Open innovation and regional culture - Findings from different industrial and regional settings

Franz Tödtling, Peter Prod'Homme van Reine, Steffen Dörhöfer

Publication: Scientific journalJournal articlepeer-review


The concept of Open Innovation, building upon ideas of interactive innovation and innovation networking has gained interest more recently. It argues that companies should increasingly also rely on ideas and knowledge developed externally, and create external paths for innovation. There are various mechanisms used by companies for acquiring external knowledge such as R&D- and innovation collaboration with other firms and universities, relations to spin-off companies, and informal knowledge interactions within local milieux and open innovation campuses. Open innovation and networking are no general phenomena but depend on certain company- and regional characteristics such as the respective innovation culture. The interrelationship between open innovation and regional culture has been explored by studies on regional advantage emphasizing socio-cultural aspects of opening up innovation, the literature on regional clusters, emphasizing knowledge sharing in networks, and the contributions to regional innovation systems, emphasizing the role of the institutional environment. We investigate examples of open innovation for different regions of Europe including high tech and low tech industries: The Southeast region of The Netherlands (high tech systems centered on Philips and performance materials centered on DSM), Basel (life science industry focused on Novartis and other firms), and Styria (metal industry). We analyze the ways and mechanisms at work for open innovation, and the way these are related to regional culture. We find that open innovation strategies of companies benefit from certain regional culture characteristics and that there is no uniform model of open innovation that applies to all types of regions. Region-specific solutions and policies are required that account for divergent regional conditions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1885 - 1907
JournalEuropean Planning Studies
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Austrian Classification of Fields of Science and Technology (ÖFOS)

  • 507
  • 507016 Regional economy
  • 509

Cite this