The INVITE Concept in a nutshell

INVITE is set to significantly contribute towards nurturing a well-connected European Open Innovation (OI) ecosystem, where knowledge and ideas meaningfully flow across national boundaries and are successfully translated into marketable innovations that bring increased socio-economic benefits to European citizens. To this end, our underlying concept is simple: Co-design and deploy 3 interconnected pilots along with measures fostering OI and bottom-up collaborative innovation models in real operational environments aiming at :

  • better connecting EU innovation systems
  • enhancing the capacity of EU businesses to tap into the excellent knowledgebase of Europe and turn it into value and
  • increasing the participation of private funding actors in OI.

An overview of the overall concept underpinning INVITE is depicted in the figure that follows:


Figure 1: The concept underpinning INVITE

The main ideas and assumptions underpinning the project are summarised below:

Short-term virtual human capital mobility (Pilot 1): We advocate that this unconventional yet highly flexible form of human capital mobility can be used as means to greatly facilitate the flow of information and knowledge across innovation systems, building trust and absorptive capacity amongst involved parties, while minimizing the obstacles implied by traditional physical human capital mobility across borders.

E-learning interventions
(Pilot 2): We argue that e-learning interventions can provide SME managers with the flexibility and convenience they need to adhere to a training programme aimed at building their capacity to screen, identify and absorb ideas from outside their organisational boundaries. Collaborative and gamification techniques along with scenario- and case-based training material will be used to further enhance motivation.

Public-private co-investing
(Pilot 3): We want to empower innovation actors to better communicate with private investors, enabling them to gain a clearer understanding of the financial prospects and risks implied by promising OI ideas and projects. To this end, we argue that small public investments can serve as valuable leverage to strategically bring private capital into open and collaborative models of innovation.

Open Innovation Lab and online community
: We embrace the principles of the OI2 paradigm and deliver our pilot activities under the frame of a pan-European Open Innovation Lab which spans borders and brings together the entire spectrum of OI actors and stakeholders, enabling them to systematically collaborate, exploit existing ideas and co-create new ones in order to bring increased socio-economic value to European citizens.

Experimenting with novel bottom-up collaborative innovation models
: In the framework of our Open Innovation Lab we abandon the near-sighted, one-size-fits-all view of OI and adopt an experimental approach (where applicable we will opt for the use of control groups) favouring the development and piloting of tailor-made bottomup collaborative innovation models. Thus, we will be able to collect evidence (both quantitative and qualitative) across the entire innovation process and not only on what works, for whom and under what circumstances, but also on what does not, as the analysis of barriers and failures may be tremendously valuable in understanding which contextual forces had an impact and thus, help others to succeed.

OI support services
(measure favouring collaborative innovation): We employ already established services of enabling and supporting OI used by key EU service providers and support networks to facilitate the creation and evolution of demand-driven OI projects and get them off the ground by linking them to suitable funding solutions.

Suite of ICT tools
(measures favouring collaborative innovation): We acknowledge the importance of ICT in facilitating, accelerating and scaling OI practices and services. Thus, we leverage a suite of scalable and replicable digital tools (as shown in Figure 2), based on widely used and open source solutions to widen the reach of our pilots across the EU, structure a vibrant web-based community of OI actors and create value for all of them within the OI ecosystem.

Figure 2: Suite of ICT tools