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Although the idea and discussion about some consequences (especially the interfirm cooperation in R&D) date back at least to the 60s, open innovation is a term promoted by Henry Chesbrough, a professor and executive director at the Center for Open Innovation at the University of California, Berkeley, in his book Open Innovation: The new imperative for creating and profiting from technology. The concept is related to user innovation,cumulative innovation, know-how trading, mass innovation and distributed innovation.
“Open innovation is a paradigm that assumes that firms can and should use external ideas as well as internal ideas, and internal and external paths to market, as the firms look to advance their technology” or "Innovating with partners by sharing risk and sharing reward.". The boundaries between a firm and its environment have become more permeable; innovations can easily transfer inward and outward. The central idea behind open innovation is that in a world of widely distributed knowledge, companies cannot afford to rely entirely on their own research, but should instead buy or license processes or inventions (i.e. patents) from other companies. In addition, internal inventions not being used in a firm's business should be taken outside the company (e.g. through licensing, joint ventures or spin-offs).