The Future of Open Innovation through Access to Knowledge in Africa
I'm honoured to be speaking at the 2012 AUC Research Conference, Entrepreneurship and Innovation: Shaping the Future of Egypt, co-hosted by the School of Business and the School of Sciences and Engineering at the American University in Cairo, April 17-19 at AUC Tahrir Square and AUC New Campus.
Open innovation is one of the hottest buzzwords in business circles, and as a result, science and technology policy makers around the world are catching on to the trend. On some levels, the concept of open innovation is clear -- it involves engaging consumers, or even would-be competitors, as collaborators to develop and deploy new technologies, systems or processes. But tapping into such community-driven opportunities means giving up a good deal of control. It requires re-thinking the role of conventional knowledge management strategies, especially concerning intellectual property rights.
How can private sector firms and public research organizations adapt to this changing environment? What lessons can African innovators learn from the experiences of entrepreneurs, or public policy makers, in the developed world? Maybe more importantly, what can Egyptian and other North African entrepreneurs teach the world about leveraging access to knowledge to empower communities of innovators creating shared social and economic value?
This invited conference lecture addresses these and related questions to explain how the future of open innovation in Africa depends on intellectual property systems that enable various modes of access to knowledge.