Ministry of Economic Affairs, Labour and Tourism of Baden-WürttembergOpen Innovation Kongress series

Open Innovation Congress Baden-Württemberg 2022, Foto: Michael M.Roth-MicialMedia

Companies operate in a complex field of tension between high competitive pressure, saturated markets and rapidly changing customer requirements. Product life cycles are becoming shorter, while at the same time the costs for research and development are increasing. Faced with these challenges, SMEs are becoming increasingly aware that new products can no longer be entirely developed in-house.  

The topic of open innovation was addressed by the Ministry of Economic Affairs for the first time in 2014 with a congress entitled "New ways for better solutions" and organised by Steinbeis Europa Zentrum. In the meantime, the annual congress has been established as Germany's largest event series on this topic. 

Further congresses followed, which have taken place annually in spring since 2017. Starting with 400 participants in 2014, the number of participants has now increased to well over 1,000 people. 

The topic of open innovation was also picked up by Steinbeis Europa Zentrum in 2016-2017. As a result, the manual on Open Innovation was published in 2017 focussing on “Strategic approaches for small and medium-sized enterprises. This project was also funded by the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Labour and Tourism Baden-Württemberg. 

The congresses in detail:

"The FUTURE is NOW” - Open Innovation Kongress Baden-Württemberg 2023

A total of 701 participants attended the event in person at Haus der Wirtschaft Stuttgart. Beyond that, many others were able to follow the congress via the livestream on the event platform and the YouTube channel of the Ministry of Economic Affairs. Steinbeis Europa Zentrum was responsible for the concept, programme and implementation of the congress. This included speaker and participant management and a communication campaign.

Open Innovation Kongress 2023, Foto: Uli Regenscheit

"Transform4Future: Sustainable and digital" - Open Innovation Kongress Baden-Württemberg 2022

In 2022, the focus of the Open Innovation Congress was set on digital and sustainable transformation. The congress opened up opportunities for participants to exchange knowledge and network with top-class speakers and the open innovation community in Baden-Württemberg in various formats. The keynotes and panel discussions as well as the in-depth workshops in the afternoon focused on the trendsetting topics of AI, sustainability, synthetic fuels as well as cyber security, the metaverse and gamification. With around 1,000 registrations, the congress once again proves the interest and significance of the topic of Open Innovation for the economy and society today and in the future.

"Together - target-oriented - future-oriented" - Open Innovation Kongress Baden-Württemberg 2021 

The Open Innovation Kongress once again provided creative impulses for an open innovation culture. Company representatives had the opportunity to exchange ideas and learn about new approaches from practice in various formats. The almost 1,400 received registrations showed that the topic attracts great interest among companies in the country. Experts provided information in workshops– among other things, on the development of digital business models with open innovation, on open innovation & artificial intelligence as well as on the topics of innovation drivers, creative AI and blockchain technology for open innovation. 

Open Innovation Kongress 2021, Foto: Uli Regenscheit

"How to Play" - Open Innovation Kongress Baden-Württemberg 2020 

With over 1,200 registrations, the congress was in high demand. In a role play, design sprint meetings and further interactive workshops, entrepreneurs and researchers were able to playfully get to know new tools and explore artificial intelligence live on site. Workshops and forums provided information about digital business models, strategic partnerships, smart cities and communities as innovation hubs and InConnect, the international cooperation index. 

"Creating something new together" - Open Innovation Kongress Baden-Württemberg 2019 

The congress addressed cooperative company cultures and open value creation processes. In order to sustainably anchor open innovation in your own company, many more steps are needed in addition to learning the tools and the basic principles. Every company is unique and consequently so is the mix of measures or approaches. 

"Mine.Your.Our success in innovation" - Open Innovation Kongress Baden-Württemberg 2018 

In 2018, the focus was on political strategies to support open innovation, best practices for open innovation in companies, the role of new tools such as makerspaces or pop-up labs and on new opportunities through technological developments. The tension between trust and intellectual property in open innovation processes also plays an essential role in the above-mentioned topics. 

"Digitalisation of innovation processes" - Open Innovation Kongress Baden-Württemberg 2017 

At the congress with over 400 participants, insights on open innovation and the importance of digital techniques were provided. New innovation methods such as innovation hacking, innovation labs and makerspaces were presented. Topics such as crowdfunding, IT security and intellectual property were discussed with high-ranking representatives from politics and medium-sized companies. 

"New ways for better solutions" - Open Innovation Kongress Baden-Württemberg 2014 

Opening up innovation processes for external corporate partners, e.g. for research institutions, customers and suppliers, is considered in many strategy discussions as the key to the future. At the congress, numerous experts provided ideas and good examples of open innovation and dealt with the associated challenges. 

„Many thanks to Steinbeis Europa Zentrum for the organisation and the cooperation with you during the Open Innovation Congress Baden-Württemberg 2021; it was very good. The choice of topics was good and the exchange with the organisers during the preparation was direct. Many thanks for the exciting virtual congress, through which some good contacts were made afterwards!“

Alexander Dregger, Forschungszentrum Informatik

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Olga Marschalek
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Olga Marschalek

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