Open innovation in Portuguese firms

June 5, 2018

There are increasing open innovation trends threatening, but also creating opportunities to Portuguese firms. Open innovation includes the systematic encouragement and exploration of a wide range of internal and external sources for innovative opportunities, the integration of this exploration with firm capabilities, and the exploitation of these opportunities through multiple channels.

This study aims to identify the sectors whose firms most engage in open innovation and which sources/agents of innovation are most used. The study is based on data from the Community Innovation Survey (CIS-2012). The study shows that the main innovating sectors in Portugal are of three types: research-based, knowledge-based, and service-based. For each of these, the respective external sources/agents of innovation most commonly used are universities, suppliers, and same-group firms. Private customers are important sources of innovation for all sectors, implying that Portuguese firms are attentive and respond to customers’ information in their innovation purposes. These results are in line with the fact that Portuguese firms are mainly small and medium-sized and are increasingly focused in the services sector. The health and construction sectors have experienced some of the greater openness towards innovation. These sectors have also experienced a parallel process of internationalization. However, Portuguese innovation is still more firm-based, in-house than cooperation-based, especially concerning new product innovation. This study contributes to the debate on the benefits to open innovation strategies in increasingly more sectors of the economy, and as a way that open innovation can help cope with rapid trends and changes.

Click here to go to the paper by Silvia Fernandes, Marisa Cesário, and José Monteiro Barata.