Call for Papers
Special issue of Research Policy on
“Open Innovation: New Insights and Evidence”

Last Updated March 16, 2012

To mark the 10th anniversary of the publication of the book Open Innovation: The New Imperative for Creating and Profiting from Technology, Research Policy is scheduled to publish a special issue entitled “Open Innovation: New Insights and Evidence.” The Guest Editors for the special issue are Henry Chesbrough, Ammon Salter, Wim Vanhaverbeke and Joel West, working in conjunction with the Lead Editor for the special issue, Research Policy co-editor Ashish Arora.

We will also be hosting a conference in June 2012 to discuss and better develop papers being prepared for the special issue. Submissions for the conference are due April 15, 2012.

Scope of the Special Issue

This special issue focuses on the opportunities that accrue to the firm by broadening the innovation process beyond the boundaries of the firm. Since 2003, interest in open innovation has increased dramatically among managers and researchers, and many leading firms have experimented with new ways of engaging external actors in their innovation efforts. These efforts view innovation as not just a technical activity, but as an ongoing business mindset that utilizes external markets to provide purposive inflows and outflows of innovation from the firm, aligned to its business model.

Research on open innovation builds on and extends the rich history of research on the external face of innovation, bringing renewed attention to the ways firms engage with their external environment to develop and commercialize ideas. This focus on open innovation takes innovation out of centralized R&D laboratories and anchors it in more distributed models of innovation. It highlights two aspects of innovation, an outside-in perspective that reaches out to R&D consortia, university-industry relations, innovation communities, outsourcing and virtual organizations, and also the role of users in shaping innovative outcomes. It also examines inside-out pathways that commercialize un- and under-utilized knowledge and technology inside organizations through external paths to market. Taken together, open innovation brings extra attention to how organizations proactively reshape their relationships to external actors, unlocking new pathways to create value from what they know and can do.

This special issue seeks to break new ground in our understanding of the rich and varied dimensions of open innovation. We seek to publish papers that provide new theoretical and empirical insights into open innovation, including research that informs managerial practice. We welcome papers that seek to place open innovation in historical context and that seek to critically challenge and extend our understanding of this important area.

Potential research questions that contributors might address include:

Papers on other topics related to innovation beyond the boundaries of the firm are also welcome. Both quantitative and qualitative studies are welcome.


Because of the accelerated schedule, authors hoping to participate in the special issue need to meet all deadlines.

Special Issue Conference

To aid in the development of papers, a conference will be held at the Imperial College Business School, Imperial College, London on June 25-26, 2012. The conference is scheduled to run from 10:30am Monday until 6:00pm Tuesday.

Scheduled speakers at the conference include:

  • Bruno Cassiman
  • Alfonso Gambardella
  • John Hagedoorn
  • Joachim Henkel
  • Bart Leten
  • Keld Laursen
  • Frank Piller
  • Andrea Prencipe
  • Georg von Krogh

Papers submitted to the conference must not be under review (or forthcoming or published) at any journal at the time of submission and presentation. Each participant in the conference may present only one paper.

Accommodation and meals will be provided for the presenting author. A limited number of additional authors or other interested participants will be allowed to attend (at their own expense) on a first-come, first-served basis.

Financial support for the conference is being provided by the UK Innovation Research Centre (University of Cambridge and Imperial College London), the Innovation Studies Centre (Imperial College London) and the Garwood Center for Corporate Innovation (University of California at Berkeley).

Submitting Papers to the Conference

Authors may submit either a complete paper or an extended abstract for the conference. To submit a paper to the conference, see the conference submission web page.

Conference paper acceptance decisions will be made by the guest editors, based on the fit to the special issue and the likelihood of having a Research Policy-caliber paper by the August 31 submission date. Due to the accelerated schedule, we will be unable to provide feedback for authors prior to the conference.

The PDFs of all accepted papers will also be circulated to conference participants through a password-protected website.

Submitting Papers to the Special Issue

Papers for the special issue should conform to the formatting and length requirements of Research Policy. For information regarding the Research Policy editorial requirements, see the journal’s author guidelines.

All submissions and reviews after the conference will be managed through the Research Policy manuscript system. Editorial decisions will be made by the guest editors and lead editor, subject to RP’s conflict of interest policies. Papers will be submitted using the standard RP submission page.

Participation in the conference is not a requirement for participation in the special issue. However, papers accepted for the conference will be assigned a guest editor and will receive feedback on their paper to help develop their submission for the special issue.

Further Information

Questions about possible topics (or other issues) related to the conference and special issue should be sent to [email] or any of the special issue guest editors:

[Imperial] [KGI] [UK IRC] [Hasselt] [Haas]