Inderscience Publishers

Outsourced innovation in SMES: a field study of R&D units in Spain


SME innovation strategy and motivation has become one of the most challenging subjects of innovation policy. New innovation models proposed recently have captured the attention of policy makers. However, these models seem for the most part to be applicable to medium-sized or large enterprises. The objective of this paper is to analyse the open innovation model in the case of outsourced cooperative R&D in SMEs. Although the driving forces for outsourcing innovation in SMEs are in some respects similar to those for large firms, others are linked to lack of resources, but both have in common the pursuit of efficiency in R&D and technology transfer.

This paper is based on an empirical study of open innovation in SMEs and proposes a model for analysing the critical elements which influence performance and strategic alignment between R&D performers and their partners (in most cases, SMEs).

Keywords: open innovation, OI, small and medium enterprises, SMEs, outsourced innovation

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