Open innovation opens up new avenues of innovation in the digital age and generates radically new ideas by involving unconventional sources of knowledge, such as users, experts from other companies, regions, or even different industries, in innovation processes at an early stage. With open innovation, companies don’t just work on new ideas within their organization; they involve actors like customers, users, suppliers, and interested individuals in the innovation process right from the start. They all contribute their knowledge and experiences to create new solutions. This leads to the development of products that are closer to customer expectations and thereby achieve greater market success.
The term open innovation in an increasingly interconnected world refers to collaboration between companies, public institutions, and the early involvement of a broader range of contributors, such as individuals, to solve challenges, create innovative products and services, and share risks and opportunities. The idea is based on the belief that in a world of distributed knowledge, companies cannot solely rely on internal research. This approach has led to significant advantages in many areas, such as:
- Unexpected solutions for diverse challenges
- Faster problem-solving
- Access to a diverse talent pool
- Greater diversity of thinking and ideas
- Reduced administrative effort
- Lower research costs
- Customer orientation
- Increased flexibility
- Greater marketing buzz
Crowdsourcing is a key tool for open innovation, as it opens up the innovation process and drives innovations by involving a broader community. Crowdsourcing can take various forms, including idea competitions, crowdfunding, and other forms of collaboration with the general public.
Crowdsourcing refers to outsourcing tasks, problem-solving, or idea generation to a “crowd” – a group of people who voluntarily and often over the internet participate in a specific project, task, or question. This can involve collecting ideas, information, feedback, data, or solutions for specific problems or challenges.
A crowdsourcing idea platform like IdeaSpace enables diverse stakeholders such as companies and individuals to collect ideas and innovations from a broad group of diverse individuals. Participants can submit ideas, evaluate them, and engage in discussions on various topics. This accelerates the innovation process and opens up diverse perspectives for problem-solving and challenges.
Participating in idea competitions requires registration on IdeaSpace. The two main types of idea competitions on IdeaSpace are:
Open idea campaigns: In open idea competitions, all registered users can submit their ideas on specified questions and engage in networking and discussions. These competitions aim to receive a variety of creative solutions for a specific problem or topic.
Closed idea campaigns: Closed idea competitions on IdeaSpace are usually internal company contests that are only accessible to a selected group of participants with a password. Participation is through invitation and targeted selection.
By combining open and closed idea competitions, IdeaSpace provides a dynamic environment for creative idea generation and innovation promotion, taking into account both idea diversity and the confidentiality of specific projects or collaborations
The idea platform covers a variety of socially relevant topics. The themes of idea competitions span various fields such as sustainable tourism, future mobility, health, or regional development, depending on the needs of the respective clients. The focus is on supporting regional and (inter-)national companies, organizations, institutions, and public entities in their innovation projects. The platform offers a dynamic environment to discuss, develop, and advance ideas in a wide range of industries and sectors.
Please ensure that you have the right to use the submitted ideas and additional information (e.g., images) and possess the necessary rights! Only use freely available images or those for which you are the author.
Please note that we are not merely a prototype crowdsourcing platform; rather, we serve as an ideation platform where the ideas from our community vary in terms of development and quality. Occasionally, the submitted concepts are akin to sparks of inspiration that provide the impetus for innovation.
Register here on IdeaSpace. Once you’ve confirmed your registration, you’ll get an overview of ongoing and completed idea competitions and can submit your own ideas individually or as a team to various questions, edit ideas, comment on ideas, or participate in community ratings. You can even submit multiple ideas in the same idea competition!
Even if you don’t have ideas, others appreciate your comments and ratings, as that’s what the community thrives on! And perhaps you’ll find a partner to further develop an idea? In the online community, you also have the opportunity to earn points for submitted ideas, comments, and ratings. Active members often receive great prizes!
The individual phases may vary somewhat depending on whether it’s an open or closed idea competition. However, generally, there is an idea submission, community rating, expert jury evaluation, and awarding phase.
After the submission phase concludes, the community typically has two weeks to rate all the submitted ideas. This community rating showcases which ideas are most popular amongst the group. Following this phase, expert jury members evaluate the ideas based on various criteria (degree of innovation, creativity, feasibility) and determine the winning ideas in a final jury meeting. This process may take some time depending on the number of submitted ideas. The wait is worth it: the winners will be announced during an award ceremony event where they receive their certificates and prizes.
During the community rating of an idea competition, you have the opportunity to vote for your favorite ideas in the “Arena”. In the Arena, you are presented with two ideas, and between the two you decide which one you prefer the most. The more ideas you rate in the Arena, the more points you earn for your activity account.
The jury is carefully selected by the clients of the idea campaigns and comprises experts in the campaign’s specific thematic areas. The jury typically consists of 6 – 12 members who evaluate the winning ideas in the final evaluation phase based on predefined criteria. Those who are part of the jury can be viewed on the overview page of the respective idea competition.