chesbrough’s opening talk was followed by industry speakers (on the Internet of Things) from GE, IBM and Deloitte.
Modified from last year is the use of the corporate problem challenge: we have six successive challenges, which appear to be attracting a reasonable audience (the academic sessions appear to be attracting 2-4 industry people). I was sorry not to be able to attend the first problem session, which talked about how Pfizer is managing its use innovation intermediaries.
Instead, I heard an excellent presentation by Dries Faems on how one firm negotiates the agreement that leads to an open innovation collaboration: they conclude that any such deal must have executive, business and technical consensus before signing or it won’t succeed. This was one of the top-reviewed papers, and even so was surprisingly good in both its theoretical framing and the novelty of its insights.
In the second session, I moderated three papers on crowdsourcing. One was on internal crowdsourcing, one was on crowdfunding, and one of defining different forms of crowds. In the following session, I presented my own paper (moderated by Faems) which looked at pharma, open source biology and open source software.
Interestingly, two of the strongest papers were co-authored by senior academics with company executives who provided access to their firms. The Faems paper was co-authored with Willem Posthouwer, the open innovation manager of FrieslandCampina (a Netherlands-based global dairy firm). In my crowdsourcing session, the best discussion was for a presentation by Ann Majchrzak on internal crowdsourcing (with very busy operational employees), but all the questions went to co-author William Bonfield, who was Chief Medical Officer at OptumHealth.
In my own session, we had a paper by Christoph Hienerth (of WHU) and Monika Lessl (VP at Bayer AG). However, it was presented by David Tamoschus, both a WHU Ph.D. student and a Bayer manager. The paper won for David the award for the top doctoral student paper. (The best “emerging scholar” paper came through the collaboration of Francesca Di Pietro with two senior academics: Andrea Principe and Majchrzak).
|David Tamoschus receives award for best doctoral paper.|
The day’s program ended the poster session, which borrowed Kevin Crowston’s (2011) innovation having the authors controlling drink tickets for the attendees. As with 2014, the presenters and attendees both found it a worthwhile endeavor.