In traditional business models, collaborating to solve industry problems and innovate was discouraged; however, that is no longer the case. Collaborative innovation builds networks of industry experts from researchers, to vendors, to customers, and even competitors — all with a shared goal to innovate. One of the biggest concerns organizations face when deciding whether or not to participate in innovation networks is level of risk. There is often a misconception that these partnerships will open the organization to risk, when in actuality, it's more risky not to collaborate.

Breaking Down Perceived Risk Factors

There are several factors impacting perceived risk associated with collaborative innovation.

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“Won't competitors steal my ideas?”

Intellectual capital is incredibly important to maintaining competitive advantage, and as such, traditional innovation models have focused internally on proprietary information. Collaboration frequently becomes associated with a worry that participants will steal their partners' knowledge, or even intellectual property. However, collaborating within an organization, such as a consortium, provides the legal structure to protect individual companies' information and manage any IP resulting from the group's efforts.

Additionally, concepts driven from collaboration result in higher quality, to increase gains for all involved. Ultimately, collaboration enables advancements across the entire industry, creating a better market and higher value for all stakeholders.

Cost & Resource Usage

“This isn't worth my time or investment.”

Internal innovation involves considerable investment financially, as well as in labor and equipment. Collaborative innovation models leverage shared resources like costs, labor, equipment, and knowledge across many participants. This diversifies risk across multiple stakeholders, meaning that participating organizations will not only have to invest less to begin with, but the layer of shared risk will optimize the return on investment.

To break traditional innovation models, organizations must embrace collaboration, which can break down industry barriers to improve performance for all. iNEMI has brought together leaders across the electronics industry to drive advancement. For more information on the benefits of iNEMI, please contact us.