Lazio Innova presented the Best Practice “Open Innovation Challenge” in the Webinar “Competitive advantages through collaborative and open innovation” organized by Policy Learning Platform

In December 2020, Lazio Innova was contacted by the Interreg Europe Policy Learning Platform in order to deepen the knowledge of the BP “Open Innovation Challenge”. A meeting was organized with the Project Manager Laura Santarelli. During this meeting Laura explained the structure, the steps and the resources needed to set-up an Open Innovation Challenge and the results reached so far. The contents of the interview have been described in the article “Open Innovation Challenge – boosting the regional entrepreneurial ecosystem”.

In April 2021 Mr. Luc Schmerber from the Policy Learning Platform invited Lazio Innova to participate as speakers to the Webinar “Competitive advantages through collaborative and open innovation” in order to illustrate the BP “Open Innovation Challenge”. The goal of the webinar was analysing some interesting BPs with strategies adopted by local, regional and national authorities to promote innovation-driven entrepreneurship through open innovation schemes, focusing on bottom-up approaches aiming at improving the innovation capacity of existing businesses and solving their specific innovation challenges.

The meeting was organized on 10 June 2021 and addressed two main topics:

  • Opening up businesses to the innovation potential of students
  • Opening up businesses to the innovation potential of start-ups

During the second part of the webinar, Lazio Innova project manager Laura Santarelli illustrated the different steps that make up the good practice “Open Innovation Challenge”:

  • Identification and definition of Innovation needs together with the corporate
  • Launch of the Open Innovation Challenge call on “” website
  • Selection of the best solutions offered by SMEs
  • Mentorship Program aiming at improving the proposed solutions
  • Innovation Day and Lazio Innova Prize Award
  • Co-design phase

Lazio Innova organized the first Open Innovation Challenge in 2015. In 6 years, 22 Innovation Challenges have been launched, 15 large and medium sized corporates have been engaged, more than 300 applications have been received and more than 130 solutions have been proposed by start-ups.

The webinar ended with a panel discussion focusing on the following key questions:

  • What are the main benefits of your practice for the regional entrepreneurial ecosystem?
  • Are there measurable impacts?
  • What are the key success factors for such open innovation initiatives?
  • What were your main obstacles?
  • How do you see the future of your initiatives?

The final debate concentrated on the 3rd key question. Laura Santarelli strongly underlined as a very important success factor the the creation of a strong trustworthy relationship between the Corporate that expresses the need for innovation and the start-up offering the solution.