Spain: EMPHASIS holds Virtual Debate on Good Practices of Open Innovation Activities in the Mediterranean


On the 5th of April 2022, the Association of Mediterranean Chambers of Commerce, which has its General Secretariat based in Barcelona (Spain), organized a virtual debate (Focus Group) on Open Innovation (OI) among Spanish stakeholders who operate and work with the Open Innovation concepts. 

Open Innovation is a way of managing innovation in business that promotes collaboration with people and organizations outside the company. This model of innovation becomes viable when the company identifies that there are many knowledgeable professionals outside the organization and that synergies could prove fruitful.

The gathering was a space for exchange and sharing between the different participants, in which everyone could bring their experiences and ideas to bear about Open Innovation. It aimed at brainstorming on priorities and obstacles when carrying out Open Innovation projects, voting on opinions and ideas shared and draw conclusions and learnings from the process. 

Issues for discussion in detail included: 

•    Necessities to carry out an OI project
•    Obstacles they have encountered in applying it
•    Experience of OI on an international level

Among the main conclusions that were reached in the debate were that carrying out OI projects requires making clear the win-win and framing OI as collaboration and not competition and that fostering a collaborative culture despite being in a competitive environment and building trust among actors is of critical importance. In terms of international OI projects, the group discovered that taking advantage of European and international projects as first steps to promote the internationalization of SMEs in controlled environments is critical, as is utilizing platforms with information and an updated directory of Open Innovation actors to accompany the internationalization process of SMEs using an OI methodology to effectively communicate messages, demonstrate SMEs' capacities, and find synergies with other entities.

In order to have a diversity of ideas, participants were representatives of different 4 helix organizations in Spain, such as cluster/network, research center, civil society/NGOs, public sector, SMEs and startups, from different economic sectors such as health, agriculture, innovation and R&D and multisectoral. Catalonia, Andalusia, and Valencia were the regions represented by the following entities: NAX Solutions, Eurecat, Barcelona Chamber of Commerce, Barcelona Health Hub and Technological Corporation of Andalusia (CTA). 

Stay tuned and follow us for more upcoming Info Sessions, Focus Group Meetings and Open Day Events from the 6 participating countries where you can learn more about all of the great opportunities we have in store!

OPPORTUNITY: The EMPHASIS project, in which six organizations from Greece, Italy, Spain, Egypt, Lebanon, and Jordan are involved, aims to assist small and emerging businesses in using the concept and philosophy of Open Innovation to sustain their business, while also benefiting from a Euro-Mediterranean network that will help these companies expand to new markets. So, if your business idea is competitive, addresses one of the EMPHASIS sustainability priorities, and has the potential for cross-border innovation, this is the call for you! Apply NOW to be selected as one of 24 innovative SMEs, startups, or spin-offs for the EMPHASIS Open Call!