04 January 2010

Open Innovation, Collaboration

The start of a new year is always a good time to reflect Janus-like, back on the year past, and that which is to come. Last year was good for GBC applied research - we initiated our NSERC CCI program of research, launching many exciting projects in concert with our industry, academic and community partners. The year ahead promises more of the same. We are getting set to launch several new projects and initiatives, the newly expanded CONII is coming online, and there is strong federal and provincial support for the kind of R&D partnerships that will help Canada rise from our innovation doldrums. Announcements such as that by NSERC at the recent Polytechnics Canada Showcase about the value of industry+academic partnerships hold strong promise that the innovation system in Canada - and notably in Ontario with the Ontario Network of Excellence - can increasingly work together to foster greater social and economic productivity.

Here's an article that speaks about Proctor and Gamble's move into an organization that partners with others in the pursuit of bringing innovations to market. The value of open innovation to companies that embrace this concept is evident by P&G's successes. And a recent article in the Globe and Mail about a new academic search engine - Yaffle - shows how academic institutions are getting engaged with finding ways to partner with industry to ensure that, where relevant, research can be put to use. As the Globe article says, Yaffle is like "an online dating service for the academic set, matching research needs with expertise," echoing the purpose of sites like InnoCentive and CONII, which I've elsewhere called the lava life for the R&I set. These kinds of collaboration will be the way forward, as the innovation system in Canada articulates greater value to our publics for the work we do, whether in basic, applied, or experimental research. As I've noted earlier, our approach to applied research and innovation encompasses both applied and experimental research, and our focus on complementarity with other R&D organizations enables us to have a significant impact on the innovation economy.

No comments: