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The urge to reform public administration is widely shared across Europe. Open innovation is on everyone’s lips, with numerous serious and mature initiatives visible across the continent. From a range of examples, we can see organisations acting in the knowledge that working in silos is no longer an option:

  • ENA, the French school of administration, now has a program to teach future leaders about open innovation
  • The Royal Navy has implemented a new process to foster open innovation in traditionally classified areas such as submarines
  • The European Commission is gearing up to foster open innovation research groups and task forces, with first initiatives towards its own projects and internal processes.

Despite the good will and clear impetus however, the notion of open innovation fails to thrive and flourish as successfully as in the private sector. The key stumbling block is: how to be certain about the value it brings?

The reasons not to implement open innovation are second-order: the inconvenient truth is that open innovation works.

Robert Madelin Senior Innovation Adviser to the President of the European Commission (2015-2016)

This paper addresses this question head-on. We tackle the specifics of the value of open innovation in the public sector, in terms of both barriers and levers, and we provide a maturity table for open innovation projects in Europe today. We offer insights and expertise to help public actors take their Open Innovation initiatives further, faster and more effectively, as sponsors of the Village by CA, through our work mentoring start-ups and accompanying public actors with their open innovation projects.

Authors: Jérôme de Badereau, Clément Jullien, Rose Lemardeley

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