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Open Innovation, Blurring Organizational Boundaries and the Role of Entrepreneurial University - Industry Relationship

Mukund Karanjikar, Chevron Technology Ventures LLC, 3901 Briarpark, Houston, TX 77042 and Ron Wright, Chevron Products Co,, Richmond, CA 94802.

Conventionally chemical process industry (CPI) relied upon in house R&D for competitive advantage and top-line growth. However due to globalization, increased competition and advent of knowledge economy CPI feels stifled for not being innovative enough compared to other new industries such as information technology or telecommunication. The balance of glamour shifted away from once-hot CPI to new industries. Contemporary development in theories of innovation such as network innovation theory, recombinant innovation theory and open innovation theory shows a general agreement among the innovation experts about importance of blurring organization boundaries.

As an attempt to open the process of innovation, CPI resolved to university research for strategic collaborations. However these collaborations were classified as cost-cutting measures to tax-saving measures to competitive advantage to philanthropic initiatives. The process of collaboration seemed to lack unification across the industry.

This paper systematically discusses the transformation of in-house research and development protocol to collaborations and argues that the next phase of collaborations is institution to individual extending from institution to institution. A framework is proposed where hard-coded as well as tacit issues are included. Few hypothetical case studies constituting open innovation in CPI will be included.