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Harnessing Open Innovation in Business

Learn how to use open innovation to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of your organisation's innovation processes.

8,177 enrolled on this course

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  • Duration

    3 weeks
  • Weekly study

    4 hours

Create value by applying open innovation to your research and development

The development of new products and services isn’t confined to one organisation or country. Successful businesses are able to work with others to spot and develop ideas. This model is known as open innovation.

On this course, you’ll learn how to get new ideas from outside sources, including suppliers, competitors or customers. You’ll learn to implement them into your supply chain and use them to develop new processes and products.

Using leading research, Durham University Business School will help you harness the latest thinking in open innovation to gain an advantage over your competitors.

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Skip to 0 minutes and 13 seconds In today’s world, the development of new products and services is not confined within one organisation, or indeed within one country. To succeed, businesses must be willing to work with others to spot, develop, and implement ideas. This is a model often referred to as open innovation. In this course we’ll be exploring what open innovation is, and thinking about how it can be applied. We will try to answer questions such as where do ideas come from, what are the benefits, and of course what are the risks associated with open innovation. Finally, we try to explore how it can work for you. Over the last few years here at Durham University Business School, we have been conducting some cutting-edge research on open innovation.

Skip to 1 minute and 1 second So what we would like to do as part of this course is to share some of the conclusions of this research with you. We will be looking at examples where it has and has not worked, and try to identify the factors that enable open innovation. This is going to be an interactive course, where you will be discussing ideas, and develop your thinking on open innovation. We will also try to explore how it can be applied to your own organisation, or at that the very least, one that you’re interested in. So join us in learning about what open innovation is, and how it can help develop a competitive edge.


  • Week 1

    Introduction to open innovation

    • What is open innovation?

      This week, we'll give you a quick overview of the course and what to expect, introduce ourselves and start to think about where ideas come from, the different forms open innovation can take, and the benefits and risks.

    • Innovation across the supply chain

      In this part of the week, we'll focus in some detail on working in collaboration with customers, suppliers and other external partners found across the supply chain and consider the opportunities and challenges this brings.

  • Week 2

    Preparing yourself for openness

    • Creating the right conditions

      This week, we'll think about how organisations can put themselves in the best position to make a success of open innovation. We'll get some insight from collaborations with a university and consider the challenges for managers.

    • Working with the external network

      This week we'll share examples of networks companies might use for open innovation and consider our own (and how we could expand it). We'll also think about the importance of relationships within these networks.

  • Week 3

    Open innovation in practice

    • Applying open innovation - research and examples

      This week we'll spend some time thinking about how open innovation is implemented and measured. So far, we've focussed mostly on products, but we'll also start to think more about services and processes.

    • Applying open innovation to your own context

      The final section of this course will invite you to think about how you can apply open innovation to your own context, with the opportunity for some peer feedback on your ideas.

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Explain what open innovation is and its impact on competitive advantage
  • Compare open innovation against other innovation models in product, process and service contexts
  • Identify sources of ideas and ways of engaging with open innovation across the supply chain
  • Identify the challenges associated with the implementation of open innovation
  • Apply open innovation in service, product and process contexts

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for anyone with an interest in research and development or supply chain management.

It will be equally relevant to those working in services, process or product orientated businesses. A business background is not essential but will be helpful.

Who will you learn with?

Christos is a senior lecturer in operations and project management with research interests in open innovation across the supply chain. He teaches MBA and MSc classes at Durham University.

Who developed the course?

Durham University

Durham University is a collegiate university with long traditions and modern values, proud to be an international scholarly community which reflects the ambitions of cultures from around the world.

Durham University Business School

Durham University Business School connects students and alumni with global companies, linking businesses with incisive and innovative thinking.

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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