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So with 2012 with drawing to a close it is a good time to reflect on a year of great energy and activity for the Open Innovation Project. All the Partners contributed to events, each of which was different, but all of which conveyed a central message of the benefits of collaboration. To quote U2; ‘sometimes you can’t make it on your own’. Here is a snapshot of what we have been doing.

Competitions like the ‘Converge Challenge Open Innovation’ organised by Heriott Watt University in Edinburgh and the ‘Unikat’ 12’ business competition run by Kassel University stimulated the innovative spirit of students and businesses. High profile festivals like the ‘Turing Festival’ in Edinburgh and ‘Innovation Dublin’ brought open innovation ideas and concepts to wider audiences. In-depth training and support was offered to businesses with the launch of the first ‘Open Innovation Masterclass’ by Laval Mayenne Technopole. Specific aspects of open innovation such as use of social media were the focus of seminars and workshops like those run by Somerset County Council and the British Library. Kaho-Sint Lieven in Gent built links between higher education and industry with bootcamps on topics like electronics & photovoltaics. Voka Chamber of Commerce in East Flanders raised the profile of open innovation amongst businesses through a series of seminars like ‘The Force of Open Innovation’.

Another feature of the year has been an increase in the collaboration amongst partners to run events and to run events that have been piloted in other areas. An example of this was ‘Citrus Saturday’ which looks to stimulate the entrepreneurial spirit of schoolchildren. In 2012 this was run in Edinburgh and Dublin having been launched by UCL Advances in London the previous year. Also London’s Capital Enterprise and Voka Chamber of Commerce both ran workshops on lean entrepreneurship as part of the ‘Innovation Dublin’ festival. Less tangible, although of crucial importance, has been the ongoing development of relationships between organisations working on the Project and attending events, many of which bear fruit n the coming years.

With over 40 events and activities there was clearly much more than has been mentioned and.a full list of events for 2012 can be found here: http://www.openinnovationproject.co.uk/dev/index.php/events/events2012

The central message of open innovation is one of empowerment and working together to overcome challenges. This is a positive message at a time when much of the economic news from across Europe makes difficult reading. We are looking forward to continuing to delivering these positive messages through our programme of events and activities in 2013. We have some very interesting things lined up already!

Happy New Year!

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