What are drivers and hurdles of employee participation in the open innovation process and how can these processes be put into practice by small and medium-sized businesses? These questions are in the centre of the Open-I project, which is funded by the BMBF (Federal Ministry of Education and Research) and the European Social Fund. In that context, open innovation is defined as voluntary participation in innovation processes across the boundaries of teams, departments or organizational units. As every employee should have the possibility to participate in open innovation processes, social software applications are developed and tested within the Open- I project.
While SMEs are often laggards in the adoption of new high-tech products due to diverse constraints (personal, financial, missing knowledge about potential, etc.) fast moving product cycles lead to huge stocks of used high-tech products.
The 2nd Tech-Cycle, therefore, aims at developing a concept that allows reusing high-tech products in SMEs in order to foster their ability to innovate by transferring used high-tech products, applications and related knowledge in an integrated approach.