Open Source Innovation, according to our definition, refers to an innovation, which is (1) generated through volunteer contributions and (2) characterised by a non-market transfer of knowledge between the actors involved in invention and those involved in exploitation. Actors involved in invention provide open access to their results for anyone wishing to exploit them, allowing utilisation, modification, and re-distribution. The term ‘Open Source’ originates from the software industry and denotes the revelation of the source code. Examples of OSI reach from Wikipedia and other open content projects to open design processes (automobile development in the car industry or architecture) and projects in biotechnology.
The OSI project systematically investigates
- the conditions, under which the collaborative development and revelation of results can be a trend-setting innovation model outside the software-industry.
- the characteristics of the innovation object, the participating community, and the relevant industries that influence OSI.
- the economic, technical, legal, and social factors that drive or complicate the application of OSI in different contexts.
- the risks concurrent with the implementation of OSI.
Our research design is exploratory in nature. Selected theories from business administration and social studies are developed. Comparative case studies and large-scale empirical studies will be carried out in order to generate new insights and validate our findings.