Claire Coutin: “It is neccesary to extend the processes of Open Innovation”

Claire Coutin, innovation expert, Doctor in agricultural economics and is currently Head of Communications and External Relations, I+D+i area in Campofrio Spain, gives his views on innovation processes in learning and knowledge management in the spanish market.

P. What is the level of innovation in learning and knowledge management in the Spanish market?

R. In recent years, the open innovation process can be considered as one of the most important innovations in the field of knowledge management in spanish companies.

Traditionally, spanish companies, particularly in the food industry, have managed innovation in a closed way. This means that the R&D, from its initial conception to its end development, were managed exclusively with the skills, resources and knowledge specific to the company.

In a globalized world, innovation makes the difference: the R+D+i are more complex and require more and more knowledge and specialized pointers. To achieve excellence and stay ahead in R&D, companies seek new knowledge outside the organization to supplement their own knowledge and to take forward new R+D+i. There have been widespread public-private partnerships between companies, technological centers and / or universities. This strategy has been encouraged by the policies of funding for R&D enterprise.

At the same time, the open innovation process has been, in many cases, to a very local level: external collaborations have been developed through local networks, close relationships and / or personal. For many companies have not managed to go to a more European and / or international sharing of knowledge management. I think it’s partly because of shortcomings in networks, lack of spaces / platforms and European coordination between international companies and research centers.

P. What changes are taking effect on investment in R + D + i in spanish companies?

R. As a result of the decrease of public funds available, we observe changes in the financing of R & D: the majority of R & D is financed with equity. We observed changes in the objectives of the R + D + i: more resources allocated to projects to improve costs and increase performance compared with less resources allocated to projects of acquiring new knowledge. We also observed changes in the duration and scope of projects: over the short / medium term and less long term.

P. What would be the most favored sectors with continuous innovation policy?

R. The technology-intensive sectors should remain the most favored a policy of continuous innovation. However, I think the primary sector (agriculture, forestry, mining) and manufacturing (food chemistry, textile, etc.) that have much more delay in product innovation and process, are at once the most margin have progress. In this sense, they are also sectors that can benefit from a policy of continuous innovation and increase competitiveness.

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