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Open Innovation: The Challenges & Solutions


The British Library is organising a half-day conference on 29 November which will focus on the challenges of open innovation.  Open Innovation: ‘The Challenges & Solutions’ will bring together experts and practitioners to share their experiences.

The conference will be based around 2 debates:

  • Overcoming Common Open Innovation Barriers:  led by David Simoes Brown (100% Open) and panellists will include Mike Addison (Procter & Gamble) and Damien McDonnell (Quantum Innovation Centre)
  • Anticipating and Authenticating Ideas in and Open Innovation Environment: led by Maxine Horn (Creative Barcode) and panellists will include Donal O’Connell (Open Innovation specialist), Joren De Wachter (ipVA) and Paul Mellor (Mellor & Scott).


In recent years there has been a growing emphasis on the potential of open innovation and collaborative working as an effective way of developing innovative new products and services. 

It is based on the simple idea that no single organisation will have all the skills,  knowledge and expertise in-house needed to ‘make a new idea fly’ and that by bringing in external knowledge and perspectives you are much more likely to access new ideas and to turn existing ideas into sustainable products and services.

Open Innovation can take many forms from crowdsourcing using social media tools to online ‘jams’ used by companies like Virgin Atlantic, to a more managed form of collaboration pioneered by companies like Procter & Gamble. 

It is widely accepted that there are a number of real and perceived barriers faced by any business looking to apply one of the many open innovation models as these require different business models and mindsets from the closed innovation model with a focus on in-house development and secrecy. 

In contrast, Open Innovation requires a higher level of information sharing and transparency and the development of new forms of collaborative relationship. In addition to this, concerns exist about how ideas can be protected in this kind of open environment. The emphasis of much of the literature on Open Innovation is more on evangelising the benefits and less on addressing these practical and perceptual issues. 

The conference will be held at the British Library Conference Centre from 13.30 - 17.00 on 29 November. Tickets cost £55+ VAT and can be booked by contacting or 020 7412 7014. If you have any questions about the event, please email Nigel Spencer at the British Library

The conference forms part of the British Library’s contribution to the Open Innovation Project which brings together a partnership of local governments, universities, business support services, and other public bodies to deliver a diverse and dynamic programme of activities across the UK, France, Germany, Ireland, and Belgium. It is funded by the EU funding stream Interreg IVB NEW.

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Business & IP Centre
The British Library
96 Euston Road
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Tel: +44 (0)20 7412 7901
Email: Reference Team

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