European Industrial Forum launched by top innovation expert


The leading scholar of ‘Open innovation’, Henry Chesbrough is forming the European Innovation Forum to discover, discuss and share the most effective ways to organise and improve business innovation in Europe.

The forum, launched with Prof. Wim Vanhaverbeke, is in collaboration with the Barcelona based ESADE Business School and the SciencelBusiness Innovation Board, a Brussels not for profit association. It will be an invite only platform for senior innovation managers at leading companies across all industries in Europe. The first meeting for the forum will be held in June at ESADE in Barcelona.

Chesbrough is the world’s leading academic expert on open innovation. He is a professor at the University of California-Berkeley where he heads the Centre for Open Innovation, and at the ESADE Business School. His key books include Open Innovation in 2003, Open Business Models in 2006, and Open Services Innovation in 2011. He also runs an industrial forum for open innovation in the US.

The term “Open innovation”, was first coined by Chesbrough in 2003 as one of several approaches to innovation management, whereby big companies openly collaborate with each other in an exchange of new ideas and ways of doing business in the marketplace.

Chesbrough explains:

“The biggest challenge of open innovation is that you really need to change the way you organise and operate the company. You have to change the way you work: with your legal people, your suppliers, your customers and distribution partners. Typically, in many large companies, they don’t even share information very well within the company or across different units of the company. The European Innovation Forum will provide a place for companies to discuss the management issues raised by open innovation.”

In Europe there are both advantages and disadvantages according to Chesbrough, in getting open innovation to work. In many Northern European countries such as the UK, Finland and Sweden, open innovation is well advanced due to local universities and their spin-out companies being well connected with big industry, whereas in Southern and Eastern Europe this is not the case. There are obstacles throughout Europe to open innovation, Chesbrough says, including a very expensive patent system, which can be obstructive for small companies.

ESADE Business School in Barcelona is one of the world’s leading business schools, with a strong practice in innovation-management methods. The Science|Business Innovation Board AISBL is a Belgian not-for-profit association formed to promote a better climate for innovation in Europe. Members include ESADE, INSEAD, Imperial College London, Microsoft, BP, SKF and the Science|Business media group.

For more information, please visit the Forum website.