Title: Knowledge transfer initiatives as a doorstep formula to open innovation

Authors: Bart Kamp; Keith Bevis

Addresses: Louvain School of Management, Université Catholique Louvain-la-Neuve, Centre des PMEs, 1, Place de l'Université, B-1348 Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium; ORKESTRA – the Basque Institute of Competitiveness, Mundaiz 50, E-20012 San Sebastian, Spain. ' School of Engineering and Technology, University of Hertfordshire, College Lane Campus, Hatfield, AL10 9AB, UK

Abstract: The development of cars and car components has become a more and more complex affair, requiring more and more inputs from a wide range of actors and technology domains. Hence, automotive firms must look increasingly beyond the intramural setting and reach out to external partners and sources to master innovation processes. The sensitisation of firms towards so-called open innovation practises can be facilitated by means of innovation support schemes run by public actors. The present paper evaluates the additionalities of several of such schemes from the UK and the Netherlands. It concludes that the schemes succeed in getting SMEs warm for sourcing external knowledge, skills and facilities for innovation purposes and in getting them into the open innovation mode. Notably the higher equity schemes demonstrate relevant and sustainable effects in this regard. Nonetheless, opening up automotive SMEs for cooperative and multiparty innovation practises appears is for many cases a question of long breath, and will require sustained action to really institutionalise multi-party innovation practises into their behavioural patterns.

Keywords: organisational innovation; technology transfer; innovation systems; automobile industry; innovation support measures; open innovation; UK; United Kingdom; knowledge transfer; The Netherlands; automotive SMEs; small and medium-sized enterprises; multi-party innovation.

DOI: 10.1504/IJATM.2012.046003

International Journal of Automotive Technology and Management, 2012 Vol.12 No.1, pp.22 - 54

Available online: 26 Mar 2012

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