Top 5 Countries for Open Innovation – 2012

Top 5 Countries for Open Innovation – 2012I have the privilege to travel the world in order to meet with corporate innovation teams and work with them on their issues. This gives me a pretty good understanding on what is happening with open innovation globally so here comes a list of countries that in my view do well.

1. United States. No surprise here. This is where it happens. We have the companies, intermediaries/service providers, top academics and all the best conferences. There are simply too many to mention here.

2. The Netherlands. I have had the opportunity to engage with several Dutch companies including Philips, which I believe can turn into a great case on open innovation in the near future. I really look forward to seeing them start sharing their experiences in the innovation community : – ) Other interesting companies include AkzoNobelDSM and Unilever. The Netherlands also has several workshops and events on open innovation.

3. Germany. Many Germany-based companies including BASF, Beiersdorf, Siemens, Deutsche Telekom, Bombardier, Lufthansa and SAP have embraced open innovation or they have strong initiatives for the kind of knowledge / innovation communities that I believe will be very important in the near future. Germany is well-represented on this list: 40 Examples of Open Innovation and Crowdsourcing

Germany also seems to be the place in Europe (together with the Netherlands) with the most relevant conferences and events although several of those are in German language only. Germany also has several service providers including Hype Innovation, which does a good job on educating their customers and the community.

I did not have much trouble naming the U.S., the Netherlands and Germany for the top three spots. Now, it gets more tricky as I don’t think other countries can match these three although several countries such as France, United Kingdom, Chile, Brazil, Sweden, Singapore and South Korea have the potential to develop into regional or perhaps even global hotspots.

4. France. I used to have the United Kingdom on my top 5 list, but I think the fourth spot now belongs to France. One reason is service providers such as Hypios and bluenove (check their report on Open Innovation in France). I am also getting in touch with a growing number of corporate innovation teams in France although I must admit that I have not yet worked with any of them.

5. Not decided yet. I will leave this slot open and have you help decide which country we should add here. Please drop a comment on which country you choose and why.

One big disappointment is the Nordic region and in particular Denmark (with the exception of LEGO). Many Nordic companies do well on innovation in general, but they just seem to miss out on open innovation. They need to get their act together or risk falling behind.

Back to the number 5 spot… Should your country be on the list? Drop a comment and “vote” for this fifth spot…

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Stefan LindegaardStefan Lindegaard is an author, speaker and strategic advisor who focus on the topics of open innovation, social media and intrapreneurship.

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Stefan Lindegaard




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No Comments

  1. Piero Rivizzigno on December 9, 2012 at 2:47 pm

    Don’t you think you should give the criteria for defining the ranking? Do you think is fair to define the ranking based on the country where you travelled?

  2. Harilaos Vasiliadis on December 12, 2012 at 4:48 am

    For the 5th position I would nominate perhaps Spain and in particular Barcelona. They have a rapidly growing critical mass of open innovation initiatives and communities including Mobile World Capital and Smart Cities.

    Bax & Willems (, where I work for, is very active in open innovation initiatives.

  3. Nathan Maton on January 23, 2013 at 2:18 pm

    We’d add India to the list from our experience.

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