In today’s hyper-competitive business landscape, the concept of Open Innovation has become more relevant than ever. Unlike closed innovation where all processes are conducted in-house, Open Innovation allows companies to go beyond their boundaries to collaborate with external stakeholders. In this brief guide, we’ll explore Open Innovation and focus on two crucial aspects: Accessibility Level and Engagement Level.

What is Open Innovation?

Open Innovation is a paradigm that assumes firms can and should use external ideas and paths to market in their innovation processes. Companies can leverage external partnerships, collaborations, and customer input to improve their products, services, or internal processes. Open Innovation is an efficient way to accelerate the innovation cycle and bring fresh perspectives to the table.

Accessibility Level

Open to All

In a fully open system, the company’s innovation processes are accessible to anyone who wishes to participate. These systems are often found in crowdsourcing platforms and open-source software communities.

Selective Accessibility

Here, the company forms strategic partnerships or collaborations with selected external entities. Accessibility is limited to those who bring valuable expertise, funding, or resources to the table.

Innovation Engagement Level

Innovation engagement level refers to the depth and extent of involvement and interaction that participants have in the innovation process. It signifies the nature of engagement activities within innovation initiatives. Innovation engagement levels can range from passive roles, such as voting or providing feedback on ideas, to more active roles, like submitting and elaborating on concepts or even seeking talent or collaboration. 

Passive Engagement

In this model, companies act more as observers, opening up their innovation problems to external entities but not actively participating in the collaborative process.

Active Engagement

Companies take a hands-on approach, collaborating directly with external partners. This often involves joint R&D projects, strategic partnerships, or co-creation with customers.

The choice of engagement level can significantly impact the quality and refinement of innovations, as well as the extent of external contributions. 

Organizations often tailor their engagement levels to align with their innovation objectives and the desired degree of external and internal collaboration.

Voting / Jury Only

Engagement is limited to activities like inviting external experts to review internal ideas, or customers voting for a shortlist of ideas.

This level is focused on external input in the evaluation and selection stages of innovation.

Capturing Feedback on Ideas

Participants are encouraged to provide feedback and suggestions on existing ideas, helping to refine and improve them.

This level emphasizes the iterative development of ideas with external input.

Idea Submission and Elaboration

External participants are asked to submit new ideas and contribute to their elaboration through successive stages.

This level encourages external contributors to actively shape and develop concepts.

Talent Acquisition

Innovation campaigns serve as a platform for finding team members, collaborators, or investors to support and further develop ideas.

This level promotes talent scouting and collaboration across boundaries.

Combined Levels for Different Target Groups

Innovation campaigns may combine different access and engagement levels tailored to specific target groups, recognizing that diverse approaches may be needed.

The Benefits

Increased Innovation Speed

Open Innovation allows you to tap into a broader range of ideas and technologies, speeding up the innovation cycle.

Lower Costs

By collaborating with external partners, companies can share the costs (and risks) associated with innovation.

Enhanced Creativity

Opening up the innovation process brings in fresh perspectives, breaking down echo chambers that might stifle creativity internally.


The Open Innovation model can be scaled easily, allowing you to engage with various partners on multiple projects simultaneously.

High Accessibility & Engagement

Companies can choose their level of accessibility and engagement, allowing for a flexible approach tailored to meet specific needs and objectives.


Open Innovation offers a transformative approach to innovation management, allowing companies to become more agile, cost-effective, and creative. By understanding and optimizing the levels of accessibility and engagement, businesses can tailor their Open Innovation strategies for maximum impact. Are you ready to break down the walls and embrace the limitless possibilities of Open Innovation?

Yambla for Open Innovation | Request a Demo