Monday, February 2, 2009

Open Innovation at Johnson & Johnson

Paul Stoffels of Johnson & Johnson (Company Group Chairman, Global Research and Development) has written a column calling for more open innovation: "Collaborative innovation for the Post-Crisis World. Brief excerpt:
At Johnson & Johnson, we are shifting our innovation ecosystem toward an open innovation model, tapping into both institutes of scientific excellence and our own research and development centers across the world.

Our scientists are taking a networked approach across internal organizational disciplines and geographies, including Asia and other emerging markets, and increasingly with external public and private partners to generate ideas and intellectual property. By working with experts at other companies, universities, and research institutes, we tap a wider range of expertise, capabilities, and resources. Together we share in both the benefits and costs of innovation that will yield more useful technologies and solutions that will contribute to new advances in healthcare.

Protection of intellectual property is critical to gaining new knowledge and economic benefits within the open innovation model. Sufficient intellectual property protection has been necessary for the private sector to justify investments in high-risk research. But in the landscape of open innovation, co-creation involves sharing the costs and benefits of innovation and the resulting intellectual property, in line with the relative contribution of the various parties, including royalties from the commercialization of new products. In this model, intellectual property rights can be ensured through appropriate and harmonized protection strategies that are agreed upon by all stakeholders.

I think he's absolutely right. These principles apply not just to pharma, but to most fields of business. Collaboration and co-development are key.

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