Posted on 21/Dec/2015
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In order for the Digital Single Market to live up to its full potential, we need to open up and re-think old models, and thoroughly change our mind-set. An excellent example of such a forward-thinking, inclusive and transformative tool is the model of open innovation.

Working for the benefit of citizens and businesses has always been the EU’s driving philosophy and nothing makes a stronger case for that than our efforts towards the completion of the EU’s Digital Single Market (DSM).

We are proud to have laid the groundwork for the timely and successful implementation of the European Commission’s DSM Strategy, a key project expected to add an estimated 500 billion euro to the European economy and provide a substantial boost to job creation.

In order for the DSM to live up to its full potential, we need holistic introduction and support processes that involve all stakeholders equally.

We need to open up and re-think old models, and thoroughly change our mind-set. An excellent example of such a forward-thinking, inclusive and transformative tool is the model of open innovation.

Open Innovation 2.0 (OI2) is a new paradigm based on principles of integrated collaboration, co-creation of shared value, cultivation of innovative ecosystems, unleashing exponential technologies, and extraordinarily rapid adoption. I see the DSM the same way – a collaborative space for consumers, NGOs, the public and the private sectors to all benefit from.

OI2 is revolutionary in that it allows citizens to have an active role in the innovation process – to work together with industry, academia and the public sector to come up with new ideas and stretch the boundaries of technology and societal behaviour to create new markets, products and services.

All of this happens accessibly and in real time, including prototyping and experimentation to determine each idea’s potential for upscaling, thereby transforming consumers into co-creators.

Such an open and transparent ecosystem, however, also poses its own challenges around the assessment and protection of intellectual capital and the establishment of trust and cooperation.

OI2 enables Europeans to deliver the highest and most innovative results by leveraging all the talent and resources of the community. And as supporters of OI2 like to say ‘innovation can be a discipline practiced by many, rather than an art mastered by few’.

We need to combine and double down on our efforts in order to strengthen stakeholders’ trust in a modern, future-proof and sustainable framework for Digital Europe; to uphold the rights of all online consumers and introduce policies that support entrepreneurship and innovation.

The Digital Single Market is a machine made up of many different parts, with innovation at its core. It wouldn’t work at full speed if some or any of these parts were not working harmoniously with each other. It will also not work if innovation is not protected and incentivised. It is the responsibility of all of us to make sure it does.

 

This contribution was originally published in the Open Innovation Newsletter (special December 2015 edition) of European Commission’s Directorate General for Communications Networks, Content & Technology.

 

Photo Credit: Daniel Foster