Meeting the Innovation Challenge
Edited by John Bessant and Tim Venables
5. New innovation models and Australia’s old economy Mark Dodgson and John Steen INTRODUCTION This chapter addresses some issues of open innovation in Australia, a relatively small and remote economy with signiﬁcant resources industries. To date there has been little examination of what open innovation means for resource-based industries like mining and agriculture, nor indeed for ‘nonhigh-tech’ sectors in general. By providing a very diﬀerent research setting to previous studies, this chapter helps to contribute to the process of testing and developing the concept of open innovation. In the open innovation model the old internalized and linearly driven innovation process in ﬁrms and national innovation systems is replaced by a new innovation paradigm characterized by the presence of non-linear, iterative interactions within open systems of ﬁrms and other actors (Rothwell 1992; Chesbrough 2003; Gassmann 2006; Chesbrough 2006). In this model, several points of departure have been noted from previous thinking on innovation, including an equalization in the importance of internal and external knowledge, purposive outbound streams of knowledge and technology, and the rise of ‘knowledge brokers’ – or intermediaries – as important creators of connections and facilitators of knowledge ﬂows. The contribution of knowledge or innovation brokers provides the focus of this chapter. Managing the ﬂows of knowledge within economic systems is especially important in a small economy on the periphery of world technological developments. We start from the position that the best policy for a country like Australia is to maximize its openness to innovation from multiple sources and...
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