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Open Innovation

Hakikur Rahman

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While talking about successful entrepreneurship and value addition within an enterprise through innovation, one could realize that the innovation paradigm has been shifted from simple introduction of new ideas and products to accumulation of diversified actions, actors and agents along the process. Furthermore, when the innovation process is not being restricted within the closed nature of it, the process takes many forms during its evolution. Innovations have been seen as closed innovation or open innovation, depending on its nature of action, but contemporary world may have seen many forms of innovation, such as technological innovation, products/service innovation, process/production innovation, operational/management/organizational innovation, business model innovation or disruptive innovation, though often they are strongly interrelated. Definition of innovation has also adopted many transformations along the path, incorporating innovations within the products, process or service of an enterprise to organizational, marketing, or external entities and relations. Nature and scope of agents and actors even varies widely within the innovation dynamics, when the open innovation techniques are being applied to enterprises, designated as the small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Researching in this paradigm, one has to look for some underlying issues that should be attended through responding to research questions as the research continues. Among many of the fundamental questions on innovation advancement for SMEs development there are a few, how to acquire precise information on the flow-chart of their business operations, gain knowledge on specific parameters of their business processes, utilize existing potential capacities to extend their knowledge towards successful innovation acquisition and dissemination, and extend their knowledge platform through various capacity development initiatives. They aggregate further, when issues of opportunities and challenges are being researched along the path of SME development through open innovation. Rationale of this research is to ascertain diverse aspects of opportunities and challenges surrounding the open innovation processes, and design action plans to empower SMEs in reaching out to the grass roots communities utilizing open innovation strategies. Primary focus of this research is to enable SMEs in finding out their innovation potentiality and empower them through various capacity development initiatives. However, the specific focus will adhere to adaptable technology transfer through open innovation. Along the route to justify the research potential and validate the research hypotheses (whether this research will add any economic value or knowledge gain), this study will conduct extensive literature review on various patterns of open innovation (crowdsourcing or collaborative), investigate case studies to learn about intricate issues surrounding their operational strategies (conducted by European Commission, OECD and similar institutions) and conduct surveys among selected SMEs (email, web based, egroups) in several phases. Research design includes formulation of strategies to resolve acquired research questions; collection and recording of the evidences obtained from the literature review or case studies or surveys; processing and analyzing gathered data and their appropriate interpretations; and publication of results. Analysis will include both qualitative (descriptive and exploratory) and quantitative (inferential statistics) methods.