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Enabling open innovation in small- and medium-sized enterprises: how to find alternative applications for your technologies

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A critical success factor in the practice of Open Innovation is the timely identification of opportunities for out-licensing a firm's technologies outside its core business. This can be particularly challenging for small- and medium-sized enterprise (SMEs), because of their focussed business portfolio, specialized knowledge basis, and limited financial resources that can be devoted to innovation activities. The paper illustrates a quick and easy-to-use methodology for the identification of viable opportunities for out-licensing a firm's technologies outside its core business. The method uses established TRIZ instruments in combination with non-financial weighting and ranking techniques and portfolio management tools. It has been developed by the authors in collaboration with an Italian SME working in the packaging industry.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: MaIn Lab, Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Piazza Martiri della Libertà 33, 56127 Pisa, Italy., Email: 2: Department of Management and Information Technology, Università degli Studi di Bergamo, Viale Marconi 5, 24044 Dalmine Bergamo, Italy., Email: 3: Politecnico di Milano, Department of Management, Economics and Industrial Engineering, Piazza L. da Vinci 32, 20133 Milan, Italy., Email: 4: Politecnico di Milano, Energy Department, Via Lambruschini 4, 20156 Milan, Italy., Email:

Publication date: 2010-09-01

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