All over the world scientists are working tirelessly in search of a coronavirus vaccine. Many of them set aside their personal academic success in order to work collaboratively with their competitors and come up with results as quickly as possible. “While political leaders have locked their borders, scientists have been shattering theirs, creating a global collaboration unlike any in history”, a New York Times article states. “Of course there are people in competition. This is the human condition,” said Dr. Yazdan Yazdanpanah, the director of infectious disease at Inserm in France. “What is important is to come up with a solution for everyone. The way to achieve that is to collaborate.” Meaning, that it is not only possible to collaborate with someone who you normally see as your biggest competitor, it is also imperative, if you want to be successful.
And not only that. While many predict that after the pandemic ends many companies will make remote work the new norm, scientists today are setting an example on how working on a common goal can also be done from different parts of the world. Scientists are using international online archives to distribute their knowledge among other scientists and thus make their results available to others in real-time making progress possible very quickly. They are having access to a pool of knowledge that would have otherwise never been available to them if they have stayed within their organisational boundaries.
Collaborating with your competitors and tapping into knowledge from people all around the globe is Open Innovation at its best. It fosters novel thinking, which again fosters innovation. In a well-connected world, Open Innovation offers opportunities that will save time, reduce research costs, and bring innovations to market more quickly.
So, if you are still unsure whether Open Innovation is a good idea, just have a look at the scientists right now working to find a vaccine for COVID-19.